The Foolishness of God – Pastor Stacey Shiflett

The Foolishness of God

1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Intro: The Apostle Paul makes a statement in verse 25 that is without a doubt a “tongue in cheek” statement.

He referred to the “foolishness of God” and the “weakness of God.”

Make no mistake: God is neither foolish nor weak!

In fact, 1 Corinthians 1:20 “…hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world.”

SEE also 1 Corinthians 2:19, 20 is clear – “…the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”

Isaiah 55

  • 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
  • 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Psalm 113 expounds on the SUPERIORITY OF GOD.

  • 4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.
  • 5 Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,
  • 6 Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
  • 7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;

Two of the attributes of God is His OMNISCIENCE as well as His OMNIPOTENCE.

There is nothing that God does not know, and there’s nothing that He cannot do.

The Bible is clear about both God’s OMNISCIENCE and His OMNIPOTENCE:

  • Turn to Job 38-42. God eloquently expresses His superiority.
  • Job 38:1-4; 16-21; 33-37
  • Job 40:1-14
  • Notice Job’s conclusion in Job 42:1-3

I want to go on record this morning by saying – God is not foolish!! God is not weak!!

But the unsaved and the unbelieving think that.

They look at God as weak and frail and foolish. Why?

God is Foolishness to the world because of:

I. The Message

Starting in 1 Corinthians 1:17, the Apostle Paul stressed the contrast in the message.

He was sent to preach THE GOSPEL – but not with the wisdom of words.

Man is put off by the message of the Gospel because it is not an impressive message.

Note verse 18 – “…the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness…”

Verse 21 – “…it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe…”

Verse 23 – “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;”

The world thinks the message of the cross is foolish because of the emphasis placed on:

               A. The Sin – man is hesitant to admit their sinfulness

               B. The Sacrifice – see Cain’s reluctance to offer blood sacrifice.

  • Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

               C. The Satisfaction – this is the requirement – not our works, but the death of Christ.

  • Isaiah 53:11 “He shall see the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied…”

               D. The Substance that is required – faith – man scoffs at the power of faith.

  • Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

God is Foolishness to the world because of:

II. The Messengers

See verse 26-30

  • 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
  • 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
  • 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
  • 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

Paul acknowledged that as a messenger from God, he did not appeal to the intellect of sinful men.

I Corinthians 2

  • 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
  • 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
  • 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
  • 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
  • 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

In another place, Paul referred to the apostles as “fools for Christ’s sake.”

1 Corinthians 4

  • 9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
  • 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.

NOTE: The Apostle Paul was no dummy. In fact, he alluded to his experience and knowledge in another passage.

Philippians 3

  • 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
  • 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

He referred to his knowledge of languages in 1 Corinthians 14:

  • 1 Corinthians 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

It is estimated that the Apostle Paul spoke at least 5 different languages.

But Paul acknowledged that God called men that were willing to obey His call upon their lives.

Their primary qualification was not their IQ or their intellect; it was their dedication to the call.

Two of Jesus’ disciples got people’s attention in Acts 4:13.

  • Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

It was not their INTELLECT that people perceived; it was their INTIMACY WITH GOD.

It was not their BOOKLEARNING that impressed the people; it was their BOLDNESS.

It was not their ACADEMICS, but their ANOINTING that turned the world upside down! (Acts 17:6)

God is Foolishness to the world because of:

III. The Mystery

Paul expounded on the fact that the mystery of spiritual things cannot be understood by the unbeliever.

Verse 6, 7 – “…we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained…”

Verse 8 is clear – God cloaked His wisdom; His plan; shrouded it in mystery.

When Jesus died on the cross, He said: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

This statement was not only an APPEAL FOR MERCY, but it was an ADMISSION OF MYSTERY.

Paul acknowledged in verse 8 “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Jesus KNEW that they didn’t know.

You and I might argue – “But He told them over and over who He was!”

But the message is missed because of the deep nature of the truths.

The unsaved perceive the mystery to be “foolishness.”

  • 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

We wouldn’t understand them or comprehend them neither if not for the indwelling of the Spirit of God.

SEE 1 Corinthians 2:10-16

The mysteries of God are:

               A. Delivered by the Spirit – vs. 10 “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit…”

               B. Declared by the Spirit – vs. 13 “…but the Holy Ghost teacheth…”

               C. Detailed the Spirit – vs. 13c. “…comparing spiritual with spiritual.”

               D. Discerned by the Spirit – vs. 14, 15 “…because they are spiritually discerned…”

Conclusion: It would be a grave mistake to assume that because you do not:

  • AGREE with the MESSAGE OF GOD,

…that God is foolish!

You would be the one that is foolish!!

You would be the fool if you walk away from truth, light, the mysteries of the gospel SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT!

  • 1 Corinthians 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
  • Proverbs 26:12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him.