1Corinthians 3:18-23 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.
‘If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.’ This perhaps refers to some man in the congregation who wished to have pre-eminence.
‘He takes the wise in their own craftiness’ – Quoted from Job 5:13. The wisdom of the world is a craft, or subtle trade, which people carry on with others to benefit themselves.
‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.’ Quoted from Psalm 94:11. The wise of the world is always full of schemes and plans for earthly gain, all of which are empty and vain.
Eight characteristics of false wisdom: Bitter envying and strife in the heart (Jas. 3:14, 16). Glory in profession (Jas. 3:14). Earthly, having this life only in view and sensual, living only to satisfy the animal appetites. Devilish, inspired by demons (Jas. 3:15). Confusion and every evil work (Jas. 3:16).
‘Let no man glory in men’ – let no Christian join any human party or take up the cause of any man who divides the body of Christ (Rom. 16:17). Be alert for those who cause divisions and have no religious fellowship with them that the flock may be protected (Php. 3:17).
‘All are yours’ – the idea is that God will cause all things to work together for good to those who love Him, whether they be the world system, life or death, providence now and hereafter, or any other things (Rom. 8:28). While all things are working, God’s providence is working on behalf of those who love God and who walk obediently according to His purpose.