Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 3

Foolish arguments can seem wise

1 Corinthians 3:18-20

The Christians in the church at Corinth had separated themselves into several groups. One group considered itself loyal to Paul, another to Apollos, another to Peter. But Paul, Apollos and Peter did not set up the groups, and they did not approve. So we may ask why those groups existed.

The members of each group would say that they had made a wise decision. The church leader whom they respected taught more wisely than anyone else. That was what they believed.

But Paul did not agree. He thought that each group was using clever arguments to oppose the other groups. The kind of wisdom that caused those arguments did not come from God (3:4). Instead, it was the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world (2:12). And that kind of wisdom does not help anyone to know God (1:21).

It may seem wise to insist that you are better than anyone else. But God considers those proud attitudes to be foolish. It may seem foolish to depend on Christís death to save you. But God considers that wise (1:23-24).

God knows the truth about peopleís clever thoughts. He knows when those thoughts are just an excuse for proud attitudes. A clever argument that does not give honour to God, achieves nothing good. That kind of wisdom is completely without value.

Someone who is really working for God is not afraid to seem foolish (4:10). Of course, really, such a person is wise, in Godís opinion.

Next part: Christians do not belong to their church leaders (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.