Friday, June 26, 2015

Faith and Foolishness

Chuckle: "When your pet bird sees you reading the newspaper . . . does he wonder why you're just sitting there staring at the carpet?"
Quote: “Remember, the wisdom of God may appear as foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right.” --Thomas S. Monson
Here, Paul quotes Isaiah 29:14 in red, "I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, 'I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas'" (1 Corinthians 1:18-19 NLT).
Authentic Christianity does not minimize the importance of human intelligence, learning, and reasoning. Instead, it assumes that a rational understanding of faith must be infused with the power of God's Holy Spirit. The Spirit reaches to the depths of human souls and causes God's Word to become alive in us. The gospel is "foolishness" only in the sense that unredeemed, unreceptive, and unbelieving people regard it as such. Nowhere in Scripture is an uneducated approach to faith in God ever advocated nor denounced education as unimportant. Human knowledge is not in conflict with the wisdom of God. It simply falls short of the spiritual understanding available to us through Christ.
Many extol the value of human intellect and exalt themselves because of their superior education and personal accomplishments. Still others look for supernatural signs that point them to the truth of God. But divine wisdom is from a different nature than the human intellect and cannot be comprehended without divine assistance and revelation. Those who have been saved by the grace of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, understand that true wisdom comes from God. See James 1:5. God becomes known to us only as He reveals himself and we respond to that revelation in faith. Christ is the ultimate expression of the wisdom of God.
God's redemptive plan comes to the world through the simple message of Jesus Christ. That Christ-centered message becomes the wisdom of God to all those who believe it and commit themselves to Christ in faith. Christian preaching and teaching is built around a set of basic truths of Scripture -- the core tenets of our faith: (1) Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah -- God incarnate in the Son; (2) He lived a victorious and sinless life while doing good here on earth; (3) He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins; (4) He was bodily raised from the dead; (5) He is coming again to end this present evil age; (6) He calls all people to repentance and faith; and (7) He promises forgiveness, redemption, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and eternal life. The world calls these tenets foolishness; but believers know they are God's wise way of leading us to eternal salvation and into a love relationship with him.
"So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world's brilliant debaters? God has made them all look foolish and has shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never find him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save all who believe" (I Corinthians 1:20-21 NLT).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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