Christ and the wisdom of God: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

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18 For the message about Christ’s death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for us who are being saved it is God’s power19 The scripture says,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
    and set aside the understanding of the scholars.”

20 So then, where does that leave the wise? or the scholars? or the skillful debaters of this world? God has shown that this world’s wisdom is foolishness!

21 For God in his wisdom made it impossible for people to know him by means of their own wisdom. Instead, by means of the so-called “foolish” message we preach, God decided to save those who believe22 Jews want miracles for proof, and Greeks look for wisdom. 23 As for us, we proclaim the crucified Christ, a message that is offensive to the Jews and nonsense to the Gentiles; 24 but for those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, this message is Christ, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For what seems to be God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and what seems to be God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

26 Now remember what you were, my friends, when God called you. From the human point of view few of you were wise or powerful or of high social standing27 God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful. 28 He chose what the world looks down on and despises and thinks is nothing, in order to destroy what the world thinks is important29 This means that no one can boast in God’s presence. 30  But God has brought you into union with Christ Jesus, and God has made Christ to be our wisdom. By him we are put right with God; we become God’s holy people and are set free. 31 So then, as the scripture says, “Whoever wants to boast must boast of what the Lord has done.” (GNT)


This passage discusses how God is wiser than us all; that human understanding is greatly lacking when compared to everything God knows and has planned. It says that the “foolish” message Christians preach about the death and resurrection of Christ is what is going to save them in the end, and urges us to ignore the push back from the people of society. It ends by reminding the reader that they are no better than anyone else, and we have not always been the people we are today. Therefore, if you must be proud of your standing in society, what you believe, or what you have accomplished in life, be sure to give proper credit to the only reason you were able to obtain it: by the mercy of God and death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.


There are a few Biblical passages I have come across that, upon first reading, filled me with excitement about what was written; something about it just spoke to me, and could be directly applied to what I was doing at that particular point in life. This passage happens to be one of them.

The first half, verses 18-25, gives confidence to those of us that are still discovering the Bible, and still figuring out just how much we really believe what God has commanded. This was yet another way to say ‘be confident in your faith in Christ’, which is written all over the New Testament, but was phrased in a way that was extremely relevant to me. I realized I had been hesitant to be openly and proudly Christian, as there have been numerous occasions of society making Christianity out to be a baseless, “foolish” religion. The validation and reminder that preaching the Word of God and divinity of Christ Jesus truly is what will save you in the end, gave me a greater sense of confidence to stand firm in what I believe and not to shy away from it.

The rest of the passage reminds the reader that your newfound pride of following God’s Word is not something to be bragged about, but rather something to be proclaimed, so that others may follow your example. As written several other places in the Bible, we are reminded that the low will be made high, and the great will be made weak; don’t stray from what really matters, and always stay focused on the life that will come after this one.

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