October 27, 2018
READ: 1 Corinthians 3:1-23
For our benefit God made [Jesus] to be wisdom itself (1:30).
A woman’s dog ventured out towards the water on the coast of New Zealand. Trailing behind him, the dog’s owner found herself in a ‘sticky’ situation, sinking inmud up to her waist and unable to move. Thankfully, rescue officers were able to lay a ladder down across the muck and pull her to safety. Later, an official issued a warning, pointing out that the depth of the mud was “quite deceptive”.
The Bible says that people can be trapped in a different kind of ‘mud’—their own murky sense of ‘wisdom’ and cleverness (1 Corinthians 3:19). This was one of the problems Paul addressed in his letter to the believers in Corinth. These converts lived in an area where philosophy and worldly wisdom were greatly admired (1:20). Although Paul was well-acquainted with popular thought (Acts 17:28), he wanted his brothers and sisters in Christ to know that God’s wisdom would always outrank that of popular speakers and scholars (1 Corinthians 3:19).
Perhaps this cultural fascination with thinkers and debaters bled over into the church. The Corinthian believers had separated themselves into groups based on their preferred preachers. Some favoured Apollos, while others liked Paul’s approach (v.4). But Paul pointed out that both he and Apollos were “only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News” (v.5).
Jesus’ good news brought the Corinthian believers together and led them to leave behind their worldly thinking. It’s the same for us today. Whatever may threaten to divide us—politics, opinions on world events or the latest feel-good philosophies—can’t surpass the authority of Christ. “God has united us with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself” (1:30).
365-day plan: Acts 12:1-25
Read Ephesians 1:16-18and consider how wisdom can help us grow in our knowledge of God.
What muddy thinking has affected your view of God and your unity with other believers in Jesus? How can you better pursue the wisdom that comes from God?