Sermon: “We Preach Christ Crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:18–25)

by Feb 17, 2019Sermons0 comments

In the previous passage, Paul addressed the growing divisions within the Corinthian church (1 Cor. 1:10–17). Why, though, have those divisions arisen? More importantly, what is the antidote to those divisions? As Paul moves into his next section, he makes clear that much of what stands behind their quarreling is the desire to be wise according to the standards of this age and this world. This world admires those who build the tallest towers of human learning, as though human wisdom could assist humanity to climb their way up to God. Fundamentally, this was the same sin committed by the builders of the Tower of Babel, but this desire to be wise goes all the way back to the Fall itself: “So when the woman saw…that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate” (Gen. 3:6). The desire to seek wisdom apart from God has been the fundamental characteristic of human sin from the beginning.

Against this human arrogance, Paul holds up the shameful, scornful, despised cross. Jesus prayed to avoid the cross (Mark 14:36), and Jesus knew that he could demand that his father send twelve legions of angels to his defense at any moment (Matt. 26:53). Nevertheless, he submitted to the cross in obedience all the way to death, even when his Father forsook him (Matt. 27:46). He did not seek his own human will, according to the wisdom of his human nature, but he submitted to the will of his divine Father. In doing so, the cross became the power of God unto salvation for all those who believe. In 1 Corinthians 1:18–25, Paul explains how God calls fools to faith through the folly of the cross.

Hear now the word of the Lord from 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.1 Corinthians 1:18-25, ESV

May God bless the reading and preaching of his word this morning. As we start today, I want to ask you a very simple question that will bring us into the study of this passage. Why are we here? On this of all mornings, it is particularly appropriate to ask this question. Why are we here and not still in our pajamas, not fighting the snow and cold? Rather we are here, gathered together.

It is a great morning not to be here. Unless there’s something big, bigger than our comfort, that encourages us to be here. The answer we see in this passage, that is laid out so powerfully here, is it’s because we are desperate and needy. We are weak. We are wounded, sick and sore. We are here because life and death hangs in the balance. On the one side there is salvation and on the other side there is condemnation.

In the cross, as we gather to study God’s word and the cross of Christ proclaimed and announced, there’s life giving wisdom on one side in the midst of a world of soul-destroying confusion. Today we are reminded that although we had to brave the cold and snow, there are brothers and sisters that are gathering around the globe today who are braving things far more dangerous than that. They understand intuitively, because of the spirit of God bearing witness in their souls, that it is better for them to die or be imprisoned than to avoid staying away from the house of God and to not hear the word of God preached.

It is a privilege to be here today with you. I confess that I shoveled my driveway as quickly as I could and drove here as quickly as I could before the deacons could consider cancelling the service. I desperately wanted to be here today rather to do this virtually as we have done in the past. Here we are considering the word of God. Thank you for coming, it is a delight and joy to be here with you today.

This morning our big idea is this, God calls fools to faith through the folly of the cross.
We will be looking at it in three points today.

  1. The Folly of the Cross
  2. The False Wisdom of Confusion
  3. The Faith of the Effectual Call

The Folly of the Cross

We will start this morning in the first three verses as we talk about the folly of the cross. Paul says in verse eighteen that there are essentially two ways of responding to the proclamation of the cross. They are opposite ways of responding to the cross.

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, ESV

On the one side the word of the cross is folly. It doesn’t make sense to the world and those who are perishing. The world looks at the cross and says that there is no wisdom or power in that. A naked, bleeding, dying man, who died 2000 years ago in a horrible form of Roman execution, what good could that possibly bring for us today? Why should we gather to talk about that this morning?

He goes on to say, to us who are being save, the cross is the power of God. How is it the power of God? Paul gives us two way. In verse eighteen he tells us the cross is what saves sinners. We have no hope in this life or the next unless God’s only begotten son became a human being for us, came into this world, suffered and bled and died in our place for our sin. The cross is the power of God because the cross saves sinners.

There’s a second reason that Paul gets into in verses nineteen and twenty. Paul quotes something from the Old Testament scripture, specifically Isaiah 29:14, where God is promising to do something very specific. In the Old Testament before this, God promised that one day he would destroy the wisdom or the wise and the discernment of the discerning he will thwart. Paul is saying that the cross is the power of God because it ultimately defeated the wisdom of this world. It has destroyed the discernment of the discerning and the wisdom of the wise.

Why would God want to destroy the wisdom of the world? It’s because what we see throughout the scriptures, and especially in the Old Testament, is that the human wisdom of this world isn’t innocent. It’s not good. The first time we come across human wisdom exercised apart from God happens in the first human sin recorded, in Genesis 3:6.

