Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come—all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. (1 Corinthians 3:18-23)
The Wisdom Of The World
There are many things humanity has accomplished in the past thousands of years. From the pyramids of Egypt to the great wall in China and present-day technologies placing men on the moon and machines on Mars, human wisdom has vaunted itself as a power of dominion over the world. God instilled in the mind of His creation an incredible tool of knowledge to take possession of the world given to him to subdue. Sadly, the wisdom offered by the Divine to man has been his downfall. The world of Noah rejected the word of God for the wisdom of the flesh and perished. Building the tower of Babel was an example of how impressive the wisdom of united men had become but through a single act of dividing tongues, the Creator subdued man. There is a habitation that limits the knowledge of man, and God is the one who draws the line.
Knowledge has always caused problems when men fail to seek the wisdom of God. In creation, the Lord created knowledge, giving men the ability to accomplish great things. His failing has always been that rather than using the knowledge to glorify his Maker, he has used his knowledge to promote himself. Measuring wisdom by the standards of the world exalts the spirit of pride. Proper understanding is when the heart of man sees humanity’s foolishness compared to God’s word. What can man accomplish that is greater than God? Building the tower of Babel would be a great feat, but how does that compare to the multitude of stars that fill the night sky? A man can marvel at the small shiny reflection of the International Space Station as it passes overhead in the canopy of the night sky and remark at how smart man has become to place men in space. But what of the untold number of stars that surround it – how can the wisdom of man match the starry hosts?
Paul warns the Corinthians the wisdom of men is foolishness, divisive, and the root of trouble. Pride comes before the fall when men think they stand taller than angels. The greatest feat accomplished by humanity is microbiologically insignificant to everything God has done. His creation resounds with His wisdom. Science bursts forth with the evidence of the power of God. Nature is a symphony of divine design. The word of God is unparalleled in the writings of men. Nothing compares to the message of the Bible that has remained unchanged and unmoved. The word of God traps the wisdom of men in a snare of their own cleverness. God knows the mind of man, and they are worthless. Why would a man boast about anything? Do not the angels amuse themselves with the pride of men?
The Corinthians were trying to elevate the wisdom of men above God. Paul admitted he was only a man, as was Apollos. These men were servants of the Lord. They had no desire to be exalted by human standards. Their humility was found in the willingness to teach the word of God to glorify the Father. They did not seek elevation in the company of human wisdom. Their preaching was Christ crucified and nothing else. Preaching the wisdom of the world would deny the character of the Son of God. True wisdom comes when one accepts the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The only knowledge that saves is found in Jesus Christ. It is easy for men to seek a higher plane with self-glory, but the true disciple of Christ will seek the well-being of others, desiring the betterment of their fellow man above themselves and putting Jesus Christ first in all things. Glory in no one but Christ and, in so doing, glorify God.