Following Jesus 130
Following Jesus: The Progress of the Pilgrim.
What may we discover about God’s Wisdom from God’s Word in dealing with a person’s great and heavy burden of sin? To begin with, we must recognize there are two responses to God’s wisdom by two different people groups.
How do people respond to God and His wisdom? There are two basic responses from two different people groups.
The first people group is known simply as the world. This is not the world in general but rather the fallen, unsaved world system of thinking and living which at its core, at its heart, is opposed to God. The reason the fallen world is opposed to God is because it hates God and His followers.
- John 7:7 - The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. (John 7:7 ESV)
- John 15:18 – “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’(John 15:18-25 ESV)
- I John 3:13 – Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. (1 John 3:13 ESV)
What is the “fallen world’s” response to God’s wisdom? In I Corinthians 1:18 the Apostle Paul writes, “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.” (1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV).
The phrase, “For the word of the cross” refers to the content of the gospel. It is the message of the substitutionary atonement by Jesus Christ on behalf of sinners. For the lost, those who are perishing, the word of the cross is folly. The word folly comes from the Greek word μωρία (moria) from which we derive the English word moron which means nonsense or foolishness.
The gospel is foolish to the unsaved. These are they who presently exist in a condition of spiritual death or separation from God (Ephesians 2:1-3) and are headed to eternal ruination and destruction.
The same idea is contained in I Corinthians 1:23, which says, “But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles…” (1 Corinthians 1:23 ESV).
Once again the word Μωρία is used by the apostle. The people who view the gospel in this way are the heathen and pagans. The Scriptures refer to this people group as the Gentiles. Their spiritually lost condition and opposition to the gospel is chronicled in detail in Romans 1:18-32.
However, not everyone who is lost is non-religious. There are many who worship God, without knowledge, and who believe they can achieve acceptance from God on the basis of their own efforts. For these individuals, the cross is a stumbling block. “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, (I Corinthians 1:22-23 ESV).
For the religious, or in the immediate context the Jews, the word of the cross is a stumbling block. It is offensive, disgraceful, indecent, appalling and outrageous.
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