Be The Fool – Part 3 | 1 Corinthians 1:20-21

Be The Fool – Part 3 | 1 Corinthians 1:20-21


  • So as we continue in the letter from Paul to his church plant in Corinth we continue to see Paul, in the very opening chapter of this letter, flip around the idea of what it means to be foolish and what it is to be wise.
    • Right, we are doing this #bethefool series, it opened with 1 Corinthians 1:18 where Paul says what should be obvious, the Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing. But that is ok, because it is not our job to impress the world!
      • We then moved on to verse 19 where God boldly proclaims that He will destroy the wisdom of the wise, that is, those in the world that think they are wise, there wisdom will be utterly and miraculously destroyed.
        • And I don’t know about ya’ll, but to me that message meant “Man, I need to humble myself! I am not smatter than God, I would much rather #bethefool in the worlds eyes and submit to God, then be wise in the worlds eyes and be destroyed by God. Amen?”
  • That brings us to today’s section of Scripture, so if you have your Bibles with you would you turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter one, verses 20-25!
    • And if you don’t have your bibles with you, shame on you! But also we will put it up on the screen here =D

1 Corinthians 1:20-25 ESV  (20)  Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  (21)  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.  

Point One, God has made FOOLISH the wisdom of the world

  • So point one this morning is that God made FOOLISH the wisdom of the world. Lets look at verse 20 again.
    • 1 Corinthians 1:20 ESV  Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
      • Has God not made foolish the wisdom of the world? I find it so striking a contrast. In verse 18 Paul says that the message of the cross is foolishness to the world, and now Paul is flipping that around now and saying that to God the wisdom of the world is foolishness!
        • But not just is it foolishness, God makes it foolishness!
          • Because God is a holy and magnificent God, and He will not lose any of that glory to some group of scientists, or theologians, or philosophers. He is going to MAKE their wisdom foolish!
          • Where is the one who is wise? HUH WHERE IS HE? Where is the Scribe? Where is the debater of this age‽ WHERE ARE THEY‽
            • Folks these are rhetorical questions, alright, Paul’s not like “Hey I got something to write, where’s the scribe ate?”
              • Paul is asking rhetorical questions here, Paul is getting up in people’s faces!
              • Paul is telling it like it is!
              • And you know what, in doing so, Paul is imitating God a little here!
                • That’s right, God gets up in our faces sometimes, God tells us like it is sometimes, because SOMETIMES WE NEED THAT!
            • And really this verse reminds me of God’s conversation with Job.
      • Turn with me to job chapter 38…
        • Here we see God responding to Job. If you don’t know the story of Job here it is in brief…
          • Job was a honest and Godly man, the most upright in all the land, and he loved and honored God.
            • Satan said “Job only honors God because Job is rich and well off, if he lost everything he would not honor God any more.
            • So, to prove Satan wrong God allows Satan to kill all of job’s children, destroy his crops and Cattle, and give him a horrible sickness that caused boils to grow all over his skin.
            • FINALLY Job has had enough, and while Job never dishonors God He does demand that God explain to him what he has done to deserve all of this!
              • Job 31:35-36 ESV  Oh, that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!) Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!  (36)  Surely I would carry it on my shoulder; I would bind it on me as a crown;
              • See Job thinks he is so smart, and that he knows how it all works, and the second it stops working that way he questions God… Bad call!
              • God answers him by getting in his face, much like Paul does in first Corrinthians.
  • See here in chapter 38 we see God answering Job’s question:

Job 38:1-18 ESV  Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:  (2)  “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?  (3)  Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.  (4)  “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.  (5)  Who determined its measurements–surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?  (6)  On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone,  (7)  when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?  (8)  “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb,  (9)  when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band,  (10)  and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors,  (11)  and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?  (12)  “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place,  (13)  that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?  (14)  It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment.  (15)  From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken.  (16)  “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?  (17)  Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?  (18)  Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.

  • God then goes on for another 3 and a half chapters SCHOOLING job on how foolish he actually is. Job responds in chapter 42: Surely I spoke of things I do not understand…therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.
  • So church, how many of us can answer these questions from God? Where were we when God created the earth? Do we know how He determined how big it should be? Do we tell the sun to rise and set every day? Do we know what lies at the deepest depth of the sea?
    • Anyone?
    • Of course not, because the fact of the matter is, we weren’t there! We didn’t do it! We have no understanding!

