1 Corinthians 2 – Secret Wisdom

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 – I get the hint here that Paul’s resolution to “know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” was as much about his need to return to this as it was about what he desired to present to them. He speaks of his knowing and of his being “in weakness and in fear and much trembling” with them. I wonder if perhaps Paul was in some sort of personal challenge during which he was focusing on nothing but Jesus and the cross. In hindsight, he sees how it not only benefited him but the Corinthians as well and he’s reminding them of that here. he was broken at that time (I’m speculating) and yet the simple, powerful message of the cross delivered them.
1 Corinthians 2:8 – Paul says here that if the leaders had known the secret wisdom of God, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” What if, though, that had happened? Where would humanity be if Jesus had been recognized as who he was, God incarnate, and allowed to live out a full life? Without the punishing sacrifice for sins on the cross, could we have been forgiven?
It’s an interesting question, but not as interesting as the truth that God knew that wasn’t going to happen. Did he predestine it, pulling the strings like marionettes of the people involved (Pilate, the Pharisees, the twelve, Mary, etc.)? no, I don’t think so. I think the truth is more sinister and crushing. God knew that we would not recognize Him if he stood among us. In fact, his presence would be so foreign to us as to be offensive and we would seek to eradicate it from our midst lest it destroy us. No, God knew that when he came to us we’d kill him for sure. And so, he used our carnal, prideful, evil nature to fulfill his plan to strip evil of it’s power to controls us and make us do the very thing that was done to Jesus.
The irony upon irony – because we did not know the wisdom of God, we killed Jesus fulfilling his plan to make that wisdom known to us.

1 Corinthians 1 – Wise and Foolish

Returning to my Bible studies after (another) long absence. Perhaps I’ll write about why later. In the past I’ve felt like I could hear God calling me back to study and I guess this time I have as well. The difference is that I have actively avoided it. I haven’t wanted to, or rather, I’ve wanted to pursue other, self focused things. So, this time I’m returning because I know that I need to and I know that by doing it the desire to do it will grow.
1 Corinthians 1:1 – Some time read about Sosthenes in Acts 18. Amazing, and here he is in the church at Corinth.
1 Corinthians 1:2 – Sanctified, called to be saints. Amen.
1 Corinthians 1:6 – “… the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you …” I wonder what that means. Something about what happened to them as they believed confirmed what was being said about Christ – that he was the son of God, the savior, that sins are forgiven, that lives are renewed, restored and transformed.
1 Corinthians 1:17 – Paul implies that he deliberately preaches in common terms so that the cross can do the work. I sometimes think that the truth of the Gospel is so deep and profound that how can the simple comprehend it. (yes, I realize that in thinking such I put my self ‘above’ the label of simple which may not be accurate. :-D) It seems that the fundamental aspects of the truth are buried, hidden under layers of meaning.
Then I realize that Jesus came primarily to simple people, Paul tells us (just a few verses later) that he uses the simple to shame the wise and thinking that less gifted folks might not have a chance to comprehend the glorious truth of the gospel is unthinkable.
So, yes, there are layers and layers of meaning to the gospel and mining them does our heart good. But the basic gospel of Jesus, God and Man, coming to Earth to redeem a broken, fallen people is a simple idea, with the power to save without digging any deeper than that. The power is in the cross, not in our description or understanding of it.
1 Corinthians 22-25:

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Amen to that.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 – A few years ago, I attended a reunion of folks from the campus ministry I attended back, well, a long time ago. The guy who let me to faith in a series of Bible studies was there and he commented something like “It’s so good to see you still here.”
Still here? I remember thinking back then that I was one of the sharp guys. You know, in every group there are the ones who are on top, sharp and with it and then there are those who, well, aren’t. Mentally, I put myself in the former group, but his comments showed that he saw me in the latter. The group that you weren’t sure were in it for the long haul. To his credit, I don’t think it was condescending and I never knew that he saw me that way.
I’ve thought that way always. Here in ColumbusI was part of the mission team, I was once a deacon. But now I see that I’m on the fringes, not that cool, a bit dorky, not all that ‘with it’ spiritually and likely seen that way by most. It’s been a humbling thing to realign my view of myself to others’, but I look here and I’m amazed that God has chosen me anyway. Again, I’ve never felt anything but love from God’s people (as it should be) and no one has ever treated me as unimportant. Frankly, I think if I had realized my place earlier, I may not have stuck around. It’s not about them, it’s about me and my opinion of myself (and perhaps my need for others to like me, but that’s another post).
I’m realizing that I’m nothing and I think that will give God a lot more room to work.