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.Genesis 3:6, ESV

Throughout the scriptures, whenever we come across the word, it is always something that is an attempt to be apart from God. The fundamental character of human wisdom is an attempt to to reject God and to rebel against God. In so doing, as clever as it seems, the word always leaves to misery and suffering and death. This is a poison in the world and God says don’t worry, one day I’m going to destroy it.

What Paul is saying is that God has done that at the cross. At the cross the wisdom of the world was destroyed. Paul issues a challenge in verse twenty, he says if you want to say something beyond the cross, now is your chance. Where is the one who is wise? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? The cross was such a decisive blow against this God dishonoring the word, there’s nothing left to debate. The cross is God’s final answer to the wisdom of this world. There’s nothing left to argue about.

By the cross God has exposed the bankruptcy of the wisdom of this world. The Son of God had to die on the cross because of this the word that leads us to rebel against God. If we don’t see the foolishness of human wisdom when we look at the cross, we are not really understanding what God is declaring in and through the cross. Which is often the case.

What Paul is saying in these first three verses is that God has left no middle ground. There is the cross and there is the word. There is God’s wisdom that’s exercised through the cross and then there’s everything else. There is no way to leverage the wisdom of this world to get to God’s wisdom. It’s all or nothing. The cross of nothing else.

It’s interesting back in verse 18, Paul said that the cross is folly to those that are perishing. Notice that he doesn’t contract folly with wisdom. Rather he says that to those of us who are being saved it is the power of God. It’s not folly and wisdom, it’s folly and power.

Leon Morris writes this, “The gospel of Christ crucified is not merely good advice telling us what we should do, nor is it information about God’s power. It is God’s power.

What Paul is talking about the folly of the cross, he’s speaking tongue in cheek. He’s saying what the world thinks to be folly is actually not. The cross appears to be folly but in fact the cross is the power of God because the cross saves sinners and the cross destroys this world’s wisdom.

Let’s step back and try to apply this. When we talk about wisdom what are we talking about? Wisdom isn’t a word we use very often. We live in the information age, who cares about wisdom, we have information. You can Google anything sitting right here from your phone and find information from anywhere in the world.

Wisdom, if you think about the word wisdom, Paul is describing any alternative account, alternative of anything that God presents in his word and ultimately what he presents through the cross of Christ. Wisdom is any alternative account of how to flourish in this life and the next.

How do you think you are going to experience the good life? Whatever path you think will lead you there, that’s what Paul has in mind when he talks about the wisdom of this world.

Let’s break this down and think about a couple of different kinds of wisdom. There is a wisdom of hedonism, pleasure seeking. Do you think that the best life is the life that you live to the full? To find and experience any pleasure wherever you can? That’s a wisdom or philosophy of saying this is how you will find joy in this life.

What about a religious kind of wisdom? The sociologist Christian Smith, after doing a lot of surveys about the way that Americans think about religion, he coined a phrase this idea of “moral therapeutic deism”. Religion exists to make me a moral person. Moral at least as defined by the culture of this world. Religion is something to be therapeutic for me, to make me feel better about myself. Religion is something that is deistic. Deism is this idea the God exists but that he’s not terribly involved in the ongoing regular workings of this world. He created the world and you could probably find him if you go looking for him, like you can find an absentee landlord to fix something in your apartment. You can typically track down that landlord, he’s a kind grandfatherly figure who probably has some time in his retirement to fix something in your life. Otherwise he doesn’t care. You can go your way and he will send you whatever help you need when you ask him. Is that what religion is?

What about psychological wisdom? This idea of human secular psychology that says obviously you have issues. Here’s the thing, if we understand psychology enough, we can sooth your conscience without dealing with your sin. On and on it goes. There are political wisdoms. There are philosophical wisdoms where everyone can define their own truth. There’s the American Dream wisdom, if you just work hard you will be happy because you will have all this stuff that will make you happy. Whatever you do to achieve the good life, all of that falls under the general heading of human wisdom.

What Paul says is that when we come face to face with our bleeding, dying savior on the cross. The cross exposes the bankruptcy of all of them. The cross announces to you that you are a guilty sinner who stands condemned before God. But that same God who condemns you by his justice and righteousness is the same God who loved you so much that he sent his only Son to die for you. That’s the gospel and it’s the power of God unto salvation.

That is what the world looks upon and calls the folly of the cross.

