The Book of 1 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 1 Part 3

Next we read a slightly longer portion – 1 Cor 1:18-31
v18: The (word) message of the cross: A foundational truth that the cross teaches us is about how sinful we are. If we are going to rightly understand and properly value what Yeshua did, we need to understand our sinfulness and how He sufficiently dealt with our sin in order to purchase our salvation.
·      Foolishness: Yeshua had to go to the cross so that we could be forgiven and so that we could have a relationship with G-d. The cross was G-d’s plan of salvation. All too often the world thinks that this is foolish.
·      Those who are perishing: They don’t believe they are perishing, and they don’t accept an afterlife based upon the righteousness of G-d. They don’t accept the Word/revelation of G-d. 
·      Being saved: We cannot save ourselves. We are in need of being saved and this salvation can only come through Messiah. Although we are saved from the moment we believe (the minute we believe we are declared righteous and have an immediate assurance of salvation) the full outcome of salvation (a change in our thoughts, behaviour etc) takes place over time. 
·      It is the power of G-d: The moment we believe we have access to the Holy Spirit. He goes to work in our lives to powerfully transform us. 
v19: For it is written: Paul often backed up his writings by quoting from the Tanach (the Old Testament).
·      (G-d) will destroy the wisdom of the wise: G-d is going to bring an end to the wisdom (human intelligence) of those who think they are wise. 
·      Bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent: G-d’s plans and purposes are not dependent upon human wisdom or understanding (The Greeks, and those in Corinth, loved wisdom. They thought that all the world’s problems could be solved through human intellect). We won’t understand G-d’s plans through our human intellect, but only through divine revelation. 
v20: Disputer: Debater. 
·      G-d made foolish the wisdom of this world: G-d has rejected human wisdom as a means of understanding His greater wisdom. 
v21: G-d’s wisdom can only be understood through revelation – through His Word. It cannot be understood through human intellect or higher education. 
·      It pleased G-d: G-d saw it as good. 
·      Save those who believe: Biblically the word ‘believing’ comes within the context of the revelation of G-d (Gen 15:6 – G-d revealed things to Abraham, Abraham believed what G-d was revealing to him, and it was credited to him as righteousness. In this verse, the preaching of the message is the revelation from G-d. When people believe this message, this revelation, they are saved, and it is credited to them as righteousness). 
v22: Jews request a (miraculous) sign, Greeks (Gentiles) seek after wisdom (intelligence): These two different people groups have their different ways of trying to understand G-d.  
v23: But: In contrast to these two groups. A saved person behaves differently to those who are in the world – We preach Messiah crucified
·      To the Jews a stumbling block (an offense): To the Jews a crucified Messiah doesn’t make sense. Many in Judaism have set aside the prophecies of the Bible, so the message of a crucified Messiah or a suffering Servant (as revealed in the prophetic books of the Tanach) is foolishness to them. To them crucifixion is seen as a failure, as something shameful. In reality, G-d has taken what is shameful (foolish) and has turned it into something glorious – something that manifests His glory. 
v24: But to those who are called: When we respond to the call of G-d (both Jews and Greeks – G-d’s call brings unity between the two different groups) He brings about a major change in our lives. 
·      Messiah the power…and the wisdom of G-d: Yeshua was crucified but He also rose from the dead – demonstrating G-d’s power. 
v25: Man is no match for G-d – neither in wisdom nor in strength. The wisest thing we can do is simply submit to Him. 
v26: We need to answer the call of G-d in our lives and do what He says. Those who are considered wise in the world’s eyes, those who are considered mighty and those who are noble (elite, aristocratic) often don’t respond to G-d’s call as they consider it foolish, weak or below themselves. 
v27: G-d chooses the foolish things to confound those who trust in their own wisdom or their own intelligence.
·      The weak things…to put to shame the things which are mighty: Weak things confound those who trust in their own strength. 
v28: Base things: Things which are not noble. 
·      The things which are not (in order) to bring to nothing the things that are: The things that are become invalidated – rendered void or ineffective. “The things which are not” is referring to the Kingdom things – those things that we do not yet see. They are actually more real than what we can see, touch or feel in this world. 
·      Bring to nothing: This is a process that has not happened yet. This world, and the things of this world, are in the process of passing away. G-d is moving to bring all of these things to an end, but it has not happened yet.
v29: No flesh should glory: Nobody will be able to boast. Anything good, pure or holy within us cannot be brought about by ourselves. 
v30: But of Him: It is only through G-d that we can be IN Messiah Yeshua (saved and justified). G-d is the One who gets the glory – it is His truth, His wisdom (that in the natural is seen as foolish). 
·      Became for us wisdom (righteousness, sanctification and redemption): It is only because of what Yeshua has done that transformation happens in our lives – from the moment that we are saved. 
v31: As it is written: Paul backs himself up Biblically again (Jer 9:23-24).
·      He who glories: He who boasts (Boasting = praising Him, thanking Him, glorifying Him exalting Him for what He has done). We need to make sure that if we boast our boasting needs to be about the L-rd and about what He has done. 

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