Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God


by Mike Ratliff

12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. 14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:12-14 ESV)

18 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. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19 ESV)

What is the preaching of the cross? This is God’s total revelation, the Gospel in all its fullness. This preaching or teaching is centered in the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ. It also includes the entire divine plan and provision for the redemption of sinners. This is the theme of all Sacred Scripture. This teaching is foolishness to those who are perishing. The Greek word that forms “foolishness” here is the root word for our English word “moron.” It means “absurdity.” Those who are perishing see the message of the cross as utter foolishness or moronic or absurd. What does it mean that they are perishing? The Greek word that is translated as “them that perish” is a present participle. It implies continuous or repeated action. Later in v18 we have the term “saved.” It is also a present participle. Continue reading

The Wisdom of This World is Folly With God


by Mike Ratliff

18 Μηδεὶς ἑαυτὸν ἐξαπατάτω· εἴ τις δοκεῖ σοφὸς εἶναι ἐν ὑμῖν ἐν τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, μωρὸς γενέσθω, ἵνα γένηται σοφός. 19 ἡ γὰρ σοφία τοῦ κόσμου τούτου μωρία παρὰ τῷ θεῷ ἐστιν. γέγραπται γάρ· ὁ δρασσόμενος τοὺς σοφοὺς ἐν τῇ πανουργίᾳ αὐτῶν· 20 καὶ πάλιν· κύριος γινώσκει τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς τῶν σοφῶν ὅτι εἰσὶν μάταιοι. (1 Corinthians 3:18-20 NA27)

18 Let no one deceive himself; if anyone supposes himself to be wise among you in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it has been written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness.”  20 and again, “The Lord knows the reasoning of the wise and they are vain.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20 a personal translation from the NA27 Greek text)

I remember it like it was just the other day. It was in the Spring of 2006. I was preparing to teach my Bible Study class on Sunday morning to young couples. There were about 5 in there that were usually there and then another couple that were preparing to be married and a fellow about their age that I didn’t really know. I got ready to start the class. I asked for prayer requests then I prayed. Before I began the young lady who was preparing to be married asked me if she could ask a question. I said, “Sure!” She asked me to tell her what Paul meant in Ephesians 1with the terms “Predestined” and “Elected.” I simply read those passages, put them in context and before I could even begin to give an explanation her fiancé and the fellow who was with them began a tirade. I was never given a chance to explain anything. I finally put my Bible down, gave them the look I used to give the fellows under me in Boot Camp in the Navy and it got real quiet. I asked, “Do you have a problem with me or the Apostle Paul? Perhaps it’s the Holy Spirit who inspired Paul to write this…” By then some of the other people in the class told them to shut up or leave. That was the beginning of the end of my time at the church.  Continue reading

Christ the Power and Wisdom of God


by Mike Ratliff

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1Corinthians 2:12-14 KJV)

As I write this it is early in the investigation of the murders in Colorado this past Sunday at the youth missionary training center and the Mega-Church in Colorado Springs. The speculation I have heard from some close to the investigation is that the attack was one that was centered in a hatred of Christianity. That remains to be seen, but that would not surprise me. I previewed the anti-Christian movie, Zeitgeist last week and was appalled at the lengths some will go to in their war on Christ and Christianity. Continue reading