1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (the Wisdom of the World)


(1Co 1:18-21 ESV) 18 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. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 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.

The cross makes no sense to those with a secular worldview. The Greeks knew that the cross was for rebels and criminals. And yet the early church reveled in the shame of the cross. They found the irony compelling. After all, if the Son of God could lower himself to be among the most contemptible, he could surely understand them in their poverty and low social station.

The Roman world was highly structured socially — largely on the basis of inheritance. The son of a slave would also be a slave. The son of an aristocrat would surely also be an aristocrat. Social mobility was not impossible, but it was rare.

Christianity was a powerful leveler of society, and the cross made this possible because the church worshiped a Savior who died a criminal’s death. It created an humble community.

The Greeks considered the resurrection laughable. They believed in an afterlife, but it was as a disembodied phantasm — a wisp, barely real and not happy.

All, however, were agreed: There was no resurrection. Death could not be reversed. Homer said it; Aeschylus and Sophocles seconded it. “What’s it like down there?” asks a man of his departed friend, in a third-century B.C.E. epigram. “Very dark,” comes the reply. “Any way back up?” “It’s a lie!”

Christianity promised the resurrection of a re-created body, and the philosophers laughed.

The Jews knew that anyone hung on a tree was under a curse, and the Christians celebrated this fact — pointing it out in their preaching — mentioned it in three different sermons in Acts! Paul wrote,

(Gal 3:13-14 ESV) 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us– for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” — 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Paul argues, essentially, that Jesus took on the curse of the Law — equating the curse for being “hanged” with the curse of Deu 27:26 pronounced on all who violate the Law — so that we would not have to.

Paul’s ultimate point is that God’s wisdom greatly exceeds — to the point of destroying — the wisdom of the wisest humans. No philosopher and no rabbi had anticipated the gospel or that the Messiah would be crucified and resurrected. God surprised them all!

In short, why on earth are you dividing over men when the only wisdom that matters is God’s wisdom?

(1Co 1:22-24 ESV) 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Christians see the world differently from everyone else. They can see glory in humility, wealth in poverty, and power in weakness.

“Jews demand signs” is surely a reference to the insistence of so many Jewish leaders that Jesus do a miracle on cue — as though the only miracle that could prove his divinity would be the next one. If they didn’t believe on account of the last 100 miracles, why do one more?

Greeks loved their philosophy, and Jesus defied all categories. The Greeks had not invented him, and therefore they struggled to imagine that he might be real. In other words, once we become thoroughly absorbed into our worldview, we become blind to all others.

(1Co 1:25-29 ESV) 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 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; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

Paul next points out the humble state of the Christians in Corinth — largely not “wise” in Greek philosophy, not powerful in the world, and not of noble birth — even appearing foolish, weak, and low to the world.

But God has always used the weak and outnumbered to defeat his enemies. The power is in God.

Paul is indirectly chastising the Corinthians for their pride. His point is that pride in who converted you or who baptized you doesn’t change the fact that you owe everything to Jesus. You didn’t bring anything to this party, and so you should not look down on anyone else.

Division, as Paul observes, is ultimately about pride — about how much wiser we are than the others. And yet, Paul says, human wisdom is nothing.

(1Co 1:30-31 ESV) 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

It’s because of God that we’re saved — not our birth, our wealth, or our wisdom. It’s not because we’re smarter than the other church down the road or care more about “the things of God.” It’s because Jesus died for us on the cross — which he did, and we did not.

Jesus is our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification, and our redemption. He does it. We don’t.


Why didn’t Paul suggest that the Corinthian congregation divide into separate churches, each with its own perspective? Wouldn’t that have been easier? Wouldn’t the members have felt more comfortable in a congregation that suited their own perspectives? And wouldn’t they feel better fed in a church compatible with their own slant on Christianity?

Given that Christianity seemed so foolish to both Jews and Greeks, why did it catch on at all? What was the appeal?

What does it really mean to say that we’re not as wise as God? Of course! So why does it matter?

Why is division such a concern to Paul? It’s not as though those splitting off to form a new church were going to be damned! Why not let them go so the church could move forward?

Is it really so wrong to declare yourself “of Christ”? Isn’t that exactly what Paul is saying we should do — pick the Christ side?

What’s the foundation for unity in church? Why are we so incredibly bad it — in our congregations? Denominations? Among denominations?

What would be required for all of Christianity to be united?

