Wisdom of God

Epiphany 5

1 Corinthians 2:1-12

            Many of you are probably aware that this past week, there was an internet only debate between Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and Bill Nye, otherwise known as the Science Guy.  The debate centered on creation as described in Genesis 1-2 as 6 – 24 hour days and evolution as put forth in a variety of manners, all ending with millions of years.

            During the debate, Bill Nye, who was advocating for evolution and millions of years, consistently put himself forth as a reasonable man.  He was a reasonable man who looked at science and came to reasonable conclusions, as opposed to Ken Ham who was unreasonable for believing what the Bible says.  And Nye went on to say that there are reasonable people all over the world who hold views similar to his; the problem was the unreasonable people, like Ken Ham, like me, like you, who do not hold to his world view.

            Such is the plight of worldly wisdom.  Worldly wisdom does not allow for a six day creation; worldly wisdom does not allow for a global flood; worldly wisdom does not allow for a crucified and risen Jesus; worldly wisdom does not allow for a loving and merciful God.

            Worldly wisdom is all about death and decay; worldly wisdom is all about humans living a very finite, very meaningless life on this earth; worldly wisdom is about random chance and about what makes logical sense according to human reasoning.

            Worldly wisdom looks out at the world and determines that some things make sense, and other things do not make sense, based on what science has determined; based on what popular opinion says; based on what courts say; based on what governments say; based on what the human mind can fathom.

            To be a Christian, and especially to be a Lutheran, does not make sense to the human mind.

            It does not make sense to say that life is to be valued from the moment of conception in a world that says people can make their own choices to best meet their own needs.

            It does not make sense to say that marriage is only between a man and a woman in a world that says that you should be with the one you love, regardless of gender.

            It does not make sense to adhere to a faith that in many parts of the world is persecuted, even to the point of death.

            It does not make sense to believe that Baptism saves or to believe that Jesus true body and blood are present in, with, and under the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper.

            It does not make sense to believe that salvation is by grace through faith, without any works on your part.

            But most of all, it does not make sense to believe that Jesus would leave the right hand of the throne of God; come to earth to be born of a virgin; suffer, be crucified and be buried.  And it would never make sense to say that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.

            In the eyes of the world, to believe, teach and confess the words of the Apostle’s Creed, is to admit that you adhere to a world view and belief system that is contrary to what most of the world says.

            To be a follower of Jesus does not make sense in the eyes of the world.

            It does not make sense because science cannot reproduce any of the miracles that Jesus did during His earthly life.  It does not make sense because why would anyone be saved by grace through faith, when you have to pay for everything else.  It does not make sense because why would a book written 2000 years ago have any bearing on your life today.  It does not make sense because why would anyone risk their lives for a system of beliefs.  It does not make sense because this is not how the world works today.

            But you know what really does not make sense?  And I mean absolutely no sense at all, to anyone, not even to you or to me?

            Why would God send His one and only Son into the world, so that He might live on earth surrounded by people who did not understand anything He said; only to be betrayed by one of His closest followers; to stand trial before a corrupt legal system, that ultimately sent Him to His death in the most degrading form; to save a bunch of sinners like you and I?

            That is what does not make sense.  And if you are going to sit here and wonder about the method of creation, or the science behind the resurrection, and how these things could possibly happen; well here is an even bigger mystery for you to ponder: why would God bother with trying to save you, a lost and condemned sinner, not so that you might go back to the beginning and have another chance at keeping the Law perfectly, but so that you might spend eternity with Him?

            The devil makes a compelling argument here.  This is not how things work in the world; so why would they work this way for God?  The devil points to science; he points to opinion polls; he points to the media; he points to people with degrees and television shows and other human forms of recognition; and most of all he points to your sins; and asks you what makes sense?  Death and decay or forgiveness and eternal life?

            Does it make sense that God would just overlook all of those sins?  Or does it make sense that God would punish you severely for disobeying His Word?

            Worldly wisdom leaves you in a place of hopelessness and despair; right where the devil wants you to be; about as far from God as you can imagine.

 

            But there is another kind of wisdom to take into account; a very different wisdom from the wisdom of the world: it is the wisdom of God.

            For the wisdom of the world has misjudged God; He is not a vengeful and hateful God looking to punish those who stray from His Laws; rather He is a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

            He is a God who spared Adam and Eve, even though they broke the simplest of rules they were given to follow.  He is a God who spared Noah and his family, even when He sought to destroy the entire creation.  He is a God who provided for His people in the wilderness, and provided them with a good land, flowing with milk and honey.  He is a God who has spared you, despite your own great and grievous transgressions.

            For as it turns out, the wisdom of God does not look very much like the wisdom of the world at all.  The wisdom of God looks at the Scriptures and says yes, the world was created in 6 – 24 hour days; there was a perfect world before the fall into sin; there was a global flood; there was an Exodus; but more then all of that, there is a promise of a Savior.

            There is a Savior who leaves the right hand of the throne of God to come to earth to redeem you a lost and condemned sinner; not with gold or silver as the world says, but with His holy and precious blood and His innocent suffering and death.

            The wisdom of the world says that does not make sense; but the wisdom of God says that it is.  The wisdom of God says that the death and resurrection of Jesus is a perfect and acceptable sacrifice for your sins; and that it is what brings you back into His holy presence not as lost and condemned, but holy and pure and redeemed.

            The wisdom of God looks at the wisdom of the world; at opinion polls; at laws and regulations; at courts and politicians; and the wisdom of God ignores it all.  The Word of God trumps all that the world says and does, in favor of what God says.

            The wisdom of God says that Baptism saves; that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ; that sins forgiven are sins forgotten; that you have a place prepared for you for eternity in Paradise.

            The wisdom of God says all of this.  It does not make sense to the wisdom of the world; but the Scriptures do not say that the wisdom of God is supposed to make reasonable and rational sense; only that in His wisdom, grace and power, He has done all of this for you, His chosen and beloved child, whom He has called to be His own in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness.

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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