Here’s the next set of questions that we have to ask. If the cross has judged and destroyed human wisdom, why doesn’t everyone come to faith in Christ? There are lots of intellectually gifted, very high character people who reject Christ. They make no secret of it. You may know people who are brilliant and of very high character. You are now wrestling with this question of if I look up to and respect this person, how can I do so by embracing the Christ whom that person rejects.

The answer that the scriptures give to us is not to demean intellectual gifts or people who are living generally good lives. What the scriptures say is that there are some people who are brilliant. There are some systems and philosophies that are elaborate and beautiful.

However, Jesus tells us a parable in Matthew chapter seven that illustrates the problem. He says that you can build a house on the solid firm foundation of the rock, which is me Jesus says, Christ and his crucified. Or, Jesus says, you can build your house on the sand. Your house may be elaborate and beautiful, but when the waters rise up and the rains come down, if you house is built on the sand your house is going to fall apart. No matter how beautiful and elaborate and consistent within itself that it is.

What Paul is talking about here is the same kind of thing. He says that the reason that there are various wisdoms in the world is because they are built on the sand of human confusion.

So, number one we saw the folly of the cross. Now Paul goes on the offense to demonstrate the limits of false wisdom.

The False Wisdom of Confusion

21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21, ESV

If we took out the phrase, “in the wisdom of God” it would make sense. For since the world did not know God through its wisdom, but what is this phrase “in the wisdom of God”? Probably what this means is what David Garland says in his commentary, “God was wise enough not to let the word be the key to knowing God.” In other words what he is saying is that you all of these people and answers that seem powerful and interesting and smart, but if the word were the key to reaching up to God then only the cleverest and most intellectually gifted could rise to that height. The rest of us would be left to our own devices and not able to find salvation.

In verse twenty-one, it says that God didn’t let that happen. Rather it pleased God literally it’s seems good. God was delighted to save those who believe. The salvation we have isn’t by climbing the highest intellectual ladder, isn’t by figuring out the secret through detailed complex logical work. The secret is through faith in the folly of preaching.

The folly of preaching has two sense to it. Number one, it’s the message itself. It’s what we preach. Jesus Christ and him crucified. What a foolish message in the eyes of the world. Again, how could a naked, bleeding, dying man be the power of God unto salvation. That’s foolishness in the eyes of the world. It’s not just that, it’s also the folly of preaching in the sense of the folly of the means of communicating the message. What we are doing here today is fundamentally silly unless it’s the power of God. Why should we sit and listen to an ancient book be described by someone standing and preaching at you for a time? It’s because through simple unadorned preaching, not through wise eloquent words of wisdom but through preaching God makes Jesus Christ known.

Look ahead a little bit. Let me show you what Paul is talking about when he is talking about the weakness of preaching. Look at 2:1-5

2 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. ESV.

What Paul is saying here is that it is both. The message is weak and foolish in the eyes of the world. Also, the means of declaring that message is foolishness. Somehow in the midst of all of this, when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and proclaimed people come to believe and they are thereby saved.

Why then, if this gospel message is open to all those who believe that can be saved, why do intellectually gifted people reject the gospel. Paul says that it really isn’t about what people say it’s about. He gives two groups of people and identifies the objects that they have, but ultimately, it’s not about those things.

When I was in sales I had to go out and try to get someone who had no interest in you or what you were wanting to sell, you had to have them buy that from you, or you don’t eat. So, there was a lot of pressure on it. One of the things that you learn as you get some basic sales training is that you have to figure out what people’s objections are.

I was eager to do this, and I tried to figure out what people would say and came up with carefully crafted arguments. I would say, you are saying this, but this is why this is wrong. I would go through all of that and eventually I would find out that their bosses nephew worked for one of our competitors. So really it wasn’t about the object that the person I was pitching to was telling me, there was something else going on that meant I was never going to get that deal. That’s what Paul is saying happens when we are talking about the gospel.

He says the Jews demand signs and the Greeks seek wisdom, but it’s not about that. The Jews seek signs, in other words they want certainty and control. The have a view of themselves that they are the judges and God is in the defends chair. You may be familiar with C.S. Lewis’ essay “God in the Dock”. We are very reasonable, and we are willing to allow God gives his defense for why he allows suffering in the world and that kind of thing. Ultimately, we are the judges and he is the one who has to give a defense of who he is. God is in the dock and we are the judges.

The Jews say, give us signs, prove it or we won’t believe. The said the same thing to Jesus. Here’s the thing, when Jesus gave them signs that only increased their rejection of him. After Jesus raised Lazarus, a sign of signs, they said yeah, he’s performing these signs we have to figure out what to do with him. How can we kill? They weren’t looking for signs. It fundamentally wasn’t about the sign but about something else.

