While we wonder at the marvels of God’s physical creation, far greater is the wisdom He has displayed in what is spiritual – new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We see this wisdom in the simplicity of the gospel. “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” (1 Corinthians 1:18). The plan of salvation that began before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20) demonstrates the wisdom of God at the cross. It was not the way Jews wanted deliverance, and certainly defied the wisdom on man.
God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8–9).
It is no wonder Paul reminds us that “God made foolish the wisdom of the world” (1 Corinthians 1:20). Man, with the natural mind “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” (2:14). This is why understanding salvation requires the Holy Spirit working in us (John 3:5). Man without God thinks that preaching the gospel is foolish, but “God through wisdom [is] pleased…through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).
After twenty-five years of preaching on the streets of Oakland and San Francisco, suffering the mocking of men and women, I am still grateful for being able to present the gospel. I am reminded over and over that it is the work of the Spirit that transforms darkness to light, and the power of Satan to the power of God in the gospel (Acts 26:18).
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