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.
20 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? 21 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. 22 For Jews demand
signs and Greeks seek wisdom,23 but we preach Christ
cruciﬁed, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For
the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the
weakness of God is stronger than men.
Craig S. Keener’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians
Like philosophers, Paul can use rhetoric to
denounce abuse of rhetoric. Thus, for example,
he holds attention with antithesis (1:18); citation
of authority (1:19); a series of four rhetorical
questions and the threefold repetition of "where
is ... " (1:2o;29) and ﬁnally in 1:25, antithesis and
paradoxical, ironic oxymorons (God's
"foolishness" and "weakness")."
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put
what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town
as I directed you--6 if anyone is above reproach, the
husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not
open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.7 For
an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He
must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or
violent or greedy for gain,8 but hospitable, a lover of good,
self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.9 He must hold
ﬁrm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be
able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to
rebuke those who contradict it.
26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you
were wise according to worldly standards, not many were
powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose
what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose
what is weak in the world to shame the strong;28 God
chose what is low and despised in the world, even things
that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,29 so that
no human being might boast in the presence of God.
30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who
became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and
sanctiﬁcation and redemption,31 so that, as it is written,
Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.
C. S. Lewis wrote:
It is hardly complimentary to God that we should choose
him as an alternative to hell. Yet even this he accepts.
The creature’s illusion of self-sufficiency must, for the
creature’s sake, be shattered. And by trouble, or fear of
trouble on earth, by crude fear of the eternal flames, God
shatters it, unmindful of his glory’s diminution. I call this
“divine humility”, because it’s a poor thing to strike our
colours to God when the ship is going down under us, a
poor thing to come to him as a last resort, to offer up our
own when it is no longer worth keeping. If God were
proud, he would hardly have us on such terms. But he is
not proud. He stoops to conquer. He would have us even
though we have shown that we prefer everything else to
him, and come to him because there is nothing better
now to be had.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has
come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ
reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation;19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling
the world to himself, not counting their trespasses
against them, and entrusting to us the message of
reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for
Christ, God making his appeal through us.We implore
you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our
sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in
him we might become the righteousness of God.