Lately I’ve been ‘hanging out’ in 1st and 2nd Corinthians; what a marvelous book! Almost every major doctrine is covered in there and Paul does it in an extremely clear and relevant way. Of course we all know 1 Corinthians 13 which is probably the finest piece of literature ever written on love! But the rest of the book has real gravitas (you can go look that word up later and use it in a conversation tomorrow with your boss’..haha) as well.
Let’s take a small snippet from the first chapter; that’s probably all we can handle for today.
‘For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom’ 1 CORINTHIANS 1:22
There it is. Doesn’t that sum up some of what mainstream evangelical ‘Christianity’ has turned into today? Remember that for every mile of road ‘there’s two miles of ditch. The same ‘ditches’ that the Corinthians were falling into 2000 years ago are the same ditches that many find themselves in today. The Jewish mentality was to always seek a sign. Jesus did many signs and wonders and they confirmed that He was who He said He was. However, Jesus miracles are not the only proofs we have of His divinity, authority, power and love. There was much more ‘His teachings, His life, His character (I could go on for the entire day).
Now the Bible is clear that many will come and do false signs. Signs are not to be the ‘thing’ that we seek after. Jewish mentality (back then) was to request/seek after a sign and I must confess that that seems to be the same mentality in many today. They drive great distances, leave their local churches, fly, walk, call and follow a ‘persona’ all based on their performance of a sign. A personal prophecy, miracle, word of knowledge or healing has never and will never be something to seek after. We seek after Jesus. And Jesus alone! Then signs will follow.
Now Greeks on the other hand, loaded with the teachings of philosophical thinkers like Socrates and Plato, seek after wisdom. They desire to dissect the Bible in a rational way. They want to hear secret wisdom/knowledge that no one else has and that (in the end) makes them sound smart. Paul refuses this time and time again when he says ‘we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness’ It has always amazed me how an ivy league school professor of religion can study the Bible their whole life and yet not become a believer. But then it occurred to me ‘they’re denying its power by treating it as common book. Friend, every time you open up the Bible you can have great expectations that it will be alive and relevant and that it will speak to your life. It’s not like any other book. It is not meant to be studied. It is meant to be lived!
And so you have the two groups, as alive and well today as they were back then. Those who only seek after signs and those who only seek after ‘wisdom’ and neither one saves. We preach Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Think about it!
Right on! good preaching too!