Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Foolishness or Wisdom?

People are rational beings (except when they are being irrational). Generally we like things to make sense to us. We like things to follow logical lines of thought. We want to feel like things are reasonable.

Many people think that the Christian gospel doesn't make sense.
  • How could God become a man?
  • Why would He?
  • How could a humble man like Jesus, be Creator God?
  • How could one man take the punishment for many people's sins?
  • How could that be "fair?"
  • How can people be saved if they don't deserve it?
  • How can God save some, but not all, and still be just?
  • How does supernatural salvation by God fit with human moral freedom and responsibility?
The list could go on endlessly, but God's answer is simple.
(Isaiah 55:8-9) “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

God's view of things is fundamentally different than the view of His creatures.
(1Corinthians 1:25) Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Apart from God's special revelation to humans and God's work of salvation in individuals, no one would ever understand.
(1Corinthians 2:13-14) These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

It seems to me that this is the explanation of why there is such a disconnect between people who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ and people who do not. To believers it all makes sense. To unbelievers, it seems like foolishness. Believers feel frustrated. Unbelievers are bewildered.

But that is OK. Believers don't need to make the gospel into something that makes sense to unbelievers. That would destroy the Gospel of Grace and replace it with some version of humans saving themselves by their good works or religious rituals.

Instead, we continue to preach the gospel - salvation for sinners by the grace of God through the finished work of Christ on the cross - available freely to all who believe. Then, when people demonstrate genuine faith through repenting of their sins and throwing themselves on the mercy of God for salvation through Jesus Christ, we see the power of God at work in them. Then we know it was not our own persuasive arguments, but the Spirit of God working in their hearts.
(1Corinthians 2:1-5 NKJV) And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

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