Sometimes, Christian thought is simply portrayed as opposite to the ways of “the world” (cf. 1 John 2:15-17; James 4:4). On other occasions the authors of the NT specifically refer to a clash between Christian and Greek ideas. In our text, for example, Paul contrasts “the word of the cross” with the “wisdom of this age.” By the “word of the cross” Paul means preaching Christ’s death as the only atonement for man’s sins. Only those who repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord will be redeemed. How different from “the wisdom of the world,” the vain attempts by Greek “wise men,” “scribes,” and “debaters” to find paths to salvation based on human wisdom.
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1:18). Just this thought this morning: The world simply does not understand. It cannot understand, and it won’t understand. How foolish some friends and fellow workers and family members must think we are. But the cross is everything, and by that I mean Jesus Christ and all he has done for us and all that he is to us.
When I survey the wond’rous Cross
On which the Prince of Glory dy’d,
My richest Gain I count but Loss,
And pour Contempt on all my Pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the Death of Christ my God . . . –Isaac Watts (1707)