“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect). 18 For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 AMP
The power of the Gospel – the power to save; the power to heal; the power to deliver; the power to fill with the Holy Ghost – is in the message of the Gospel. It is not in the style of delivery or the eloquence of the speaker! Those who are on their way to hell think that the story and message of the cross are ridiculous, but to those who believe it have experienced and are experiencing the power of God. Salvation is an ongoing process. It starts with the new birth and continues on with the renewal of the mind and the process of healing and restoration in every aspect of your being.
For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing. 20 Where is the wise man (the philosopher)? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? Has not God shown up the nonsense and the folly of this world’s wisdom? 21 For when the world with all its earthly wisdom failed to perceive and recognize and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [salvation, procured by Christ and to be had through Him], to save those who believed (who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him). 1 Corinthians 1:19-21 AMP
For generations, men have tried to discover God and Truth through philosophy – in vain. The more they try to figure things out themselves, the more dead ends they run into. The more they try to figure God out, the less they know of Him; the closer they try to get to Him, the further away they move from Him; the more they try to simplify God, the more complicated He becomes to them. The power of the Gospel is in its simplicity, but its simplicity has become a stumbling block to many. Many, many men have rejected the Gospel because, in their minds, it was too simple. God made it simple enough that even a child could receive it and believe it! Jesus said that we should become as little children if we want to enter the kingdom of God (Luke 18:17).
For while Jews [demandingly] ask for signs and miracles and Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom, 23 We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense. 24 But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 AMP
Religious Pharisees claim that they are always looking for one more sign or one more miracle before they believe that something is real. The truth is that they won’t believe even though the evidence is before them. They have already made up their minds. Unsaved, “educated” people won’t accept it because they think its all ridiculous nonsense. They won’t even give it a chance. They judge everything by what they can see, and what they see has been shaped by what they already believe. They find no use for faith. Neither of these two opinions will humble themselves to admit that they could possibly be wrong and that they don’t actually know everything.
[This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27[No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
29 So that no mortal man should [have pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God. 30 But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin]. 31 So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:25-31 AMP
God does not use those of whom the world approves or whom they admire. He uses those who have no reason to boast, so that only His glory should be displayed, and He tells us that if anyone thinks he has a reason to boast, let it be a boast of what God alone has done!