Foolish Things Wisely Chosen - Part 2

Foolish Things Wisely Chosen
1 Corinthians 1:20-31
Theme: Christ alone.
This week’s lessons remind us that we are saved by no merit of our own.


If we look at Ephesians 2:1-10 (nkjv), we find some important adjectives that describe us. They are not at all complimentary. Paul said that we "were dead in trespasses and sins," that is, that we were corpses, spiritually speaking. Then he added that we were, however, not inactive corpses–ones just lying there–but, rather, active ones; ones that were always up to some mischief. He said, "…You followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air." And then he brought God’s judgment into the picture and he said, "And you were children of wrath." When we hear those adjectives, we say, well, is there nothing good to be said? Paul’s probable reply to us would be: "Yes, in time, in time; but look, there are just a few more things that I want you to hear first. And here they are: just remember that in God’s sight you are also foolish, and weak, and ignoble."

The word that is translated "foolish" is not very nice at all. It is the word moros or moron. You say, "But I’m not a moron. I’m very smart." Well, yes, perhaps–maybe in the world’s eyes or judging by human standards. But you are not smart by God’s standards. Have you ever thought that when God looks down upon the smartest man on earth, he says that, spiritually speaking, that man is just an imbecile? Now, that is hard to accept. But it’s true, and when we accept it, we begin to understand something of the grace of God that stoops to save imbeciles, so that he can turn them into those who understand his wisdom and who operate on the basis of that wisdom alone.

Paul also speaks of the weak of this world, the poor, those who are unable to fend for themselves, those who have no leverage in the social system, the victims, the slaves. There were quite a few of them in ancient times, of course, many of them in the church. He says, look, God has chosen slaves too; and that’s what we all are, spiritually. In terms of spiritual ability, we’re all impotent. We cannot choose God.

And finally, he says that not only are we stupid and powerless, we are also without any stature at all. When God looks down on the human race, he does not say, "Where are the noble? Where is a person of high enough birth for me to redeem?" No! No! God looks for those who have no status at all–then he saves them.

Study Questions

  • How does spiritual wisdom come to us?
  • What does God look for in those he calls to salvation?

Further Study

As we learned in today’s lesson, God doesn’t evaluate us based on worldly criteria such as social class, intellect, or wealth. Read Paul’s letter to Philemon to see how such worldly distinctions are demolished in Christ.