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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36 Responses to 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (the Wisdom of the World)

  1. Gary says:

    In response to your first question, separate congregations in the same city each with their own elders who did not answer to any other elders or bishops were unknown in the early church. Each city had one interconnected leadership for the church in that city even if the members met in a number of different locations. Our practice of multiple autonomous congregations in a single city or metropolitan area is not biblical but rather is a much later innovation. I don’t believe that it is necessarily wrong but we should readily admit that it is an innovation.

  2. John says:

    Jay asks, “Given that Christianity seemed so foolish to both Jews and Greeks, why did it catch on at all? What was the appeal?”

    One of the answers is that the cross was not just seen by Christians as “the difficulty they had in living for God”, but as something carried by their neighbors in their difficulty in living, period. In other words, when a Christian looked at slaves, they saw the cross. When they looked at prisoners, they saw the cross. When they observed women being oppressed by society, they saw the cross.

    Today, too many sermons let Christians focus only on themselves and their own difficulties. No doubt, recognizing the crosses carried by those in the pew and offering comfort certainly has its place. However, it will not be until those on the outside become aware that we recognize their struggles that they will listen and eventually see the cross as more than a hokey, religious word.

  3. Randall says:

    Jay asks, “Given that Christianity seemed so foolish to both Jews and Greeks, why did it catch on at all? What was the appeal?” speaking of Lydia the scriptures say .. and God opened her heart to receive the things that Paul was saying. Perhaps it is the same with each of us that comes to faith.

  4. Ray Downen says:

    Randall suggests that it’s necessary for GOD to “open the heart” in order for the person to respond to the gospel. I think Lydia was an exception rather than the normal. No, it is NOT necessary for God to specially permit a person to believe. Whosoever will may come to Jesus. God does NOT pick out a few for salvation and leave the rest to go to Hell.

    The idea that God selects particular people for salvation is tempting. But Jesus gave a commission which calls for us to tell EVERYONE wherever we go about HIM and then to baptize those “who believe.” He didn’t say, “those who are allowed to believe,” or “those who caused to believe.” What He said is that whosoever will may come to Him and be saved by Him. Only those who BELIEVE the gospel (the story of Jesus) can be baptized. Only those who are baptized will be saved eternally.

  5. Dwight says:

    Considering that the seven churches were not told to break away from each other or members told to mov eto one church over another and that they were all considered brethern shows how pitiful we are in our separateness. The appeal was that it was understood to be for the people and not used against the people. The Jews and the Greeks had thier own teacher and class systems, but Jesus broke through all of the barriers. He offered no name except Christ and no distinction except Christ. No names. No teaching class system. No separation of churches, even though there were some better and some worse. We can preach “our name” as scriptural, but no name was the standard. The main problem is that people want unity, but on thier own terms. And while some doctrine is a deal breaker, much of it is just man’s own opinion made as law. We have divided into ower own groups and forgotten that we are supposed to be part of the congregation of Christ first and foremost.

  6. Randall says:

    For Ray Downen – Please read the whole chapter to keep the context but please note specifically verse 14. UIt is not unusual for Paul to contrast the “natural” man with the spiritual man.
    From the NASB on line

    1 Corinthians 2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    Paul’s Reliance upon the Spirit
    2 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the [a]testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my [b]message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not [c]rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

    6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written,

    “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
    And which have not entered the heart of man,
    All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
    10 [d]For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, [e]combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

    14 But [f]a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually [g]appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.


  7. Randall says:

    Whosoever will may come but just who are the whosoever wills?

    Again from the NASB on line:

    Acts 13:48New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of [a]the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

    and here is John 1 from the same source:

    9 There was the true Light [g]which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His [h]own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were [i]born, not of [j]blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    And of course there is Romans 9 – again from the same source:

    6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; 7 nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s [d]descendants, but: “[e]through Isaac your [f]descendants will be named.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as [g]descendants. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; 11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would [h]stand, not [i]because of works but [j]because of Him who calls, 12 it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed [k]throughout the whole earth.” 18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

    19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel [l]for honorable use and another [m]for common use? 22 [n]What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea, …

    So who are the ones that will?


  8. Ray, if I may have the temerity to quote Jesus himself: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…”

  9. Gary says:

    Jesus tells us that all are drawn to him. John 12:32, “And I, when I am lifted up, will draw all people to myself.”

  10. Gary says:

    Randall, it is crucial to include Paul’s conclusion of Romans chapters 9-11 in Romans 11:32, “God has consigned all people to disobedience that he may have mercy on all.” Romans 9-11 is not about God’s exclusion of some but rather about his ultimate inclusion of all.

