Be the Fool | 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

Be the Fool | 1 Corinthians 1:18-19

First Corinthians 1:18-19: As Far As the World is Concerned, You Are a Fool!


  • This week, as we continue going through the book of 1st Corinthians, we are starting a multi part series called “Be The Fool”.
    • This series goes through 1:18-2:16 and will be taking us into 2016.
    • So I want you guys to get your mind set for some foolishness! Alright!
      • When people ask you what you are doing on Sunday morning, tell them you are getting foolish in church!
    • Man I am PUMPED for this series, because it is SUPPER God glorifying, and because I get to say the word “Fool” a lot, and it’s just a fun word!
  • So the introduction to this series really comes from last weeks sermon. Because lets remember this book we are going through, is actually a letter that Paul is writing to the church he planted in Corinth. So we never want to just look at one verse, but we want to look at the book as a whole.
    • So even though we are only going to go through one verses today, we need to keep it in that context.
    • So Paul introduces today’s sermon with what we concluded last weeks sermon with.
    • 1 Corinthians 1:17 ESV  For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
      • Basically what Paul is saying is this “I purposely do not preach eloquently or with words of wisdom so that when people get radically saved, when people’s lives are changed, no one can say “it was because of Paul’s preaching” instead they must say “It is because of the power and glory of Christ”.
        • And folks think about this for a second, Paul literally says “I do not use words of wisdom when I preach”. Paul is straight up saying “I preach foolishness for the power of Christ!”
        • Paul intentionally is a fool for Christ!
    • Now I want to stop here for a second, because some people may be uncomfortable with the message that I am preaching, some may find it odd that I would suggest that Paul was being foolish.
      • First let me say “I am not suggesting that, he is suggesting that in scripture”. But second let me say this…
        • Then second let me say this… the following series, the series that is going to take us well into the new year… it is probably going to make you feel uncomfortable.
          • Not uncomfortable in a convicted way, as other sermons might do, but uncomfortable in a way that hurts your pride.
          • I say this because it makes me and my pride uncomfortable, no one likes being called a fool, and certainly no one likes being a fool.
          • Yet that is exactly what these messages are going to be about.
          • You are going to be called a fool, and hopefully it will be revealed that you are a fool, and that I am a fool, and that is bound to make you uncomfortable. Because it goes against how we are raised, how the world tells us we should be, how society tells us we should be.
          • But the fact is, we are different than the world church, we are different from society.
          • And one of the things that we do different then the rest of society is that we as Christians humble ourselves, we make ourselves lower in order to give more Glory to God.
          • So, whenever you feel a little uncomfortable in this series, I want you guys to remember a verse that I brought up last week, I want you to remember John 3:30
            • “I must decrease, He must increase”
              • “I must decrease, Jesus must increase!”
        • This is what being a fool is all about, less of us more of Him. When I am weak, God is proven to be strong, when I am foolish, God is proven to be wise.


