The Foolishness of Preaching
1 Corinthians 1:18-21, “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. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 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.”
The word of the cross is folly to the world. Preaching the Gospel to others? That seems foolish. We have been discussing the Church on Sunday evenings, and we have been discussing the differences between “evangelism” and “apologetics” on Wednesday evenings.
The message of salvation has always been folly to the world. The world rejects truth. Paul says here in 1 Corinthians that “It pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” For much of the history of the Church, the Church (corporate) has been the agent of Salvation. God working through ordinary means and the spread of the Gospel as Churches are planted around the world and Pastors and Missionaries sent out into the far corners of the earth.
Many in the modern world reject the corporate nature of the Church, and the foolishness of preachers preaching a message that seems foolish to the world. Instead we tend to think individualistically. We don’t think of the body of Christ being entrusted with the message of salvation. Instead, undue pressure is placed upon the individual to evangelize. Yet we don’t find that individual call in Scripture. Preaching is old fashioned. We tend think of gimmicks or methods in order to strive to better reach the lost than the simple preaching of the Gospel.
Interested in reaching the lost for Christ? We don’t need to develop better strategies, but simply do what the Church has done best for 2000 years: just be the Church. Invite someone to come and sit under the proclamation of God’s Word. Pray that God would add to His kingdom those who hear His truth. Pray that our church would be effective in sharing the Gospel as we practice these ordinary means week after week.
The Church has been commissioned to make disciples, not converts. We are seeking that people would be added, by God, to God’s family. We desire that God’s kingdom would expand here and abroad.
Continue to be present for the preaching of God’s Word, and invite others to join you. Pray for missionaries as they spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ by preaching in foreign lands. Pray for mission works as new Churches are planted in our country. Pray for your Pastor as He teaches and shares God’s Word. Pray that more laborers would be added to the mission field. May we thank God for the wisdom of His Church.