  11. Gary says:

    I’ll stop with 1 John 2:2, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and not for our sins only but also for the sins of the whole world.” Christ’s sacrifice is universal in its efficacy and sooner or later, in this world or the next, all are drawn to Christ and all will accept God’s gracious provision for us in Christ. There most definitely is a hell and those who fail to minister to Jesus’ special family, the “least of these” in our society, will be punished in hell as Jesus himself taught in Matthew 25. But the door out of hell is locked from the inside. God’s final will for all of Adam’s children is mercy and salvation and eternal life.

  12. Gary, I’m in the middle of a study on early church organization. Can you give me some references for what you said in your first post? Thanks.

  13. Dwight says:

    I think context is crucial. God drew the Israelites to Him and beckoned them and peladed with them and did many things for them and during the space of time many times they accepted God and many times the rejected God. Even coming out of Egypt God gave a promise and led them, they rebelled and spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness never to recieve said promise. Having presidence allows us to to see that God wants the same for His creation and especially those that accept Him, but God can and will only do so much and then He wants us and our will and our conribution to the covenant and many will not meet God’s will and many will think that many have not met God’s will, when they themselves have not. The point is that to include or exclude is not our job, but God’s. He will decide. We can make basic judgments on sin, i.e. having a relation with your father’s wife, murder, etc. but in the end we could falter worse in our pride. So we should be really slow to judge and quick to love.

  14. Dwight says:

    I think there is a difference between God’s will and God pressing His will. Meaning that God can want something to happen, such as all men be saved, but God will not make it happen or force it to happen. God wanted man to not sin in the Garden and He related His will to Adam and Eve, who did their own will. They were punished, but were still allowed to fail. God did push His will with Jonah in that God made Jonah teach the people of Ninevah, but even in the end Jonah had a not so good attitude. God didn’t make Jonah a loving person of the people of Ninevah. Many of the nations that God used to punish Israel with were done so by God’s will, but God did not approve of these nations before He used them and they didn’t follow God’s will by becoming Jewish. Many times we will not be aware of God’s will like Job, but may be subject to it and yet like Job we can accept God’s will or not. We can only go with and try to follow God’s expressed will and leave the rest to what God wills to happen.

  15. Gary says:

    Brent, Alvin Jennings wrote How Christianity Grows in the City about a generation ago and made this point about there only being one eldership per city in the first century. It stirred up quite a firestorm in conservative CoC circles. It might not be a scholarly work but he may refer to other sources. I don’t have Everett Ferguson’s book of a few years on ecclesiology
    He may not directly address this point but he is certainly worth checking out in case he does.

  16. Gary says:

    Brent, as far as I can determine, church in any given city in the NT is always referred to in the singular. When congregations in a region or province are referred to they are referred to in the plural (such as the churches of Galatia). The letter of Romans is written to a single church but in Romans 16:5 Paul sends greetings to the church that met in the home of Priscilla and Aquila which was evidently a subgroup of the Roman church.

  17. Jay Guin says:


    Search “kata” in the OIJ search box and you’ll find a post giving some scholarly sources for their being only one congregation per city. And there are links in that post that will provide additional materials.

  18. brent says:

    Thanks so much.

  19. Alabama John says:

    In my area there is usually only one per city and the cities name is on the sign out front. “Pinson Church of Christ”, “Springville Church of Christ” ” Oneonta Church of Christ”.
    There is a city every few miles down any major road.

  20. Dwight says:

    I am involved in my own study on church and have come to the understanding that congregation is a much better word since church was put in to replace ekklesia which meant “the called out” in the sense of a congregation. When you start replacing the word church with congregation you see that most everything is related to the congregation of Christ and then you see local applicatons of this…cities…homes and these were assemblies of those of the congregation. Even the word “churches”, which we like to use to indicate a plural of assemblies, is a singular congregation, which carries the sense of a plural of people. The “to the seven congregation which are in Asia” is about the only time where you see they the word congregation divided up and yet it still carries the sense that it is one unit that has seven representations of the one. Still when you see them writing to the congregation of the cities you don’t see them writing to an assembly, but to those of the city that belong to God, because even in the cities you had home assemblies.

  21. Dwight says:

    My conclusions so far is that we like to think local and go big, but God is thinking big and then there are smaller representations of the big. When we become a saint, we become part of the body of Christ or the congregation, which is one congregation and then we assemble into smaller groups with other people of the congregation. This should cause us to see that God’s group is larger than what we can see at any one time and that our membership isn’t to “our church”, but God’s congregation. The only roster is the one that God holds in His hands. This in itself should cause us to expand the borders of who we consider to be our brother and sister and be less “local church-centric” where our worship ends and begins at the church place and be more “God-centric” where the congregation is what we are a part of at any given time or place, whether in assembly or not.

