For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach, to save those who believe. – 1 Corinthians 1:21
Scripture reading: I Corinthians 1:18-31
Paul spent eighteen months in Corinth preaching the Gospel and organizing the Church. He wrote his First Letter to deal with several problems that had been disturbing the health and unity of the congregation there.
The Corinthians were not as sophisticated as the Athenians; still, they were attracted by “form” rather than “substance.” They had not grown spiritually since they leveled several criticisms at Paul and his preaching. Paul had to remind them that God, in His sovereignty, had ordained the preaching of the Gospel as the means of salvation. The phrase “what we preach” is a translation of the Greek, “Kerugmatos,” a specific word that refers to the content of Paul’s preaching. In other words, every message proclaimed from a pulpit must conform to the Biblical Gospel.
Paul took notice of the Greek’s love of wisdom. But Greek wisdom was the very antithesis of God’s wisdom since they regarded the message of a crucified and risen Saviour as utter foolishness. It didn’t matter that the Greeks described Paul’s preaching as foolishness; he did not accommodate his message to make it acceptable to his audience. Throughout all his missionary career, Paul was convinced that the Gospel of Christ “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (NKJ).
The Church hasn’t always proclaimed and defended this Biblical faith. In our days, several denominations have surrendered to the “wisdom” of man. We need another Reformation like the one launched by Martin Luther 500 years ago.
Suggestions for prayer
Plead with the Lord to grant our ministers and missionaries to boldly proclaim the “whole counsel of God” as Paul did in his ministry.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”