Destroy… and Bring to Nothing…

1Corinthians 1:18-20 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 

‘Preaching’ [Greek: logos] meaning word. It is used 330 times with 3 main ideas of expression: In respect to speech: a word (Jas. 3:2); saying (Matt. 19:22); discourse (2Cor. 10:10); doctrine (1Tim. 6:3; 2Tim. 1:13); treatise (Acts 1:1); report (John 21:23); and discussion by which the inward thought is expressed (Heb. 4:2). In respect to the mind alone: the reasoning powers (Heb. 4:12). In respect to a person: the essential living Word of God (John 1:1, 14; 1Jn. 1:1; 5:7; Rev. 19:13); the embodiment of an expression of all wisdom and prudence (Eph. 1:8; 1Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:3)

Logos has to do with a concept, an idea; the Greek word rhema has to do with the expression of that idea in proper, intelligent, and grammatical form in words and sentences.

‘Foolishness’ [Greek: moria] silly, absurd, foolish. Only in 1 Corinthians 1:18, 21, 23; 2:14; 3:19.

‘Us which are saved’ – For us who are being saved, salvation has a present and future aspect (Rom. 13:11; Php. 2:12; 1Thes. 5:8-9; 2Tim. 1:9; 3:15; 4:18; 1Pet. 1:5).

‘It is the power of God’ – the preaching of Christ, the gospel, and the cross save the souls of people (1Cor. 1:18-24; Rom. 1:16).

‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.’ This is the 1st Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in 1 Corinthians (Isa. 29:14). The characteristics of human wisdom, which is mostly false, are as follow: There is always bitter envying and strife in the heart (Jas. 3:14, 16); they glory in their profession (Jas. 3:14) and not in God (1Cor. 10:31); it is earthly, having only this life in view; it is sensual, living only to satisfy the animal appetites; it is devilish, inspired by demons (Jas. 3:15); it brings confusion and every evil work (Jas. 3:16). The characteristics of divine wisdom are: It is pure-chaste, holy and clean; peaceable (Heb. 12:14); gentle-meek, modest, and kind; easily entreated – not stubborn or obstinate, but yielding to others; full of mercy – always forgiving and performing acts of kindness; full of good fruits (Gal. 5:22-23); without partiality – having no respect of persons (Jas. 2:1-10) and without hypocrisy – open, honest, genuine, and true.

‘Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?’ this is the 2nd Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in 1 Corinthians (Isa. 33:18).

‘World’ [Greek: aion] age. The age was one of speculation (Acts 17:21). The word for “disputer” in Hebrew is darshan (from darash), and in Greek: suzetetes, meaning propounder of questions; the seeker of allegorical, mystical, metaphysical, and cabalistic interpretations of the Scriptures by Jewish rabbis and Greek philosophers.