Paul said, in verse 18, “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  When Paul mentioned “the message about the cross,” he actually meant the good news or the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Throughout the history, people have been responding to the Good News differently!  Ex. when I was a child,

We have just sung a song, “At the cross.”  I think this song explains how we should respond to the gospel properly.  The second verse of this song goes like this, “Was for crimes that I have done, he groaned upon the tree?  Amazingly pityGrace unknown!  And love beyond degree!  At the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away; it was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the way.”  Paul said that the gospel is the power of God since it has power to save people from their sins and gives them the hope of eternal life.   

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith . . .” It was not how Paul used to think about the gospel.  Before he met the risen Lord on the way to Damascus, he used to hate and persecute Christians.  He thought that Christians were enemies of God since he could not understand the concept of salvation through faith, not by keeping the Law of Moses.  To Saul (Paul’s former name), studying and keeping the law were the foremost important to be saved and to live his life as God’s child.  So he did his best to keep all the law to go to heaven and also to please God.  So when he heard the good news, he not only thought that it was foolish, but he immediately considered the Christianity as a threat to the Judaism.

“For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise . . . Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”  Why?  Why does God destroy the wisdom of the wise?  Why has God made the wisdom of world foolish?  Paul answers like this in the following verse, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom . . .”   

Rev. Billy Graham, what a man of God he was!  What an amazing evangelist he was!  For more than six decades, Billy.Graham knew and counseled every U.S. president.  Through his ministries, more than millions of people were saved throughout the world!  Tonight, you will have an opportunity to watch the Nationwide Broadcast Event.

“Billy Graham, An Extraordinary Journey”

Now his son Franklin Graham leads “Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.”  He said, “Over and against every competing worldview, the Bible forcefully declares, “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” (Romans 12:2).  In other words, the only way to see all of life accurately is through the transforming lens of Scripture.”  I agree with Apostle Paul and Rev. Franklin Graham wholeheartedly.  There are no ways to know ourselves and God correctly with the worldly wisdom.   Unless the Spirit of God touches and transforms our hearts, we cannot be born again nor can enter the Kingdom of God.  Unless we depend on the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we cannot live our lives as God wants us to live.  So Paul said, “God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.”  With human wisdom, people could not know God.  Although the whole world is filled with God’s beauty, power, and presence, the people whose hearts are darkened cannot see God and know his truth.

“For Jews demands sign and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles . . .”   I just love how Paul describes his passion.  Jews have been expecting the Messiah who could deliver them from the oppression of Roman Empire with physical power.  That’s why the message of the cross is a stumbling block to them.  They were always seeking more signs and miracles even though God has demonstrated lots of miracles already for them.  How about the Greeks?  For them,  how Jesus died on the cross seemed to be so foolish.  They were seeking more reasonable, philosophical, and intelligent Messiah.  But those who are called by God, whether they are Jews or Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

*God chose the unlike candidates

“. . . But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world . . .”   Why?  Why does God do this?  So that no one can boast?  That’s why Paul says, “as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  Even now, God is using many foolish, weak, and lowly people to accomplish his will. 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Only through Christ, we can be truly wise, righteous, redeemed, and sanctified. Although many people in the world still consider “the message of the cross” as foolish, irrelevant, and weak, to you and me, it is the “the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.”  Let us pray.