Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 5 months ago

Hidden Wisdom of God: Revealed

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

Let's give our attention to God's wordyet among the mature. We do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom ofthis age or of the rulers of this age who are doomed to pass away, but we impar a secret and hidden wisdomof God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of the ageunderstood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified. The Lord ofGlory on You may be seated so, as we consider last time, Paul isspeaking in a context in which his speaking is being challenged. I'm he speaking in a context in whichpeople are looking at him and saying, what's so impressive about that guy, his knees shake his hands. Tremble. Hisspeech is not that big of a deal it's true. His letters are weighty andthere's some good at them, but we want somebody impressive to follow. Paul, wasn't that man indeed in many ways the gospel that hedeclared wasn't meeting the standards of much of the world either remember what he said earlier. He sothat the Cross of Christ is folly to the Greeks. A stumbling block to theJews: They wanted something else. They wanted wisdom as they saw it. Theywanted signs of power as they saw it, and the gory body of Christ hanging on thecross that we just sung about was neither of those things as they saw it. There were important people in theworld in Jesus's Day and in Paul's Day, as well and in Coret, who were tellingthem that this wisdom that you're speaking about this Gospel that youpreach is doesn't look like wisdom. It doesn't look like wisdom, looks likefoolishness, it doesn't look like power. It looks like weakness that this mission, that you're on as achurch to go and proclaim these things and the people that you are sending andthe people that you are gathering none of it's very impressive, and maybe it's not just wisdom clothedin foolishness, but it is in fact foolishness and weakness, and so Paultakes a moment here in these verses that we read this morning. SecondCorinthians or first Corinthians to six through eight to get really clear withus about something. He wants us to understand that thegospel of Jesus is not foolishness and it is not weakness. It is in fact,truly powerful and the very wisdom of...

God that's what it is. Despite the way itoften looks, and despite the way it is often attacked in this passage, Jesustells us, through his impossible that he does indeed give wisdom, but it's ofa certain kind, it's different than what we usually experience in thisworld. It's different with the than what the rulers of this age expect. Now, of course, the world thinks thatGod's revelation is not wisdom and you, I am sure, have experienced this. Youknow this for those of you who have beenChristians for even a little bit. You know something about who Jesus is andwhat he said and what he's done, and you also know that if you say that incertain places, people are going to at least ignore you-maybe laugh that you, you might even get in trouble, at least in their eyes and in theirhearts, if not even more specific consequences and that hesitation that you feel about.Should I really say this here, a sense of a little bit of embarrassment of? IsAnybody really going to believe this? That is, that comes and that's based inthis sense of the weakness of the Gospel, the apparent weakness of theGospel. So I'm going to tell this guy, but this man was the son of God and hewas crucified on a cross and because of that somehow my sins are forgiven. I just not going to believe it they're just not going to believe thatin these are the things that we tell ourselves and honestly, it's often truepeople often don't believe it. They don't accept and hear those things. Ofcourse many do as well, but we understand, but we feel that hesitation,because we know how people perceive it, and some people are very explicit aboutthis. They go around and they make fun of Christians and they accuseChristians of not being team players of not being part of the culture of notmoving things forward of not being a part of the moment of history but beingtied with foolish myths and speculations, and things like that. TheWorld thinks that the Gospel just centered in the Cross of Christ isfoolishness, m Paul's proof for this, as he says, if they hadn't thought, sothey wouldn't have crucified the Lord of Glory if they understood him to be the powerof God, the wisdom of God, the Lord of Glory, they would not have done this and they did because that's the world that we livein and why do they think that I think it'shelpful to meditate on this for a moment? Why does the world not think about the Cross of Christ, aswe do a part of it is that Jesus doeseverything upside down?...

He says: Lose Your Life to gain yourlife, think of others as more important thanyourselves to use a line from a hen. Let goods and kindred go this mortallife. Also, he spends time with tax collectors andprostitutes and sinners. He chooses unimportant people to do work that he considers important andgreat. The Gospel that we preach is that theson of God was sent into the world by the father in order to save sinnersfrom their sins through the death. On the cross- and this message is something that noother religion even comes close to proclaiming it's a message that neither rides highabove the history of the world and some kind of spiritual abstraction or nopithy sayings. Nor is it tied to this world insomething in a way that human beings could accomplish it if they would justset their minds to it. The Gospel that we preached that weproclaim that we hold to, is God above the world in the world, and that's a very humble thing. The Lord of Glory being born in amanger is a humble thing. The Lord of Glory, calling a tax collector to beone of his main disciples, is a humble thing. Dying on a cross is a humblething, and even after his resurrection from the dead Jesus doesn't go aroundZapping people with lasers. He eats fish, that's breakfast with hisdisciples. These are humble things now we're not discounting here: thehealing of the Paralytic, the healing the healing of the blind and other lame,or the feeding of the five thousand or the turning of the water into wine orwalking on water or raising the dead. We're not discounting any of that.Those things are full of much glory, even as the Earth, as this age wouldperceive them. We're just saying that those things were done by the son ofGod in human flesh, who was frequently homeless and despised by anyone who wasimportant, but the thing that the world reallydoesn't like about this upside down nature of the Gospel is that it turns them upside down. It'snot that the logic. The Gospel is illogical or incoherent, or you can'tunderstand it. You can understand it. It fits together. It makes sense it's not confusing. In that sense, an average person of average mind or less than averagemind can understand what the Bible says about the Gospel. That's not theproblem, God doesn't speak nonsense...