The Greeks on the other hand seek wisdom. If they were wanting wisdom that would be one thing because God cares about wisdom too. If you go to the Old Testament you will find an entire section of books that is called wisdom literature. It defines wisdom in a very specific way. Proverbs 1:7 says

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7, ESV

See, the Jews thought of themselves as judges and God was in the dock. The Greeks thought of themselves as gods and God then is on the outside playing a supporting role. If you’ve ever read Greek literature and mythology, you know that the gods are always on the outside just waiting to help or to hinder human beings. They say they wanted wisdom but at the end of the day it wasn’t about seeking true wisdom.

So, Paul says in verse twenty-three.

23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 1 Corinthians 1:23, ESV

The Jews, it was a stumbling block, it was a scandal. They didn’t believe that the cross could be the power of God. The Greeks looked at that and said are you serious? Have you read Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle? You think the cross measures up to that? It’s foolishness. At the end of the day it wasn’t about signs or wisdom it was about unbelief.

In fact, what they were building their homes was on the sinking sand on the desire to put themselves in the middle and to put God in the periphery playing a supporting role in their lives. Essentially what they were doing is a repetition of the sin of the Tower of Babel. They thought by Jewish sign seeking or Greek wisdom seeking that they could build one step up after another a tower that would reach up to God so that eventually they would be able to claim whatever they wanted to from God. At the end of the day, trying to reach up to that, not only did they come nowhere near reaching God, but eventually they only condemned themselves by rejecting the gospel that God himself has come down to us. That’s where the gospel is.

We see here that in confusion the entire human race tries in a variety of ways but fails to reach up to God. God delights to save those who believe that Christ came down to us to die for us on the cross. In fact, at the end of this we see that the cross is not folly we’re fools. We want to figure out a way to save ourselves apart from God.

Let’s apply this. What tower are you trying to build? All of you every day go out into the world, we do this in our hearts, and we have to repent of it, we try to figure out a plan to make us reach that joy and satisfaction and finding meaning in this life. We think that all of our actions are helping us to reach higher and it blinds us from seeing that God has told us that he has given us everything. From providing his son Jesus Christ crucified for us. The cross exposes this confusion.

At the cross we see the huge gap between us and God. The gap between you isn’t just a matter of a few more logical proofs or signs that we can see. The gap between you and God is so great that the Son of God had to shed his blood for you. There’s no way you can span that chasm. The first thing that we have to see is that God, in his mercy, has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

The second application I want to point to is this thing in verse twenty-one, when Paul says that it pleased God, through the foolishness of what we preach, to save those who believe. One of the things that we have to see here is that this is not just something, I a pastor who formally preaches sermons on the Lord’s day from a pulpit, preaching is not just that. Preaching might be translated as proclamation, to share and declare something. It’s something that all of us are called to do.

Charles Hodge writes this in his commentary, “It is to be remembered however that preaching in the scriptural sense of the term includes the teaching of truth, whether to an individual or to a multitude. Whether by the roadside or in the school or lecture room or the pulpit. Phillip in Acts 8:35, as he rode in the chariot with the eunuch, preached to him Jesus.”

We are called to preach Christ. You are called to declare Christ to your friends, your parents, your loved ones, your professors. Let me ask you, when you try to share Christ with others, do you feel weak? Are you afraid? Do you struggle to find the words? Good! That means you’re doing it right Paul says.

There’s a weakness and a foolishness where we think we have to have these lofty eloquent answers. Paul says that it isn’t about that. God doesn’t save people by having us give the perfect words to someone else. God saves people through the preaching, or sharing, of something so foolish as that God’s only Son died on the cross for us. You are called to do that.

The Faith of the Effectual Call

If that’s the case, we have to come to this final section. If all of us are fools so that we look at the cross and think of it as folly, how can anyone come to believe in Christ crucified? If you’ve grown up in the church, how do you know Christ and him crucified to be true and to be for your salvation?

Paul gives us an answer, but it’s not what we would expect. It’s not that someone gave the perfectly worded response or that you are really smart and figured it out. Paul says that fundamentally this comes from the grace of God, through what Paul calls the calling.

