Christ, the Power, and Wisdom of God


     “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1: 22 – 24) While sermons come quickly to mind with the entirety of this text, we have space to concentrate on only one phrase: CHRIST, THE POWER OF GOD, AND THE WISDOM OF GOD.

     Romans 1:16 should come to mind in this study. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Here the inspired apostle Paul states the GOSPEL is the power of God. Did he change his mind when he wrote Corinth? No! He wrote the same truth to every recipient to whom he ever wrote. He states plainly that neither himself nor any other man is permitted to change the gospel of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1: 6 – 10). Therefore, we need to learn the definition of “gospel.” 1 Corinthians 15: 1- 4 will assist this search. (The bible is always its own best dictionary!) Paul informs us the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures, constitute the gospel of Christ Jesus. Therefore, when Paul says, “the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation,” we can be assured it is the same as saying, “Christ is the power of God unto salvation.” As well, Paul tells us salvation is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:10).

     We can increase our understanding of this truth when we read the context of 1 Corinthians 1, beginning at verse 11. Notice Paul’s words: “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” What is preached when one preaches the cross? When one preaches the death of Jesus Christ, he must continue to preach His burial and then express the proof of God’s power by preaching the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (Acts 17:31).

     Put simply, with God demonstrating His power to resurrect His only Son Jesus from the dead, we should know He has the power to raise us up from spiritual death! Indeed, Paul presents this very truth as he writes in Romans 6: 3 – 4, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

     Now examining the wisdom of God, we find Christ is the equality, just as He is regarding God’s power. Because of space limitations, I ask you to read Colossians 1: 24 – 29. Now notice with me verses 27 – 28 in the context: “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” What did God make known to the Gentiles? Answer: “the riches of the glory of this mystery.” Whom did they (Paul and his fellow-laborers) preach as the answer to this mystery? Answer: “Christ … the hope of glory.” What did they preach with warning? Answer: “in all WISDOM … Christ Jesus.” It is in Christ Jesus, through the wisdom of God, that every man may be presented perfect (complete) in Christ. Indeed, those of Colosse who obeyed the gospel of Christ Jesus were told, “And ye are complete in Him … (Colossians 2:10) buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God who hath raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12). That, dear reader, is the POWER and the WISDOM of GOD!

     Unfortunately, many believe otherwise, challenging the power and wisdom of God. Many dismiss the commandment of baptism (i.e. immersion – it says “buried with Him by baptism”) as being “unnecessary.” Let’s see. Romans 6:1-6 clearly shows the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus is exemplified when we die to sin, are buried in baptism, and, by the glory of God, rise to walk in newness of life. Thus, it clearly shows we emulate (pattern our obedience to) the gospel of Jesus Christ. Which part of God’s power can we omit and still have His power revealed? Likewise, we emulate (pattern our obedience to) God’s wisdom. Since God included all three (death, burial, resurrection) in His wisdom, which part can we omit and still have His wisdom?

     Christ is the power and the wisdom of God! We dare not even attempt an alteration of this reality! Instead, we need to carefully examine ourselves, assuring our compliance with the gospel rather than man’s instruction. Without such obedience, we cannot live in Him (Colossians 3:1-17). What an eternal shame to those who refuse to recognize and comply with the power and wisdom of God!