...and people believe way. Stranger things, then the things that the Bibleproclaims. The problem is that it's different, and the problem is, is thatit undermines the values of this world, its aspirations, its notions of what'simportant and what's what's what's wisdom and what's powerful, it turnspeople's lives upside down, and that's what they're afraid of think about the rulers at Jesus's timeright. They were afraid of what he was going to do. All these people arefollowing him. They didn't rejoice in that fact, as we might, they feltthreatened by that fact, because it threatened their way of life. Itthreatened what they thought was important. What they thought wasvaluable: they it threatened their sense of importance and meaning in thisworld. Let me put it this way: There's nothing like being told thatthe son of God, the son of God, had to take on humanflesh and die on a cross in order to knock you off your high horse that that's what it took and that youhave nothing to bring to God to earn his favor that you only have your ownrighteousness and that, if you stay in that unrighteousness, you have nothingbut death before you and that the only way to freedom is to accept thiscrucified. Lord, to deny yourself pick up your cross andfollow him. What is left of human ambition afterthat? What's left what? What possible thing?Could you say? Well, I'll just do this or do that or we're left with nothing. If we look at the Cross of Christ- andwe see the Lord there as he truly is, we are left with nothing to standbefore God, except our sins or the forgiveness of our sins throughthis crucified one. So this is why so called importantpeople of this world. The rulers of this age will tell you that faith is inpower, clothed in weakness. It's just weakness. They'll tell you that themission of the Church, the message of the Church, is not wisdom, clothed infoolishness, it's just foolishness and that's because they're threatened by itas they should be as they should be, and so what Paul does in this passageis. He is exposing the lie and revealing the truth. The Gospel ispowerful. The Cross is true wisdom, and he tells us this because we need toknow it. This age and the rulers of this age are doomed to pass away. If wetie our cart to that horse, we are...

...doomed to pass away along with them, and even if you don't think of yourselfas a ruler of this age, which had be a very high thing to say, I suppose Iimagine that most of us don't say that kind of thing, but we are all temptedto believe the lies that this age tells us these accusations in these lives. Theyare temptations for us and we need to know the truth about the Bible. We needto know the truth about its power and its wisdom of the Gospel, so that we can be courageous and boldand stand strong. As we've seen the world lies to protect itself. It alsolies because it doesn't want you to follow Christ, it doesn't want you toserve Christ, and when you don't it will call you obstinate ridiculous, nota team player, disruptive, rebellious and worse and in some serious cases theworld will sometimes make you make a choice. They will tell you you either stopfollowing Jesus, believing in him obeying him, worshiping him tellingothers about him or suffer the consequences. Lose the job not marry. The girl have disruptions inyour family. Go to prison even die whatever it is. There are consequences. Think aboutPaul Paul was esteemed Paul was doing very well in his circles. Paul had acertain measure of power and now he's getting beaten wherever he goes. He faces all kinds of dangers, and here,among his own church, he's not getting any accolades they'reall saying: why aren't you more like Apollos? He speaks nicer, but we must not give up. We must be bold and go forward likeDavid on the battle field or esther over her people. We need to be ready toput our lives on the line for the truth of the Lord, knowing that it ispowerful that it is true wisdom that the lies are the lies and that's notwhat we believe, and we do so because of what Paul says here. He says that the wisdom of the worldwill pass away, but not the wisdom of God. The World May call the GospelFoolishness but beloved. It doesn't mean that that's true somebody can say I'm twenty feet tall that doesn't make it true, and so we can't get rattled simply whenpeople say stuff. We must stand firm in what God says in what God has revealed. So here's what's clear that Jesus Christ and him cruified isthe wisdom of God think about the world...

