1 Corinthians 1:17-25

Consider 1 Corinthians 1:17-25 (WEB),

17) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Good News—not in wisdom of words, so that the cross of Christ wouldn’t be made void. 18) For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19) For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing." 20) Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21) For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn’t know God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe. 22) For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom, 23) but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, 24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God; 25) because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

The Bible says that God is so wise that his "foolishness" is wiser than our "wisdom" and that his "weakness" is stronger than our "strength."  Since this is in the Bible, Christians would all agree with the words above.

Now suppose God used his foolishness and weakness to expose our foolishness and weakness to remind us of our utter dependency upon him for salvation, and that we are saved by grace and not saved even by our understanding or our choices.

How does this relate to our current discussion?  No doubt there are many that are beginning to dispute the propositions of this short book.  I do not fault your reaction.  It certainly is a radically different approach than the more commonly accepted views of Arminianism and Calvinism.  Yet, my proposition does not fit neatly into common Universalism, either.  Many Universalists wrongly teach that there is no punishment after death for the unbeliever or that unbelievers are punished temporarily in the Lake of Fire.  However, I understand that unbelievers are punished after death in Hades, but that no human being will ever enter the Lake of Fire.  Based on the preceding reasoning from Scripture, I believe that ALL mankind, every individual descendant of Adam and Eve, is deeply loved by God and will certainly be saved from the Lake of Fire by the electing grace of God alone.

You may ask why God did not make it clearer.  Why are not more aware of this good news?  God has made his love for ALL mankind quite clear, but his message is obscured by our hypocrisy and turning Christ into yet another religion.  Perhaps the wisdom of God knows best how to lead us sinners from our darkness and dread fear into the glorious light of his salvation.  Perhaps he does not want to cast these pearls before those whose hearts are not ready.  Perhaps since he has already made eternal salvation from condemnation for all his chosen people a certainty, his focus is now transformational salvation from sin and our hatred of our God.  He has won the decision in the courtroom of Heaven, but now intends to win the decision in each of our hearts.  Perhaps we cannot know why God did not make it clearer.

You may also ask why God did not just settle all this earlier in history.  That is an excellent question as we consider how God has given us additional pieces of revelation throughout history.  Adam and Eve did not even have a Bible, but only the verbal promise that someone was coming, a deliverer.  Prophets came and brought the Word of the Lord, the Old Testament, but they were not the deliverer.  One day John the Baptist came and announced that someone was here, the deliverer had arrived -- Jesus Christ.  His disciples gave us the New Testament.  God's word concludes with the words that someone is coming again.  The Lord Jesus Christ will return in power and great might for the final salvation of all his people.  Until then, we seek to understand his holy Word and obey him as we wait for his return.

Hopefully I have gently exposed the religiosity and hypocrisy that can be found in both Arminianism and Calvinism.  The exposure of sin is essential for healing.  Doctors cannot heal without a diagnosis, and Christ cannot remove our sin without grabbing the root and pulling it out.  That is painful.  Yet sin must be pulled out if we are to continue to grow in Christ-likeness and to live for him and others, fully confident in his grace for all.