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YOU ARE BORN TO SHINE

2 Corithians Chapter 4 verse 6

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Friday, February 10 2017

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

  1. The Cross Has No Status To The Lost

In verses 18-25, Paul reminds the church that those who are status seekers will never gain recognition and status from the unbelieving world. The gospel does not appeal to human pride; it cannot even co-exist with it. The gospel informs us that there is only one thing to do with pride—crucify it. The “word of the cross,” that is, the gospel, is not a status symbol to unbelievers; it is an offense. For those of us who “are being saved,” the gospel is the power of God. For the unbeliever, the cross is a shame; for the Christian, the cross is glorious.  Let us see Romans 1:16 also.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

  1. Godly Wisdom vs Human Wisdom

The conflict between divine wisdom and power and the secular world’s view of the matters of the cross should come as no surprise. Throughout history God has worked in ways that the world would never have imagined or believed. God’s purpose in history is not to glorify man but to glorify Himself by demonstrating the foolishness of man’s wisdom. The text which Paul cites in verse 19 is one indication of God’s intention of proving man’s wisdom to be folly.

“Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvellous work among this people, a marvellous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.” Isaiah 29:14

This verse shows that God has always worked in a way that is contrary to human wisdom. The following questions and acts of God are proofs.

  1. Would human wisdom have led the Israelites to be trapped between the Red Sea and the on-coming Egyptian army?
  2. Would human wisdom have instructed the people of God to use their power to help the weak, rather than to use their power to take advantage of the weak?
  3. Would human wisdom have purposed to save Gentiles through the rejection and failure of the Jews, rather than through their triumph?
  4. Would human wisdom have declared that the coming Messiah was to be born of a virgin?
  5. Would human wisdom have declared that the only way out of lack is through giving?

No wonder, a man of faith will still be joyful even in the face of adversity. Why?

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”Romans 8:28

Does the world think that God’s wisdom is foolish? God has set about a course that will prove man’s wisdom to be foolish. God will use foolishness to prove the ungodly to be fools. Since the world has not come to know God through its wisdom, God will make Himself known to some through means which the world regards as foolish. God has chosen the cross of Christ as the means whereby men may be saved from their sins. Have you ever seen the look on the face of an unbeliever when you tell him or her that Christ died and took their sin away over 2000 years ago? You sound weird and crazy.

Jews and Gentiles may agree on few things, but they mutually hold that the cross of Christ is foolish. The Jews are into power through signs and wonders. All through our Lord’s life, they wanted to see signs and wonders. They expected their Messiah to be a wonder worker, here to do their bidding. Even the disciples bought into this frame of mind, so that Peter rebuked the Lord for speaking of His cross (Matthew 16). The Gentiles were into a different kind of power—mind power, human wisdom. They took pride in following great intellectual thinkers or powerful orators. The message of a humble carpenter’s son, who died as a common criminal on a Roman cross, was not that which the Gentiles sought.

There are two radically different views of the same gospel. The view of the unbeliever, whether Jew or Gentile, is that the gospel is foolish and weak. The view of the Christian is that the gospel is the wisdom and the power of God. Even that which seems to the unbelieving eye to be God’s weakness and foolishness proves in the end to cause man’s wisdom and power to pale in insignificance.

  1. Those Saved Have No Status Either

“Look at yourselves,” Paul challenges the Corinthians. Granting the possibility of a few exceptions, Paul reminds the Corinthians of the rule. By and large, the church is not composed of the wise, the mighty, or the noble, when judged by fleshly (unbelieving) standards (verse 26). Instead, God has chosen to save the foolish, the weak, and the base and despised, the “nobodies”. The word “chosen” in verse 27 is very significant, because it underscores that God chose those on the lowest rung of the social ladder. It was not that these were all that would come to God; it is that these are those whom God ordained to come to Him. It was not that God could do no better; it was that God chose not to do better. Are you not glad you were chosen?

“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,”Ephesians 1:4

Following the principle set down in verse 19, Paul explains why God selected the undesirables of this world for salvation. God has purposed to nullify the wisdom of the wise and to humble the proud. He has chosen to do so by employing means and people that the world rejects as weak and foolish and worthless. God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise, the weak things of this world to shame the strong, the base and despised things to humble that which is highly esteemed (verses 27-28).

God has not done this because the weak and foolish are any better than the powerful and the proud. He has set aside the highly regarded and employed those things which are disdained so that all the glory might come to Himself and not to mere men. This is the concluding point Paul makes in verses 29-31. If God were to achieve His purposes through the worldly wise and powerful, we would be inclined to give the praise and glory to the men He has used rather than to God.

In Conclusion

How often, when men seek to evangelize the lost, or when they attempt to motivate Christians (and unbelievers) to give or to serve, do they appeal to human pride? They glorify certain tasks and positions, so that people will fill them for that glory. They publicly laud the gifts or service of people, so that they will be proud of their contribution. Gospel thinking requires us to do just the opposite. We must cease trusting in our goodness, in our works or efforts, in our worthiness, and cast ourselves on the sinless Son of God who died in our place, bearing the penalty for our sin, and giving to us His righteousness as a free gift. The gospel which saves is the gospel which humbles, and that humbling gospel is the basis for Christian unity and harmony.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 05:26 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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