Five for Friday

cetera - solitudeAn “Occasional Series” here at Salguod.net. Inspired by Daniel at Alien Soil, I fire up Media Player on random and post the first 5 songs here.
As with last time, I’m going to head over to blip.fm after I post this and blip each track so you can listen. Head to my blip.fm profile to have a listen. I’ll tag them #five4friday too.

  1. Peter Cetera – Glory of Love from Solitude / Solitaire
    A staple of those late evening sappy “songs for lovers” kind of radio shows I’m sure (I’m looking at you Delilah), this is something my wife bought from iTunes and so it ended up in our shared library. Not bad, per se, but not something I would have bought.
  2. Petra – All Fired Up from Petra Means Rock
    From their 1995 greatest hits album, I’m not certain when it was originally released. By the sound, I’m guessing mid 80’s. I like Petra in general, the older stuff in particular. A decent song, but not great.
  3. U2 – One from Achtung Baby
    One of their classics. I’ve grown to appreciate U2 more in recent years as I’ve learned more about how their faith (or maybe just Bono’s?) has influenced their music.
  4. Sparks From the Wheel – The Hat Song from WCBE Vol. 2 – Where are my Headphones?
    This is a folks-y, country-ish song, like so many on these WCBE live disks. A good tune, not great. I couldn’t find it on blip.fm, sorry.
  5. The Why Store – Lack of Water from WCBE Mixx on the Fly Vol. 4
    Another WCBE track and (surprise!) it’s heavy on the acoustic guitar, but not as folks-y as others. This is a nice catchy tune, not sure how I’d categorize it. I found it on blip.fm, go check it out and tell me what you think.

Your turn, fire up your MP3 player, put it on random and give me yours in the comments.

“Bad People Know Very Little About Badness”

Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to talk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ , because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means – the only complete realist.

-C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity Book 3 – “Christian Behaviour, Ch. 11 – Faith

HT – Bill @ Thinklings

Five for Friday

First Call - God is GoodAn “Occasional Series” here at Salguod.net. Inspired by Daniel at Alien Soil, I fire up Media Player on random and post the first 5 songs here.
I’m going to try something different this time. I’m going to head over to blip.fm after I post this and blip each track so you can listen. Head to my blip.fm profile to have a listen. I’ll tag them #five4friday too. If it works OK, I’ll keep doing it when i post a FfF.

  1. First Call – Parable of the River from God is Good
    This is my favorite First Call song. It’s got an 80’s rock/pop feel to it (1989 actually) mixed with the passion of an old school gospel. Great song.
  2. REO Speedwagon – Ridin’ the Storm Out from The Hits
    I love 70’s rock and this is an awesome live version of a great REO tune.
  3. Heart – Magic Man from These Dreams: Heart’s Greatest Hits
    More classic 70’s rock and another great tune. The 70’s were awful for cars, but pretty good for music.
  4. Solomon Burke – Fading Footsteps from Make Do With What You Got
    I got turned onto Solomon Burke, I think, by listening to WCBEs Blue Collar blues show on Sunday nights. Blue Collar has been in reruns for months, unfortunately. Not a bad track, but not the best on the disc.
  5. Casting Crowns – Shadow of Your Wings from Until the Whole World Hears
    My enthusiasm for Casting Crowns has faded, too much airplay on the local station. But this is a good, harder driving track than their normal stuff. Pretty good, if you’re turned of by the mainstream pop nature of CC, give this a listen.

Your turn, fire up your MP3 player, put it on random and give me yours in the comments.

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