25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 1 Cor. 1:25-31
Although we are particularly thick-headed, yet verse 25 is trying to tell us something. In the natural state of affairs, everything, man included, wants to go only up. We grow up, not down! But in the Spirit, we are to take the opposite route. We are to go down. We go down with Jesus. We are to accept to be weak and foolish in this world. Philippians 2:5-8 says:
“5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Now, we cannot hope to fathom the weakness and folly that attended Jesus’s actions here. The folly and weakness – the denial of self – that He exhibited here is incomprehensible to the human mind. But we are to follow Christ in worldly weakness and foolishness.
Notice, now, verses 27 and 28. Why would God choose the foolish things of this world, and the weak, and the base and despised? And why does the Bible expressly state that
“not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called”?
Maybe God does not like problems. And, in the natural course of things, educated people and the rich and those with positions are, to say the least, a bit of a problem. They know things; they have things. It is very difficult for man to humble himself, so these kinds of people tend to be a bit dificult. Scripture declares:
“Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” (1 Cor. 8:1)
It is no secret also that most white people have a superior view of themselves against other races. Whether rightly so or not, that sort of thing ought not to happen in the church. But the cold fact is that the minute natural man latches onto something, he wants to use it to elevate himself. The Bible says so.
That is why, when the authority of Christ is not in the church, men bring titles and everything else of the world into the church. But where the authority of Christ is at work, no one wants to be recognized for who they are. Rather, God’s people will desire only to reveal the fruit of the Spirit through the cross working in them. This was the singular thing the Apostle Paul desired to have in his life.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Gal. 6:14)
Paul counted anything he might have had in the natural as dung! In Philippians 3:7-8 he writes:
“7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”.
Paul had a lot to lose in the natural. But he realized that these things are of no value in the Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit matters!
Is God really against the wise of this world, and the moneyed and them who have positions?
The answer, unfortunately, is yes. God wants the people He has called not to glory in these things. God does not want you waving your Ph. D in church. Go throw that in the dustbin and bring your circumcised heart into the church!
God wants us to glory in the things of the Spirit. But the flesh craves the glory of this world.
But… are we really weak when we accept to follow Christ in His weakness?
No, we are not. The Bible says of the exact moment that Jesus died on the cross,
“51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Mat. 27:50-53)
Great power attended Jesus’s shameful death.
It is the same with us. Great power attends a righteous man’s death. In weakness, we release great power in the Spirit. And in worldly folly, we become wise in the Spirit.
It has been one of the greatest privileges for me to minister amongst people who have little worldly education or wealth in central Tanzania.
It is wonderful to see how quickly faith builds up in such people, and to see the humility of their hearts.
[One of the purest sources of joy in my life is working with these humble men of God]