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Sermon #5523

The World by Wisdom Knew not God

A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:21


1 Corinthians 1:21 ESV KJV
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Why has humanity long rejected the truth and wisdom of God? It is because of the arrogance of humanity. People have always wanted to find truth for themselves, just as when Adam reached for the fruit. In the same way, modern people open a philosophy textbook. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 1:21 titled “The World by Wisdom Knew not God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones warns of the dangers of searching for truth apart from Christ. In Corinth, false teachers were denying the miraculous events of the Bible, saying that they cannot be true because they seem unreasonable. They wanted to view Christ as a good teacher rather than as God and Savior. People continually reject the wisdom of God that is revealed in the Bible, nature, and all of history. They turn to their own brain instead of relying on the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the Bible.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul warns the Corinthians against reverting to worldly wisdom and philosophy.
  2. The Corinthians were in danger of ceasing to be Christians by abandoning the Gospel for worldly wisdom.
  3. The Gospel is not based on man's wisdom but on God's wisdom.
  4. The Gospel seems like foolishness to the world but it is God's wisdom.
  5. The world failed to know God through its own wisdom. God allowed the world 4000 years to find Him through wisdom but it failed.
  6. The world's greatest thinkers like Plato and Aristotle failed to find God through wisdom.
  7. The world is without excuse for not knowing God because of creation, providence, history and human nature which reveal God's wisdom.
  8. Man's pride and confidence in his own intellect caused his failure to know God. Man wants to judge and assess God as an equal.
  9. Christ came because the world did not know God and lacked fellowship and communion with God.
  10. Christ came because it pleased God according to His good pleasure and love. God was moved by nothing but His own will.
  11. Christ came to reveal God's wisdom in a way that seems like foolishness to the world. The incarnation and the cross seem foolish but are God's wisdom.
  12. Christ came to save those who believe by forgiving them, reconciling them to God and giving them eternal life in knowing God.
  13. We should not try to understand the incarnation, virgin birth, atonement and resurrection but accept them by faith. We will never fully understand them.
  14. We should worship and praise God for doing the impossible in sending Christ to save us.

Sermons on Wisdom

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.