Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (NIV)
Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom
18 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. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 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. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26 Brothers and sisters, 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. 27 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. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 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. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
How do people today confuse the world’s power with God’s power?
The world today has an unquenchable thirst for power. Worldly power exerts control over other people while advancing their own self-interests and will at the cost of others. Power-hungry people are enthralled with their own importance and they use whatever means to trample on others for their own gain. The pursuit of power corrupts the soul with selfishness and pride and it has no power to save the soul. Worldly power doesn’t recognize the power of the cross. The cross demonstrates the power of God. It demonstrates God’s love for the world. Through the cross, You turned things upside down. It is powerful because it has the power to save. Christ, Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom. Your sacrifice on the cross to pay the debt of our sins is Your initiative. Any initiative of Yours will proceed out of wisdom and will have a powerful effect. Worldly schemes proceed out of our limited understanding and often fail to accomplish what they are intended to do. Spiritual power is eternal. I access Your power in my weakness as I yield my heart to Your will. A yielded heart does not whine or rebel when the going gets rough. It musters the courage to Thank You even during hard times. Help me to yield my heart to You now. Your power transforms lives from the inside out. I come to You with my gaping neediness. Let the light of Your love fill me and the strength of Your power carry me. Lord help me to seek Your power over worldly power. I yield myself to Your will in an ultimate act of trust. In quietness, I trust in your strength, Your power, and Your eternal will over the temporary and limited powers of this world. Amen