How would you fix things?
How would you go about addressing failing economy, the war, and jobs going overseas? Or how would you go about fixing the divided church, rampant error in the blogosphere and the constant temptation to become lax in your ways?
Maybe if we could implement a solid system; something really powerful to address all the weaknesses we’re dealing with. Perhaps some sort of watchers to ensure doctrinal purity in all spheres of life ; maybe remove all the garbage from the walls, error from the internet, theological mistakes, American Evangelicalism and errors with how to view God’s Word.
Look at the Church of Corinth. Messed up, right? How would you deal with them?
How does Paul deal with Corinth’s divisions? A unifying program? Going back to first century principles? A synod?
People are forming factions along various lines. People line up behind personalities stating who they enjoy the most. Others are lining up along doctrinal distinctive and looking down at their brothers and sisters. And yet there was another crowd, looking down their royal noses and saying “We are neither—we are of Christ.”
Paul stops them and asks: “what’s wrong with you?”
Crazy Corinth—dividing over personalities or doctrinal distinctives. Other churches may have these sorts of problems, following their leaders and dividing over it; but not us: we’ve got it right. Scriptural Principles. The Principles of God’s Church. We don’t follow in the names of our leaders; divide over doctrinal issues; tow the party line for whatever denomination, branch or non-denomination or movement of Christianity we belong (or once belonged) to.
We, we individually say, are of Christ.
Is Christ cut up? Did Peter die for us? Paul? Darby? Were we baptized in Paul’s Name? Luther’s Name? Rome’s Name?
Our identification is not in positions of power or theological principles (I know, labels are necessary for understanding—but that’s not the point of this post). Take this to heart: the name we were baptized in was a name that was ridiculed, scorned, rejected and killed. The message we preach is one of a bloodied man, publically humiliated and privately vindicated.
Our message is utter stupidity to those who are dying. How?
Here we are, a sovereign nation, who has been personally attacked. If you were President you would justified in launching an attack at the nation that dared raise its fist against us. Power would be enforced and their utter stupidity would be proven
In Isaiah 29, God promised to destroy the wisdom of the wise and set aside the cleverness of the clever. God has done this very thing, states Paul (1 Cor 1). The wise man stands with his mouth stupidly hanging open. The Logician isn’t to be found. The wisdom of the world has been turned upside down and emptied. Poured out when they killed their savior.
God, in His wisdom enforced power by displaying abject weakness and a (seemingly) stupid message. Christ, the King of the Jews, the Hammer Bearer of God, the one who would destroy all principalities and powers has come and was crucified on a tree: cursed. Trust Him. The Dead Man, who is alive now, who couldn’t save Himself will no save you. The Jews don’t have a category for a Crucified and Cursed King; the Gentiles think it’s stupid for the powerful to display weakness.
The stupidity of God, is still higher than the highest wisdom of men; the weakness of God is still stronger than the strongest of men. Let that sink in. It’s purposefully offensive (1 Cor 1:25).
A Crucified God-Man is a message to the world screaming “Not your wisdom, not your power, not your solutions. This how your world treats its salvation! ”
Look around you. Note the people who believe this message. People who have acknowledged their abject weakness, who have crumbled under the weight of realizing that they have no strength to save anyone much less themselves. People emptied of themselves clinging to their only hope.
There is absolutely no reason for any of us to get proud in our power or position or presentations or planning or paraphernalia. We will not fix anything. Yes, we’re an influence of salt and light in this world—we are to expose the world of its position in all its senses. Yes, we’re to remain in the calling in which we stand; exposing the world in our situation in which we are found.
But The Ultimate Solution is not, and never has been, Our Solution.
Whereas we would use shock and awe to break a foreign power; God, sends His son to preach and die and so doing condemns the foreign nation and makes a way possible for anyone within that nation to be saved from His impending wrath. Mosquitoes don’t last beyond a fraction of a second on our royal brow; but God does whatever He pleases and He choose to suffer for us. The Gospel is altogether a message of abject weakness for the purpose of powerfully changing the entire universe.
How do we fix things?
We pause. Realize our position and the true solution to all of this is found in God Himself. Empty our pride and note that our boast is in the Lord who proved us all foolish.
Not to Us, blessed God: but to your name be The Glory. (Psalm 115)