Useful Bible Studies > 1 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 1

The limit of human intelligence

1 Corinthians 1:19-21

The Bible is not against science. In fact, the Bible encourages people to study our world carefully (for example, Job chapter 39; Ecclesiastes 1:13). However, the Bible does insist that human intelligence, like everything else in the world, has a limit (Psalm 119:96; 1 Corinthians 13:9).

We see that limit whenever intelligent people cannot believe in God. All their education has failed even to show them that God exists. They may be very wise, but in this most important matter, they are no better than fools (Psalm 53:1).

God does not just want people to know that he exists. He wants to save people from their evil deeds, from the devil’s power, and from death and hell. Human wisdom and intelligence cannot save people from any of these things. So God chose a method that people consider foolish. That method is the message about Christ’s death on the cross, which Christians call the ‘Gospel’ (the ‘good news’).

God did not want only to save the most intelligent people. So he did not choose a message that only intelligent people can understand. You do not need great knowledge about the world before you can benefit from God’s message. But you do need to believe God and to trust him.

Jesus said that a person must become like a little child in order to enter heaven (Mark 10:15). Even little children realise that they have done wrong things against God. They can understand that, at his death, Christ suffered the punishment for their evil deeds. They are often ready to pray and to invite God into their lives.

It is very sad when older and wiser people do not do the same.

Next part: How Christ’s death shows God’s wisdom and power (1 Corinthians 1:22-24)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.