  22. Alabama John says:

    Dwight, that is exactly the thinking expressed in word and action of so many I know that because of all the arguing among the church members have quit going there.
    They express a closer relationship with God.

  23. Grace says:

    As to comments as this from people within the CofC denomination, “Even coming out of Egypt God gave a promise and led them, they rebelled and spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness never to recieve said promise.”

    They were a rebellious people, though God still led them to enter the Promised Land. The people of Israel claimed the inheritance God had promised to their forefather.

    Joshua 4:19 “The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho.”

    God made the promise to Abraham and God doesn’t make a promise to anyone that He doesn’t keep.

    Genesis 12:2-3 “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

    Genesis 12:7 “Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.”

    Genesis 13:14-15 “And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are-northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.’”

    Romans 9:4-5 “They are Israelites. The adoption as God’s children, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the worship, and the promises belong to them. The Jewish ancestors are theirs, and the Christ descended from those ancestors. He is the one who rules over all things, who is God, and who is blessed forever. Amen.”

    Romans 9:6-9 “It cannot be said that God broke his promise. After all, not all of the people of Israel are the true people of God. In fact, when God made the promise to Abraham, he meant only Abraham’s descendants by his son Isaac. God was talking only about Isaac when he promised Sarah, “At this time next year I will return, and you will already have a son.”

    The nation of Israel exists and belongs to the Jewish people. God made a promise to Abraham that He has kept to this very day.

  24. Dwight says:

    My point, which is the point that you are referencing, didn’t have to do with God not keeping His promise, but the failure of the people to realize that they had to do things that God wanted to get said promise and mostly it involved lack of faith that God could deliver said promise if they went into the land. God didn’t force the promise upon the certain generation, but did lead them to it and they were able to see it, just not get it because they got in thier own way. The promise will never leave us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t leave it. This isn’t coC theology because even the Israelites and early Christians were supposed to understand that realization is conditional. God’s statement of “You will be forgiven in the same manner you forgive others”, puts a condition in place. What God can do is different than what God wills do if we aren’t willing to do a Godly thing for others.

  25. Grace says:

    Abraham certainly wanted to be obedient to God, though he wasn’t perfect. Abraham wasn’t so obedient when he had a son with his servant rather than with his wife Sarah, and she even laughed at God that she would have a child. Genesis 18:12-14 “Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” And the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

    Moses wasn’t perfect either, rather than speaking to the rock as God told him to, Moses angrily struck the rock with his rod misrepresenting God in front of the people. Numbers 20:10-12 “And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

    Moses wasn’t allowed to bring the people to enter the land, he did get to see the land before they entered it. Numbers 27:12 “Now the LORD said to Moses: “Go up into this Mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the children of Israel.” Deuteronomy 3:25-27 “I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon.’ “But the LORD was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So the LORD said to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter. Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift your eyes toward the west, the north, the south, and the east; behold it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan.”

    And though Moses didn’t get to bring the people to cross over and enter the land, God is always so gracious to His people, He did bring Moses to the land that he so desired to be in. Moses stood in Israel the promised land given to them.

    Matthew 17:1-3 “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.”

    The Israelites not only saw the land, they obtained the land they inherited from their forefather by God. To this day God keeps the promise He gave to Abraham.

    Though we too are disobedient and rebellious, God has grace and mercy. And when we know how much grace has been given to us by God, we then want to extend that same grace to others.

  26. Dwight says:

    God offers us a wide open freeway and we come onto it with poor equipment. God offers us a tune up and then if we take it we can use that big huge freeway, but as we are the driver we can also crash that car. This was the issue with Adam and Eve who had it all and the crashed and burned. As a Christian this doesn’t mean the crash takes us out of action, but we have to be willing to drive again with God’s love guiding us and not give up or decide to take another road.

  27. Alabama John says:

    There are those putting off their baptism waiting and gambling they will be able to be baptized just before death so they will have all sins forgiven and then die with heaven assured.

  28. Grace says:

    Have you ever seen the bumper sticker which reads “God is my Co-Pilot”? That statement is rather arrogant that a person would say God is second place in their life.

    There’s a person sitting in the front seat of a car next to the driver. It is raining heavily and the wiper of the front window of the person not driving Isn’t working. But the driver was driving coolly, because the wiper of the window in front of him was working and so he could see the road ahead of him clearly. The person sitting where the wiper wasn’t working tells the driver they cannot see the road ahead. The driver answers saying, why are you worried? I am driving and the wiper of my side is working properly. We give the steering of our life to the hands of Jesus and then start worrying about what’s ahead of us, and we tell him that we cannot see the road ahead. All the while He is saying to us I can see the road ahead clearly do not worry, I got this.

