“God sacrificed Himself to Himself to save us from Himself.” Many unbelievers say this in mocking, but it’s quite accurate. According to the Bible, the perfectly just God, Creator of the universe, and Source of all goodness came in the flesh, died, and resurrected to save humanity from the death and eternal condemnation that everyone earned by rebelling against the perfectly just God (Rom 3:19–26). As the apostle Paul observed, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8 ESV).
Everyone’s perception of the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross is shaped by that person’s view of God’s justice and love in addition to one’s perception of Jesus as the Christ and his being the exact imprint of God. One cannot understand God with an agnostic, negative and, or distorted view of God. As in the first century, it is true today that Christ being crucified is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Cor 1:22–23). Paul noted, “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” (1 Cor 1:18).
The world does not know God through its own wisdom (1 Cor 1:21). God has made foolish the wisdom of the world by sending Jesus Christ. The wisdom of Christ being crucified bypasses all axioms of philosophy that humanity has discovered. That is why the preaching of the gospel is so powerful and often frustrating for its enemies. Jesus bypasses the wisdom of the world and He points directly to God. What is the wisdom of the world as compared to God’s wisdom? No scholar or debater can stand before God (1 Cor 1:20). The Scriptures teach that all wisdom and knowledge are in Jesus Christ (Col 2:3). Christians need to know this so as not to be deluded by persuasive arguments (Col 2:4, 8).
Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God for those who are called by God (1 Cor 1:24). The gospel of Christ is wisdom from the Holy Spirit and the power of God for salvation (1 Cor 2:4; cf. Rom 1:16). Those rejecting Christ are hard in heart and their perception of reality is blind. They refuse to consider reality by the wisdom of God. If they would look through the lens of a biblical view of God, they could then begin to see God. If they would perceive by the gospel, then they could see the power of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. By seeing the power of the gospel, then they could perceive the love and justness of God fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The world lacks the wisdom of God by their own perspective, but Christians have God’s wisdom in Christ to proclaim and enlighten those who would hear.
Faith comes by hearing the gospel (1 Cor 1:21; cf. Rom 10:14–17). Romans 3 and 5 reports the effective purpose of Jesus’s sacrificial death and resurrection. Christians can study to tell others how to unite with Christ in death by repentance, burial by baptism, and resurrection by a new life and hope of eternal life (Rom 6:1–7). No argument can stand against the wisdom of God.
Do you know the power and wisdom of God? The faithful teach the wisdom of God to our family and friends, so they see why many do not understand Christ’s sacrifice and the Creator of the universe (1 Cor 2:14). Many don’t know the wisdom of God and many don’t care including those sitting in Sunday pews. People deceive themselves when they deny the wisdom of God (1 Cor 3:18). They are agnostic of God and of Christ. Those rejecting God are suppressing the truth about God by unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). However, this is no excuse because God has plainly revealed Himself to everyone in His creation (Rom 1:19–20). For this reason, Paul proclaimed a correct, positive, and reasonable view of God to the philosophers of Athens (Acts 17:14–31). God is not far from anyone, so all can seek and find God (Acts 17:26–27; cf. Matt 7:7). For this reason, the faithful warn everyone that the nations will be judged by the gospel (Rom 2:16; cf. 6:23; 2 Cor 5:11). The faithful have the promise of receiving God’s wisdom by prayer (Jas 1:5).
Thank God for He has given us His wisdom in the powerful message of Christ crucified and resurrected.