...for a moment. It's all puffed up aboutitself, but is it really delivering on its promises? Go to go to book mints and Look at theDiet, shelf or the business shelf or the pick any shelf in there? And whatwill you find fad after had after fad old books thatwere once best sellers and everybody was talking about? And now it's gone the world and in some ways, they're thesame thing over and over the world keeps telling us the same things overand over and there's some truth to them, sometimes, but largely its emptypromises. The world wants to deliver utopia to us and it never comesgeneration after generation after generation. It never comes. Everybody talks about how babble thetower is going to be so great, and then it falls down again this world under the Sun. Is thisrepeating cycle over and over and over of Vanity? We ought not to trust in it, but consider that, in contrast thatwith Jesus Christ, he comes into the world to save sinnersfrom their sin. He goes to the cross, he dies and then he raises us from thedead he ascends. He has seen ascending intothe heavens, where he now sits at the right hand of God, interceding for usprotecting US keeping us, and then he sends this message out into the worldand millions of people of every tribe and tongue and nation come to believehim. He promises US eternal life and he has delivered on that promise. Think about the wisdom of God from theway that Paul Talks about it here he says, excuse me, he says not the we impart the secret and hidden wisdomof God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory, something has been revealed that wasplanned for a long time and there's wisdom in that, so, firstin considering the Cross of Christ just a moment ago, I had you consider itspower and its effectiveness, and I want you to consider its planning, the the will of God and perfectlymeshing all of these things together. Sometimes you and I will fall into theright decision, but it wasn't really because we plannedit to be that way. True wisdom really excellent. Wisdom,however, is knowing the means and the...

...end, and everything is perfectlymatched up together. Think about a skill, maybe something really simple.Like hanging a curtain Rod, you know exactly the tools you need.You have all your materials you're, not overspending, you're, not underspending you put it up. You drill the holes, you put it in. You hang thecurtain on it's beautiful. Now. I suppose some of you can do that.I cannot. I make multiple trips to the hardwarestore. The thing is crooked: it ends up falling down after you know a fewmonths. This is not wisdom. I this is not well the wise hanging ofa curtain. Rod Now you. This is a silly example, but you can apply this toanything right having all the resources perfectly matched perfectly executed,all right there in the right place at the right time for the right amount ofMONONA money with the right amount of energy spent involving the right numberof people, everything perfectly and then it does its intended thing. That'sthat's wisdom! Now I can't even get you know a curtain.Rod Right! You have! I imagine your struggles andother departments as well now consider what God does with thesalvation of the world through Jesus Christ, where fools struggle to do the rightthing and pull it off in some way. Think about what God did the Scriptures say. He planned thesalvation of his people. He planned the salvation of his peoplebefore the ages before the ages for our glory. He determined exactly how he would useeach and every person individually in human history to accomplish that end.He overcomes every single obstacle, including death itself, using resourcesthat don't even exist except for his making them, and he does it throughboth very ordinary and normal ways and totally unnormal or whatever that were,is and extraordinary ways just to prove his wisdom just so that we would look at the crossand moral at the wisdom of God. Just stand backand marvel at it. So when the world you know stretts around and says, that'snot wisdom, we would just look at them and scoff. I don't know what you're talking aboutthe Lord plant this before the ages for my glory: Every birth, every king, every movementof every plan at every army. Every Angel led up to this moment the moment of the crucifixion of hisson,...

...in which the Lord of Glory wascrucified for our salvation. This demonstrates to us the real wisdomof God, and it reveals to us the knowledge and his plan and his willfor our salvation a will that draws together all theevents and the diversity of the world into a single, coherent and very truestory, a story which he even then uses to change people's hearts to lay asidetheir sin and cling to Jesus Christ. A miracle of miracles. Love of this world can't see past itsown nose. Just pick up a newspaper. It's not thathard to recognize this, but in the gospel of Jesus Christ, inthe revelation of the wisdom of God, give God gives to us a telescope to seefar out into things that are not yet and a microscope to see way down to thedetails of history, and he gives us meaning not only an ability to see and tounderstand the beginning in the end and how all the parts fit together. But he helps us to see how we fit intothat. How all this was done for our glory reflecting and Lee, and a D andredounding back to his glory. He gives us meaning brothers, ansisters. He gives us comfort for this life and the next in his power and inhis wisdom. He gives us hope because of these things in the midst of grief andsin, he gives us strength for times of weakness, and he allows us to standstrong when the world would accuse us and the devil would try to foolish. So put your faith not in the rulers ofthis age, because if you do you'll be doomed right along with them. But put your faith in the Lord JesusChrist and you will be glorified ride along with him. Let's pray and ask that God would dothese things among us.

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