“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. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,what God has prepared for those who love him”—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16)
Yesterday I attended the Annual Conference of the North Alabama Conference of the UMC. Dr, Kevin Watson shared with us to began the day with a time of teaching. He used the passages from 1 Corinthians I shared with you above. My morning reflection today is a reflection on his teaching and this passage.
In his teaching, Dr. Watson said that renewal in the church always comes about out of a complete reliance to the Holy Spirit and preceded by repentance and prayer. And our churches today are in a desperate need of revival. The local church is desperate for spiritual leaders. People who know the living God. People who can give witness to what Jesus has done for them and our passionate about that they have a story that needs to be told.
Leaders who faith and knowledge of the living God are forged and flow out of Holy Conferencing. We at ODC call them Bands, some call them accountability or reunion groups. Small, close groups of all men or all women, 3-5 in number, that form a safe and holy connection in which it is ok to say, “I am not fine.” Where members ask each other weekly, “How is it with your soul?” Where this and other honest, searching, questions can be asked and answered and real transformation can take place. A group in which active sins can be confessed so that forgiveness of sin and removal of shame can take place. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:18)
A holy group in which by by talking about our present experiences of God we will grow and prosper in faith and healing of the soul and be transformed by God. A group that is about real transformation, not more information. To experience holiness that is only possible in a holy community. Holy isolation is no more holy than holy adultery. And adultery is not holy. Holiness is social. There is no holiness apart from social holiness.
My family, if you know me at all, you know these words spoken by Dr. Watson are from a shared heart with mine and are the same words I have spoken to you over and over. I was so encouraged to hear them from him, and I pray that you are as well. I pray if you are not in a Band group yet, today you will contact one or two people and set a date and time to begin. Or if you are in a band group already, but Gos has placed it in your heart to mentor another person(s) you will contact them today. In Jesus’ name! Please pray the same for me! God bless you my friends!
Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.