Point Two – We can’t know God through our own wisdom

  • That brings us to my second point… we can’t know God through our own wisdom.
    • 1Co 1:21  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
    • We can’t it’s not going to happen, no one is smart enough to figure out God on their own!
    • And truly this is the difference between Godly wisdom and worldly wisdom. Godly wisdom takes what God has given us, the Bible, and we use that as our starting point. We say THIS IS TRUE and anything contrary to this must be false, or we must be lacking understanding.
      • Worldly wisdom says “We are really smart, but we don’t know what’s true, so we are just going to use our massive brains to guess and then we will try to prove our guess right!
        • Look, I am being dead serious here, do you guys remember the learning the scientific process? This is how the world teaches us to do science… I remember learning it in middle school, it goes like this:
          • Ask a question.
          • Do some background research
          • Using whatever research you find, make your best guess as the the answer of your question (It’s called a hypotheses)
          • Experiment to try to prove your hypotheses
          • If you fail, then start again.
        • So when you ask a question like “How and when was the universe created” this is what happens with the scientific process…
          • Ask a question: How and when was the universe created
          • Do some background research: Well, the earth seems really old because there are really thick layers of soil, and the grand canyon is really deep so that must have taken millions of years to corrode… and the world is round… so that means something right?
          • Using that research, make a guess (Hypotheses): Well, uh, the world is clearly, uh, billions of years old, and it must have been created by nothing… because we all know God isn’t real… so, um there was nothing… well there was a pinpoint of everything, but other than that nothing… then the nothing-everything pin point exploded in a big bang… then earth?
          • Ok great, your doing a great job mister scientist, now experiment to prove or disprove that hypothesis…. Did you do the experiment mister scientist? “Well you see what happened was… uh… I couldn’t really make the experiment… because, uh, I don’t have the everything-nothing pin point to play with.. so ummm… can’t really experiment, so lets just call it fact and move on, ok? Great!
    • But this is what the world does! This is how worldly science works! We print “Best Guesses” as if they are facts, even though there is no why to test them. We teach them in our schools, print them in our text books, and we get bonus points if they somehow disprove God!
      • So here is how the Christian scientific process works:
        • Ask a question.
        • Find the answer in God’s word.
        • Seek further understanding if needed.
    • So, when and how was the World created? Lets find the answer in God’s word…
      • Well Genesis says the world and the universe was created in 6 days, when God spoke it into existence.
    • We can trace the genealogy of Christ back to Adam and Eve and learn the earth was probably created between 6 and 8 thousand years ago.
      • Done! Any questions? Oh yes mister scientist?
        • “But what about the grand canyon and the soil layers?”
      • Great questions, let’s use the Christian scientific process:
        • Oh look, it says that in the days of Noah there was a global flood, a flood that covered all the earth! And we know from science we can actually test that floods leave behind soil layers just like you are describing, not only that but we also know they can carve canyons in days instead of decades!
      • Ok, well what about dinosaurs, they disprove God right?
        • What? Nonsense! The Bible talks about dinosaurs… in fact in the book of Job in chapter 40 describes a type of dinosaur called a sauropod to the T! A perfectly scientifically accurate description of the dinosaur.
          • So either whoever wrote Job thousands of years ago was actually a liar, a story teller, and THE WORLDS MOST ADVANCED AND SCIENTIFICLY ACCURATE ARCHEOLOGESTS.
            • Or, God is real, and actually describes a perfectly real dinosaur.
    • Still don’t believe me, here is some science in the Bible that went against everything the world believed:
      • The earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22)
        • When the Bible was written everyone thought the earth was flat.
      • Incalculable number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22)
        • When the Bible was written the world was SURE that there was only 1,100 stars in the universe. Now we know they are incalculable.
      • Air has weight (Job 28:25)
        • It wasn’t until the 1600’s, thousands of years after the book of job was written, that we discovered air has weight.
      • We were sure that light stood still, yet the Bible said in Job 38:19-20 that light moves!
      • Until just a few hundred years ago we thought the best way to heal someone was to bleed them! Yet the Bible teaches in Leviticus 17:11 that blood is the source of health and life!
      • Here is my favorite: in 1847 Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis discovered that washing your hands when dealing with disease would greatly reduce the risk of spreading that disease and infection. This simple discovery cut the death rates of newborns in HALF and has revolutionized healthcare and hygiene standards! That was 1847, only 159 years ago! Yet in 600bc when Leviticus was written God command his people to wash their hands after dealing with death and disease (Lev 15:13! If the world would have listened to the Bible how many lives would have been saved!
  • Look again at today’s verses, look at verse 21:
    • 1Co 1:21  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.


Let me close by saying this… guys don’t make up your own God by mixing the God of the Bible with the god of modern science.

  • And don’t get me wrong, I am not saying science is bad! Science has brought us so many great things! But don’t look to science to make your own God.
  • Trust testable science, not made up theories. Because the Bible makes it very clear the wisdom of man is not going to teach us about God, we can’t know Him through our own wisdom we need to trust His wisdom.
  • And when we do stuff like try to force evolution and the Big Bang into scripture, really what we are doing is saying “God is not smart enough to tell us about who He is and how He works in His Bible, so we need science to help us out.”
    • Please DON’T don that! Please Don’t think you, me, or anyone else is smarter than God. For it is written “God will destroy the wisdom of the wise”.
  • That’s why we need to #bethefool and trust in God.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.