  • With that, let’s get into today’s verse:
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV  For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    • Today’s message is titled this “As far as the World is concerned, you are already a fool”.
      • For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are don’t believe, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
        • By the fact that we are Christians, by the fact that we believe in the Gospel, we are fools.
        • To those who are not saved, this whole Jesus thing is foolishness, it is a load of bunk, it is all foolishness, it does not make any sense.
  • Let me just lay out our beliefs for you:
    • We believe that a book that is thousands of years old is flawless, and that it should dictate how we live.
    • We believe that there is a living breathing being in heaven that created everything, including us, and really wants to be with us forever.
    • We believe that people are not good, on the contrary, we believe that people are evil, sinful, and in need of a savior.
    • We believe that there are things that we should not do, because God tells us not to, even though we would find great joy in those things.
    • We believe that because sometimes we do those things we know we shouldn’t do, but really like doing, that we deserve to go to Hell for eternity.
    • We believe that God loves us so much that He sent His only son to die on a cross 2000 years ago to pay the price for our sins.
    • We believe that that very son, Jesus Christ lived a sinless life.
    • We believe that very son, after He died on the cross for us rose again from the dead, and then entered into heaven.
    • We believe that God exists in three persons, and that once we are saved God enters inside of us.
    • We believe that we will live in a mystical place where there is no sin, no tears, no sorrow, and no pain for eternity.
  • Now think about all these things we believe, and understand that the world thinks we are fools for believing these things.
    • Ok, no one is going to look at you and this list of what you believe and be like “oh, I can see how you came to that conclusion, it is obviously the most logical thing to believe”.
    • No, instead if you were to list this out to someone who was not a Christian they would be like “OHHHHKAYYYY we got a crazy guy on our hands.
      • Dan brown writes books about how Jesus got Marry Magdalene pregnant.
      • History channel runs specials about “The tomb of Jesus” where they try to find the bones of Jesus in a tomb.
      • You know the Bible says that God created the world in 7 days, science says that’s impossible, a big bang created the world silly, then evolution created man!
        • And maybe you are thinking, well can’t evolution be real and God be real. Nope, not as an origin of species. The Bible makes that clear, and we foolishly follow the Bible. AND THE WORLD HATES IT.
        • Jesus says in Matthew 12:30 “Whoever is not with me is against me”.
          • Folks scientists who are not Christians have no desire in proving that God created in the world, instead they desperately want to prove that God did not create the world! And they know it!
            • Scott told me he had to stop following two different “Science” groups on Facebook because they posted a graphic that boldly proclaims “Science has finally won the war on religion”.
            • They know that they are against Jesus, they proclaim it!
    • So church can we stop acting like we can be friends with the world, that we can all get along, or worse yet, that we can craft some great argument to convince the world that we are not fools.
  • Folks, the world is going to think we are fools, it’s Biblical.
    • 1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV  For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
  • So I want to make this real to us, I want for us to be able to apply this to our lives church.
    • First we need to accept that world is going to think we are foolish.
      • Why is the first part of this verse so hard to accept?
        • Because we have experienced the second part of this verse.
        • You see we don’t want to accept that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who don’t believe BECAUSE we have experienced its power. We have experienced the power of God through the message of the cross.
        • We have firsthand experience, we have seen our lives changed, we have felt the love and forgiveness of God. We have seen healings, and prophecies, and truth. Ours eyes have been opened by the power and the word of God and we so desperately want to share that with others.
        • So we think “It’s not foolishness because I have seen it work”!
          • But folks, understand, the world has not experienced this truth, they don’t have the experience you have.
  • So church, here is the sobering reality we need to understand…
    • We need to stop sharing Biblical wisdom with our worldly friends and family.
      • Why, because we are wasting our time…
        • Let me give you an example:
        • When I was pastoring in North Carolina I remember a shocking scene, I was over at a friend’s house for a family gathering.
        • One of the family members, who was a friend of mine, not a close friend, but a friend non-the less, was having marital problems and her husband wanted to file for a divorce.
          • Instantly the worldliness of the room came out…
            • I was shocked to here her family start encouraging her to file for divorce first.
            • They started suggesting divorce lawyers
            • They suggested strategies to get the most out of the divorce… how to get the most money, how to get the house, what to do, how to do it, when to do it.
            • Finally I had enough!
            • I blurted out “NO! GOD HATES DIVORCE!”
            • I quoted Malachi 2:16, God hates divorce. Don’t get a lawyer, don’t file papers, I pleaded.
              • I assured her that if she did it God’s way that things would work out!
          • Oh how foolish was I. Well, according to the world I was very foolish. According to the worldly people in that room I was very foolish.
            • “But if she doesn’t lawyer up she could lose everything”
            • They don’t even love each other anymore.
            • That guy is a jerk anyway.
            • Why would she risk losing her house because of what the Bible says?
        • Needless to say, she got the divorce. She probably got to keep the house, and my protesting meant nothing.
        • And why would it? Because honestly my advice stunk! She did not know God like I know Him, she did not understand the power of being on God’s side.
          • What she understood was that she was fixing to get divorced one way or another and if she did not act first she was going to lose her house and a lot of money!
          • Who cares what the Bible says if you don’t know that the Bible is truth?
        • My advice was foolishness.
  • Let me read 1 Corinthians 1:18 again from the NIV
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV 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.
    • The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing!
      • Folks when you have friends in crisis, when family needs advice, when the hurting world comes to you seeking wisdom…
        • Man I know it’s tempting to start quoting scripture, to give Godly advice, to point them toward sermons, and preachers… but folks, it’s all foolishness to those who are not saved.
        • That’s just the fact of the matter.
  • Folks our biggest concern when talking to the world is that they would get saved.
    • No advice is going to help them if they don’t know Jesus. No Biblical wisdom will do them any good.
    • Even if they listen to you and take your advice, what good does it do them if they just one day die and go to heaven?
  • And the scope of this is not just with worldly family, friends, or coworkers… it’s much larger. Think about social issues.
    • How much time do we as Christians waist arguing about Social issues with the world?
      • Look, I am STRONGLY pro-traditional marriage, I believe the Bible makes it clear that same sex intercourse is sin!
      • But you won’t see me on CNN arguing with a bunch of pundits about it.
      • You won’t see me crafting multi-paragraph arguments on facebook about it.
      • If every planned parenthood in the nation closed, but no one got saved, what would it matter?
      • Folks we are on this earth for one reason, and that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Let me close with this… The natural reaction to that last statement should be “How do we share the Gospel if it is foolishness to people”. That is a great question, the answer is in the second part of the verse… “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.

To those who are being saved it is the power of God.

If you want to lead someone to Christ, if you want them to be saved, then the message of the Cross needs to be the power of God to them…. How can that be, through the word of your testimony!

Revelation 12:10-11 ESV  10  And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.  11  And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Folks, people can argue with you all day about evolution verses creation, traditional marriage verses same sex marriage, prochoice vs pro-life, holiness vs worldliness… you are always going to lose these arguments, because our position is foolish. BUT! People can’t argue with your EXPERIENCES!

Share with them about what God did for you, how he saved you, how he healed you, how He blessed you, how He talks with you and walks with you.

That leaves them with three options:

Either you are lying…

You are a lunatic

Or Jesus is Lord.

Not all will come to the conclusion that Jesus is Lord, many will think you are a liar or a lunatic… but at least they can’t argue with you. And those few who do conclude that Jesus must be Lord will be saved!


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