Stop Being Deceived

1 Corinthians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:51
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Fool’s Gold

What do you do when you realize that what you’ve been collecting is fool’s gold?
Don’t be a fool. Stop collecting it and get rid of it.
That’s what Paul wants the Corinthians to do with the wisdom that they’ve been pursuing.

No Comparison

Believers have a unique reason to be unimpressed with the wisdom of this world.
In other words, the wisdom of this world does not compare to what believers have in Christ.

Make Your Choice

Paul has been criticizing human wisdom and commending God’s wisdom.
Now, Paul is making a final call to the Corinthians to make the choice - with reinforcement, he is sort of drawing a conclusion here.
There are 3 imperatives here (“deceive” and “become” in verse 18, and “boast” in verse 21), which demand a response.
The first one is clarified in the second two...

How should they avoid deceiving themselves? (vv. 18-20)

Become a fool (vv. 18).
Which is the opposite of what they are doing - “If any man…thinks.”
1 Corinthians 8:2If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.”
1 Corinthians 11:16If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.”
Galatians 6:3 “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”
They must do the exact opposite - become a fool according to the world…in the wisdom of the the world.
So, worldly wisdom can be deceptive, so it it therefore tempting to follow.
Notice the put off/put on principle here - when there is conflicting “wisdom.”
They needed to apply this principle to Paul’s preaching and teaching (1 Corinthians 2:1–7).
Often the wisdom of this world will be in direct conflict with the wisdom of God.
The believer will then often need to think, say, and do what is foolish to the world but wise to God.
How can the believer know? How can the believer make the right choice? The wisdom of God is revealed in the word of God.
Why should they become a fool? (vv. 19-20).
In order to choose God (v. 19a).
Paul quotes from Job 5:13 and Psalm 94:11 to support the fact that the wise of this world are no match for God’s wisdom.
When God chooses to “catch” someone, none of their “craftiness” will help them get away from God (v. 19b).
God literally knows all of their thoughts and the reality of their thoughts. (v. 20).
So then we are choosing between God and the “wise” of this world. This is a choice of WHO.

Why should they avoid exalting their leaders? (vv. 21-23)

Here is a sort of summary reasoning for repenting of their prideful divisiveness...
1 Corinthians 1:10–12 “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.””
1 Corinthians 1:29 “so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:31 “so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.””
Paul draws their attention to what they have in Christ - TOGETHER (vv. 21-22).
This is a mini summary of Romans 8:28–39. God is using all things for them.
And they are ONE in Christ (v. 23). Just as they are OF Christ, Christ is OF God…therefore they are also OF God. Just as Christ is OF God, you are OF Christ. Just as Christ is UNITED with God, you are UNITED with Christ.
So then, saying that they are OF any human being is sort of pathetic by comparison.
Remember Who you belong to and therefore what you have - It is ALL for them ALL.
This should motivate them to unity and to choose the wisdom of gain the wisdom of God.
So, don’t be self-deceived.
Being deceived is thinking the wrong way when you don’t have to.
The potential for self-deception demands the need for self-evaluation.

Worldly Thinking vs. Word Thinking

The degree of your worldly thinking (human wisdom) is directly related to the degree of your word thinking (God’s wisdom).
So we must be constantly putting off and putting on in this area, because we are so susceptible to human thinking.
So, how do we choose the wisdom of God. By choosing to read and remember the word of God. It is tempting to feel that spending time in God’s word is irrelevant to your life, and therefore optional.
Benediction: 2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
Scripture Reading: Psalm 94
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