24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24, ESV

We see Christ as the power of God and the wisdom of God if we are called. In verse twenty-three Paul talks about preaching Christ crucified, but to the Jews and Greeks it is seen as a stumbling block and folly. There’s this outward call, those of you sitting in this room right now are receiving this general outward call to repent of your sins and receive Jesus Christ. However, Paul says that there is a different kind of calling. To those who are called, those people and those people alone recognize Christ as the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Paul has already said this word “called” three times in 1 Corinthians. He says it in 1:1, “Paul called by the will of God to be an apostle.” Then he says it in 1:2, “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.” Again in 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

He’s saying that there is this external call where many people here this news, but unless there is an internal spiritual call by God’s Holy Spirit written on our hearts, we look at this message and the method in which it is delivered, and it falls on deaf ears.

Let me show you where Paul is going with this. Look at 2:12-14

12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:12-14

This calling is what theologians call the effectual call. It’s where God comes into you by his spirit and gives you eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand the foolish message of the cross. Previously what you had looked at and said, “How can that save sinners?” Suddenly you look upon it and you say, “Jesus Christ crucified. That’s the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

We saw earlier why Jesus Christ crucified is the power of God, because Christ crucified saved sinners and destroyed the wisdom of this world. But what does Paul mean when he says that Christ crucified is the wisdom of God? This is one of the most remarkable statements in all the scriptures. Christ crucified is the wisdom of God. What this reveals to us and what Paul makes clearer elsewhere is that there is a dilemma that we are just totally blind to.

Most of us think that we are pretty good people. If God just looked at us and realized that we are trying hard and pretty reasonable people. Yet, why is he so concerned that we aren’t good? Why was the cross so necessary? When we look at what God was doing at the cross, at the cross God was showing us that our sins are far more wicked than we can possibly imagine. Our sins are vile and offense before a holy, righteous God. There’s absolutely no way for you to climb up because you are so far down in your sins and transgressions.

At the cross, what God is doing is atoning for your guilt. By the blood of Jesus Christ, he is cleansing you from your pollutions and Jesus the Son of God is standing in your place to take upon himself the wrath of a righteous God against you. He’s doing this to atone for your guilt, but also to demonstrate for you his love. God would not do this for you if he did not love you.

Here’s where the wisdom of God comes to shine forth. Through all of this, God remains righteous throughout. All those who look to Jesus in faith are somehow forgiven. God shows mercy to us, not by winking at our sin and setting it aside and pretending it doesn’t exist. God’s righteous and has to deal with it. He does at the cross. As you look at the cross you see that God is both just and the justifier. The one who makes righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

If he did this any other way, if he just snapped his fingers and said all of you be forgiven, then he wouldn’t be a righteous judge. He remains righteous, condemns and punishes sin, and demonstrates his love for us. God holds all of these things in tension, which is why the cross is the wisdom and the power of God.

25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.1 Corinthians 1:18-25, ESV

By the cross God has accomplished more than all human wisdom in all its false power. So, what this passage is finally telling us is that the cross is folly, but only if you haven’t been effectually called. By this effectual calling God calls fools to faith through the folly of the cross and the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

Application

There are two applications as we close our consideration of this passage this morning.

  1. You are a sinner in the sight of God. But God has made a provision. Because of his great love for you, he has put forth Jesus Christ to die in your place. It’s not something that you have to be intellectually gifted or strong or powerful for. God has given his dying son for you to be saved, because he loves you. You can’t see that for what it is unless God’s spirit works in you so that you can see Jesus Christ and him crucified. Look to Christ in faith.

     

  2. Why are we here? The answer is because we cannot get enough of the preaching of Jesus Christ and him crucified. We are here because we are sinners that need to be saved There is no middle ground between the cross and human wisdom. We are here because we are confused, and we need to be corrected. Every day we are deluged in the delusions of this world. We need to be set right. We need to have our eyes rubbed out so that we can see clearly the truth that Jesus Christ died for us. Because we are weak, wounded, sick and sore, and we need to be strengthened by true power. Not just a pep talk, but the power of God in the preaching of the cross.

    Also, because we need each other in this battle. Remember the last part of the last passage, Paul was addressing all of these divisions in the church. He’s saying don’t be divided, you need each other. Side by side, reminding one another, preaching to one another the foolishness of the cross for one another.

    This gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified is the power of God and the wisdom of God for all those who look to Christ in faith. My prayer is that that would be all of us this morning.

Father, we ask that you would give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand the gospel. That Jesus Christ and him crucified would not just be a story, that it would not just be a competing wisdom, a philosophy and idea. But that by your spirit you would make the cross of Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. We entrust this to you by the working of your Holy Spirit. Just as we couldn’t die for ourselves, but your son had to die for us, so also we cannot call ourselves, but we need your spirit. So, we ask that you would send your spirit to effectually call us, Jews and Greeks, to see Jesus crucified as the power of God and the wisdom of God. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.

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