Relevant Text: 1 Cor. 3:18
Full Text: Job 15, 1 Cor. 3

Attack | In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul launches an attack on wisdom. He writes that Christ did not send him to preach the gospel with “words of eloquent wisdom” [1]. He reminds them that, in preaching to them, he didn’t use “lofty speech or wisdom” [2]. He also asks rhetorically, “Where is the one who is wise?” [3], and then says that “the world did not know God through wisdom” [4]. Not only does he criticize the Greeks for seeking wisdom [5], he also tells his own readers that not many of them are wise [6]. Does Paul see no place for wisdom in the Christian faith? Not at all!

Distinction | Rather, he’s attacking one kind of wisdom and exalting another. He’s attacking the human wisdom of this age, which says things like, “If you’re a CEO, then act and dress like one.” It secures victory by being successful and selects leaders based on eloquence, pedigree and charm. Its opposite, which Paul extols, is the wisdom of God, which says things like, “I am King and Lord, but I choose to serve others.” It secured victory by laying down the life of the Son of God to be mocked and killed.

Obstacles | We have at least two impediments, however, to gaining the wisdom of God. First, it is “secret and hidden” [7]. Second, we are constantly bombarded with the wisdom of this age, which is “folly with God” [8]. How do we overcome these barriers? We must ask the Lord to make us fools: “If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise” [9].

Prayer | Lord, You are the only wise God and, by your wisdom, we are saved. Thus, since your wisdom seems foolish to the world, we know that we cannot depend on our intellect to discern what is true. Therefore, let us not deceive ourselves [10]. Teach us to number our days that we may gain hearts of wisdom [11] – for we know that the wisdom of this age is foolish in light of eternity. Let us not seek a fool’s profit – this world’s riches, comforts, fame, entertainment and accolades – and, thereby, forfeit our own souls [12]. Instead, make us foolish in this age and wise in you. Then, all things will be ours – whether the world or life or death or the present or the future – for we are Christ’s and Christ is God’s. Amen.



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[1] See 1 Cor. 1:17  |  [2] See 1 Cor. 2:1  |  [3] See 1 Cor. 1:20  |  [4] See 1 Cor. 1:21  |  [5] See 1 Cor. 1:21  |  [6] See 1 Cor. 1:26  |  [7] See 1 Cor. 2:7  |  [8] 1 Cor. 3:19  |  [9] 1 Cor. 3:18  |  [10] 1 Cor. 3:18  |  [11] See Ps. 90:12  |  [12] See Matt. 16:26; Mark 8:36.