Acts + Letters Lesson 21 Day 3

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1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16

Questions for Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 21

God made the wisdom of this world look foolish.

6. The message of the cross seems foolish to some.

“To the Jews it is scandal and an offensive stumbling block.” (v. 23 AMPC)

The Jews demanded signs and miracles. Jesus said “eat my flesh” and “drink my blood” referring to the elements of bread and wine which pointed to His human sacrifice for all sin. To the Jews, it can’t get more offensive than that. Because of this stumbling block, they denied all the miracles, signs and wonders including Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

The Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom (v. 22). To them the gospel “is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense.” (v. 23 AMPC)

7. a. Human effort can deprive the cross of its true power. (v. 17)

Human effort—”verbal eloquence” (v. 17 AMPC)

For Christ did not send me to see how many I could baptise, but to proclaim* the Gospel. And I have not done this by the persuasiveness of clever words, for I have no desire to rob the cross of its power. (v. 17 Phillips, emphasis added)

*kay’-roog-mah; from G2784; a proclamation (especially of the gospel; by implication, the gospel itself):—preaching. (Strongs)

Human wisdom—

I will again jolt this people awake
with astonishing wonders upon wonders!
And the wisdom of their wise ones will fail,
and the intelligent know-it-alls will have no explanations. (Isaiah 29:14 TPT)

God’s wisdom—

God made the wisdom of the world look foolish. (v. 20)

Jesus perfectly shows us, in His teaching and life, God’s wisdom. This wisdom is often in contradiction to man’s expectation. True wisdom isn’t about “getting smart.” God’s wisdom is received in and through the person of Jesus. (

Jesus paid it all by giving His life for us. There is nothing we can add to or take away from what He did. This offends the religious people who believe that their good works give them more “pull” with God. And it sounds silly to the non-religious people who don’t understand how offensive their sins are to God and how totally incapable of paying the penalty of sin man is (Romans 6:23). (AWLC)

God’s wisdom is not hidden from His children but for His children. (AWLC)

b. The work of the cross is foolishness to those who are lost*. (v. 18 WEB)

The same Greek word translated perish or dying is sometimes translated lost.

The KJV translates Strong’s G622 in the following manner: perish (33x), destroy (26x), lose (22x), be lost (5x), lost (4x), miscellaneous (2x).

God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world that he might put to shame the things that are strong. (v. 27)

8. a. Only the Holy Spirit knows God’s wisdom.

Holy Spirit searches deep mysteries and is the true teacher.

We need Holy Spirit to activate our spiritual perception so we can understand spiritual things. (v. 14)

b. The mind of Christ

Incredible as it may sound, we who are spiritual have the very thoughts of Christ! (1 Cor. 2:16b Phillips)

In a sense, God has communicated His wisdom in code so that no one can perceive it except those to whom the Holy Spirit reveals it. The Holy Spirit offers God’s wisdom to all people, starting with the revelation of their need for Christ as their Savior. If they receive that truth by putting their faith in Jesus, then they receive the mind of Christ in their hearts (1 Corinthians 2:16). They also receive as much revelation of the things of God as they will believe and receive. If they reject the revelation that the Holy Spirit seeks to give, then God’s wisdom remains a mystery. They are denied access. (AWLC, emphasis added)

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Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.
My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 21 Day 3