Day 53…1 Corinthians 3:

January 27, 2011 at 11:47 AM 7 comments

1 Corinthians 3:18-23: Become a fool to be wise

Most of this letter to the Corinthian believers is focussed on the difference between the world’s wisdom and God’s. Paul continues this conversation in these next few verses.

v.18, Some of the believers had been fooling themselves into thinking they needed special knowledge or deeper wisdom in order to be saved. Basically saying Jesus death and resurrection wasn’t ENOUGH! Paul tells them to stop “fooling [themselves]” because even if they are “wise by the world’s standards”, they are not wise by God’s. Then he says you have “to become a FOOL so you can become WISE by God’s standards.” Meaning he was warning them that God’s way of thinking is infinitely more valuable, even though it may seem foolish to the world. The believers would have to empty themselves of their pride in human wisdom in order to be filled with God’s wisdom.

v.19-20, In past verses Paul has said that the cross is foolishness to the world now in this verse he says the flip-side of that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” and he uses two OT verses to back-up his claim:

Job 5:12 “[God] traps the [worldly] wise in the snare of their own cleverness.”

Psalm 94:11 “The Lord knows the thoughts of the [worldly] wise; he knows they are worthless.”

Paul says here that no matter how wise a human being may appear, God is far wiser. God knows all and understands all, even the thoughts of the most intelligent man on the face of the planet don’t compare to God’s wisdom and understanding.

v.21-23, So with all the above in mind, Paul tells the Corinthian believers “don’t boast about following a particular human leader…” such as “Paul or Apollos or Peter” Believers must not put their faith in human leaders, no they must follow Jesus alone! Paul uses the phrase “everything belongs to you” which simply means all believers have everything because they have Christ–they don’t need anything else. Paul finishes off the chapter with “the [physical not ethical system] world, or life and death, or the present and the future. Everything belongs to you.” The believers owned everything by association with Christ. Everything belonged to them because they “belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.” Paul is making it clear here that all believers have been given everything from God even death has no victory over them because of their salvation through Jesus. The present and the future belong to them because they belong to God who holds the present and the future. And the same is true of life. Everything belongs to them because God owns everything!

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? It took me a while to figure out what this means to me. I had to read over this passage a few times before it came to me. But I think the thing that is really ringing in my ear is the phrase is v.18 you will have to become a fool so you can become wise by God’s standards. I have always strived to be wise by the world’s standards. To want to be known or popular or even in ministry circles thought of. I guess I am trying to say that no matter what the world or a group of people think of me, it doesn’t matter because God’s standards should be my benchmark for the way I live–even if the world looks at me and thinks I am foolish or stupid or worse.

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? Focus more of what God thinks of me and less on what my peers, the church and my family thinks. Not to say I am going to live my life with no care in the world. No, what I mean is I am going to live with the question in my head “is God proud of me at this moment?” And if he is I know I am doing his will.

Entry filed under: Journey Thru the Bible.

Day 52…1 Corinthians 3: House update

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul DeGraaf  |  January 31, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    Right on Andrew! This has been a life-long lesson for me and the journey continues. May you know that he alone is the true treasure of life.

  • 2. cbsniper review  |  February 25, 2011 at 2:24 AM

    whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your articles. Keep up the good work! You know, a lot of people are searching around for this information, you could help them greatly.

    • 3. Andrew DeGraaf  |  March 20, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Thanks for your kind comment. Please check back again soon.

  • 4. Mýa  |  February 25, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    My partner and I received a huge amount of pleasure from the blog post. You’re definitely going to appreciate this quote. – “Never be entirely idle; but either be reading, or writing, or praying or meditating or endeavoring something for the public good.” ~ Thomas a Kempis (1380 – 1471)

    • 5. Andrew DeGraaf  |  March 20, 2012 at 11:00 AM

      Thanks for the great quote. Love it. And please check back again soon.

  • 6. here  |  May 27, 2012 at 2:26 AM

    After I open up your Feed it appears to be a lot of junk, is the problem on my side?

    • 7. Andrew DeGraaf  |  June 16, 2012 at 10:44 PM

      Not sure what you mean. But I have heard no concerns from others. Maybe you can explain what you mean.


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