    Deuteronomy 31:8 And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.

    The intimate relationship God has with His children He has determined that He will never forsake His children.

    Zechariah 4:7 Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’

    Even though your situation looks like a mountain, God will make it a plain. God goes before us.

    Many times we do not see the hand of God in our lives but He is constantly working in our life for our benefit and His glory. It is at the toughest times in our life that we can be assured that God’s hand is upon us, even though we may not see it, yet.

    If you are truly walking with the Lord, the world is going to think you are odd when in the midst of an uncertain world, you have certainty. In a world without absolutes, you have absolutes. In a world without purpose, you have purpose.

    A true child of God does have fears at times in their life from their brokenness, and there is the two best words we know that we look to, “But God”, He is always looking at the road ahead through the clear side of the window saying, I got this.

  29. AJ, the kind of bizarre reasoning you describe can only come from a combination of bad doctrine about baptism and bad doctrine about salvation AND a complete lack of being effectively discipled. Correct any one of those three and such a point of view would be immediately seen as foolish by the one holding it.

  30. Alabama John says:

    Agree Charles but how many have you seen and heard say to the ones congratulating when they came down front after being baptized that at this time in my life, I am totally free of any sin.
    Some even say Lord take me now as I won’t get any cleaner.

    A prayer of thankfulness for the obedience and cleansing but no mention in the prayer of forgiveness of sins as they have none. All sins been washed away and they have been raised in newness of life.

    This only happens once most of us think, so next week they can be included with the rest of us in asking forgiveness of sins. Some disagree with the only once and are baptized again later in life or as commonly called re-baptized.

  31. Grace says:

    Alabama John, I’ve seen in other posts where it seems you think people who don’t know God will be saved, yet you think people who ask God to forgive them of their sins aren’t saved, you think only those who are baptized are saved.

    So let me try to get at what you are saying. People who don’t seek God are saved, and people who cry out to God to forgive them of their sins are not saved, only the people who are baptized and the people who didn’t seek God are saved from their sins.

    Your reasoning is that it is better to have not known about God and if you did come to know about Him it better have be at a building with a baptistery or near a pool of water with a person standing by who will dunk you to save you.

    I have to agree with Charles comment.

  32. Randall says:

    after reading some of your comments above I am curious to know whether you intended to suggest universal salvation.

    As to those that indicate God makes promises but it is up to us to go collect I ask if that is what Saul was doing when he encountered Jesus? While it is a pretty dramatic event compared with our everyday experiences one could say that God called him despite his fighting the other way.

  33. Alabama John says:

    Grace that is exactly what is taught around here. I’m repeating as some I know read this blog.

    I personally believe all people believe in God as the spirit from God is put inside every person from birth and if they worship Him the best they know how each will be saved.

    That is certainly not the teaching of the COC around here.

    Here if you do not follow a very strict set of commands including baptism regardless of the circumstances, you are lost. So, practically everyone who has lived from the beginning of time went to or are going to hell as are all the denominational people of today and most of the COC that are what we call liberal in some way. If a person was born and lived and never heard what is taught today it is tough luck but they are burning in hell. That is what is taught and I disagree.

    What I posted above I have seen many times and the exclusiveness is all wrong. That is what I was trying to point out.

    My family was told either believe this legalism is the only truth or leave so we left.

  34. Grace says:

    Thank you, AJ

    I really like you, you are an honest man. IMHO I think the CofC denomination has so distorted a lot of Biblical Christianity that they have many people within their congregations who don’t really know what to think, many who are confused by all the finger pointing the CofC denomination has done toward other Christians when it’s obvious their own congregations are falling apart.

    Until their leaders, and anyone at that who speaks for the CofC denomination (whatever CofC stripe that is) can say, not “we” have been wrong in the past, they need to say “I” am wrong to do this to Baptists churches or whoever their cup of tea is to pick on, and they themselves seek to have an actual relationship among these other churches. And until they do this they can speak Christianese jargon till their eyes bleed and the CofC denomination will continue to fall apart.

    Every church is going to have people who think different about the minor things, but when you have so many people who think so different about so many major things, there are some major issues they need to deal with themselves and stop all the self-righteous behavior toward churches that are growing and producing fruit.

    I really do believe you are an honest man, AJ, and I always appreciate an honest person.

  35. R.J. says:

    I think the best translation of ekklesia is either “Gathering” or better yet “Community”.

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