February 11th, 2007
In today’s reading, Paul described the Christian faith as “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Greeks.” Human wisdom comes from the mind and is a compilation of theories. Sometimes it comes from reading books, sometimes from quotations of wise people. But God’s wisdom is divine; it comes by revelation. Later on you sit down and say, “Surely that was God’s guidance.” It is not easy to discern, but it comes as it reveals itself. Sometimes it might seem like a curse, but God does everything for your welfare, not for your destruction.
Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians — Chapter 1
1:1 From Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, 1:2 to the church of God in Corinth, who have been made holy by Christ Jesus, called to be saints along with everyone everywhere who calls on the name of our Lord and theirs, Jesus Christ. 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:4 I always thank God for you, because of the grace of God which was given to you in Christ Jesus. 1:5 He made you rich in every way and in all that you say and know. 1:6 The truth of what Christ stands for has been confirmed in you, 1:7 so that you are not lacking any spiritual gift as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 1:8 He will also strengthen you until the end, guilt-free on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:9 God is faithful. Through him you were invited into friendship with his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
1:10 Now I ask you, friends, through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same message and that there be no disunity among you. Instead, be united in the same attitude and purpose. 1:11 My friends, I have been told by members of Chloe’s household that there are squabbles amongst you. 1:12 You say, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” and, “I follow Christ.” 1:13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptised into the name of Paul? 1:14 I thank God that I did not baptise any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 1:15 so that no one could say that I had baptised you into my own name. 1:16 (I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides them, I don’t know whether I baptised anyone else.) 1:17 Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the Good News — not with clever words, so that the cross of Christ would not become ineffective. 1:18 The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1:19 It is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I will abolish the intelligence of the intellectuals.”
1:20 Where is the wise person? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 1:21 God in his wisdom determined that the world would not know God through human wisdom. God decided to save those who believe through the foolishness of our message. 1:22 Jews ask for miraculous signs, Greeks look for wisdom, 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks. 1:24 But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1:25 The foolishness of God is wiser than humans, and the weakness of God is stronger than humans. 1:26 Consider your calling, friends. Not many of you are wise according to human standards, not many powerful, and not many noble, 1:27 but God chose the foolish things of the world to put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are strong. 1:28 And God chose the humble things of the world, and the things that are unvalued, and the things that are nothing, in order to bring to nothing the things that are important, 1:29 so that no human can boast before God. 1:30 Because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1:31 As it is written, “Whoever boasts should boast in the Lord.”