Wisdom of the Age (1 Corinthians 3:18-21a)

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men.” (1 Corinthians 3:18–21, AV)

In our country and all over the world, there is a great divide today. It is nothing new, it has existed throughout the ages. It is a divide of wisdom. It is a divide between the wisdom of the age and the wisdom of God. The wisdom of the age is at odds with the wisdom of God. The result of this divide is chaos. However, not just chaos, its end is destruction.

The issue is one of the heart of men who have bought into the world’s wisdom and rejected the idea of God and His supreme and infinite wisdom. What do we see in our world today? We see many things that work contrary to the principles of God’s wisdom seen in the Bible. the results are riots, thefts, murders, selfish ambition, sexual misconduct, and a host of other things.

Recently we have seen a rise in crime in some of our major cities. Why? It is because people have forsaken the wisdom of God. It is because they have accepted the wisdom of the world. Our leaders have fallen into the same trap. How do I know this? It is because they have failed to understand the wisdom that drives the godless person, that it is worldly. Thus, they fail to realize that godless people require the rule of law to be upheld. They decide to defund the police, allowing crime to go relatively unthwarted. The result is an out-of-control situation. The only solution is a return to godly wisdom.

Yet, why does Paul write this to the church at Corinth? You would think that the church must operate by godly wisdom, right? No, not necessarily. The church should, but the influence of ungodly wisdom is strong, and it sneaks in craftily. Some of the most subtle evidences of this in the church are seen in the boasting about men and man’s ways. It is seen in elevating certain teachers and glorifying them. It is trusting in the designs and systems created by preachers and other churches to make and grow disciples. You might say, “What is wrong with that?” What is wrong is that we may leave out the leadership of God’s Spirit. We may trust in the program developed by man’s wisdom and forget our utter dependence upon the Lord who builds His church.

This movement of man’s wisdom into the church even may progress further. We will find pastors and teachers boasting about their successes and programs. We will see churches adopting practices among their parishioners that are completely contrary to the moral standards of God’s word.

As we dig further into the letters Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, we will see many evidences of the wisdom of the world. Moreover, if left unchecked it will mean the death of the church.

God looks at the wisdom of man and sees nothing but foolishness. It is time for the people who profess the name of Christ to return to godly wisdom. Yes, the world will look at us as though we are crazy. But we are not. It is they that are following the ways of foolishness. We need to stand strong and demonstrate a better way. Paul stated it like this, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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