Thursday, April 01, 2010

Maundy Thursday meets April Fool's Day: In Awe of God's Amazing "Foolishness"

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." Isaiah 29:14
"Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written (Jer 9:24): "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." - Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians (Chapter 1, verses 18 to 31; New International Version)

"...(T)he gospel centers on the crucified and risen Lord. The gospel we preach is the wisdom of God because it doesn't praise our intellects or advertise our strengths. It causes us to fall on our knees and acknowledge our weakness, our dependence, our terrible need. It causes us to look up to God as the great Savior... The gospel teaches us that our righteousness, our sanctification, our redemption and our wisdom are all gifts from God. The message of the gospel scuttles human pride because it reminds us that our life did not start with our choosing God, but His choosing us. Therefore, all the glory is God's."

- Excerpts from The Foolishness of the Cross (article in pdf format) by Thomas R. Schreiner (Professor & Associate Dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Preaching Pastor, Clifton Baptist Church Louisville, Kentucky; Author of Paul, The Apostle of God's Glory in Christ)

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