Archive for the 'WISDOM AND THE CHURCH' Category

WISDOM AND THE CHURCH

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

In Paul's 1st letter to the Corinthians he propounds, with forensic analysis, the futility of wisdom to arrive at the knowledge of Christ.

Paul is perplexed by the Corinthians for they have descended from the purity of trusting Christ, to become a rabble divided by their estimation of the quality of the messenger who brought them to Christ. In other words they were putting their wisdom above the purity of Christ.

Instead of of pondering the merits of which Apostle was greater he exhorted them to be of one mind, united together in the knowledge of God. For if it was God who was at work in them, and it was He who was revealing Himself to them, and giving them spiritual gifts to be able to help one another to be built into the fullness of Christ, why were they getting lost in meaningless controversies?

Although they had started well, sanctifying Christ in their hearts through faith, they had lost sight of their glorious beginnings, and had become once again like natural men. Hence Paul's painstaking letter to correct them and steer them from their error.

Had not they been called by God, entirely independent of their life's endeavours, or the logic that had ruled them, and was still at work in the lives of all the sons of disobedience? Was not all the wisdom of the world vain? No man came to a knowledge of God by his own effort, but rather it was God's wisdom to reveal life to those prepared to believe, through an act of His power and love, the revelation of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

All the greatest acts of this world, political, intellectual, compassionate, analytic, artistic, philosophic had failed to arrive at life. But God had reached out to them, in a love and power not of this world, to pluck them from the blind foolishness of their lives to know Him and in Him know eternal life. A life that is not found, even in excessive devotion to scripture, but only through the nakedness of the Cross, being joined together with Him in death to everything but Him and through this death being raised to life in Him.

To the world this is foolishness as Nicodemus asked, “Can a man enter his mother's womb a second time to be reborn?” How can any man by his own effort, either by physical or intellectual endeavour, arrive at being crucified with Christ and hence live? In fact the wisdom of this world led men to crucify Christ. So this wisdom is not just foolishness but it is an evil force!

This is an important point to note, as the Church of our day uses so much worldly wisdom to run everything from bible studies to government funded agencies, and how can the Lord be glorified in any of it?

The interesting thing about Paul’s letters are that they are not written to provide theology but rather to correct an erring Church. If one has need to read the letter to the Corinthians as admonishment the obvious response is to put right in your own life that which is lacking, resulting in a purer walk of love with Christ, leaning on Him more assuredly, proving His will through your deeds, living by a wisdom not of this world.

If you have truly turned to Jesus, with your entire heart, then His Spirit is abiding in you, and therefore speaking, not words taught by human wisdom, but those taught by the Spirit, putting together spiritual things to spiritual things. For God through His Spirit is revealing the hidden things of God. So to grow in God, in true knowledge, we must be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, for if we are not, then God's word can make no further progress in us, for the natural man cannot receive the things of God, and this is the danger that the men of Corinth are facing, and indeed this is the state of the Church today, but more-so, for there is good reason to believe the Church in Corinth knew the Lord, and His Spirit was in them, but there is no assurance of this in the Church today.

The deepest message of Paul's is the antithesis of what is taught in the Church. Not only is there no place for denominations, there is also no place for doctrinal positioning, for it is not what we think we know about God and His workings which save us, but it is what we know of Him, through Him, together with Him that Paul is teaching. For it is not the mystery locked up in scripture that we are seeking but rather the hidden things of Him which He alone can reveal to each of us through His Spirit which has been shed abroad to all who call upon Him that we are to live by. And we should also bear in mind, “Excessive devotion to books is wearisome to the soul”.