Concordia Theological Monthly

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Homiletical Help


sermon study

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Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


This interesting and timely passage is part of an argument against strife and dissensions which threatened to disrupt the congregation at Corinth. Instead of laying the stress where it properly belonged, on the preaching of Christ Crucified, the Corinthians attached themselves to the personality of the various preachers and extolled the special gifts and characteristics of these men and at the some time despised the other teachers and their adherents to such an extent that they were in danger of losing sight of the unity of the Gospel of Christ, of creating schisms and disruptions. The apostle had called their attention to the fact that Christ was their one and only Savior, v.13. He then brings out in an extended argument that those very matters which they placed foremost, human personality, oratory, learning, etc., were by God studiously neglected in His plan of salvation. Far from taking into consideration human wisdom, God rather conceived His plan of salvation with a view to destroy the wisdom of the wise, v. 19. The apostle had asked, "Where is the wise?" etc., v. 20. Not only cabalistic and sophistic quibblings, even the honest efforts of the world's philosophers to understand God by their own wisdom are futile, yea, made to appear as foolishness by God's plan of salvation. This assertion, made in the form of a rhetorical question, is now proved by the apostle in the opening verse of our Epistle-lesson, which links up with v. 20.


Biblical Studies

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

1 Corinthians 1:21-31; Acts 14:17; Romans 1:19-21; Acts 17:27-28; Isaiah 40:25-28; Matthew 12:41; Luke 11:32; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 15:14; Titus 1:3; 2 Timothy 4:17; Romans 16:25; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Hebrews 11:1; Matthew 18:3-6; John 17:3; Matthew 12:38-39; Matthew 16:1-4; Matthew 24:3; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:16; Mark 29:30; John 2:18; John 4:48; John 6:30; Mark 15:32; Acts 17:21; Romans 15:19; 2 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Acts 26:24-28; Isaiah 8:14; Psalm 104:24; Luke 2:34; Mark 15:29-32; Acts 17:18-32; Acts 24:24-25; Hebrews b 2:14-15; 2 Timothy m 4:18;

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Laity; Ministers; Scholars