The Wisdom of the World
A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 3:18-20
18Take care that no one deceives himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the sight of God. For it is written: “He is the one who catches the wise by their craftiness”; 20and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are useless.”
18Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
One must ask themselves if they are wise by worldly standards and if they understand life’s fundamental issues. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 3:18–20 titled “The Wisdom of the World,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones addresses worldly wisdom in light of Paul’s words to the Corinthians. The world has rejected the gospel for centuries, and its rejection of the gospel is nothing new. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a complete contrast to what humans think of themselves by nature. Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches that humanity always seeks to advance itself and improve itself. The gospel, in contrast, knows that humankind needs rebirth, and this must be done by the Spirit. The gospel cannot be changed or modified, since it is perfect and complete in every way. The fundamental problem with humankind’s solutions, Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches, is that humankind’s solutions originate in the human mind. God’s solution transcends human reason and offers the only hope for humanity’s salvation. Dr. Lloyd-Jones mentions that H.G. Wells, a popular author and philosopher, had his own philosophical solutions, but still was devastated by the reality of World War II, and extremely destitute at the end of his life. A person can only be made wise after admitting they are a fool.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.