Purpose: This study will show the stark contrast between the world’s wisdom and God’s wisdom and help you understand that you need to make a choice between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world.
- 1 Corinthians 1:18-20. Everyone wants to know “How can I really live?” This passage spells out two fundamental ways to answer this question. The world’s wisdom or God’s wisdom. How does man in his wisdom view God’s wisdom (the cross)? How does God view man’s wisdom? Can we have it both ways? If you think I am a fool and I think you are a fool, what will our relationship be like? Establish the wide gulf in the two ways of viewing and living life. (Other Scripture: Isaiah 55:8)
- 1 Corinthians 3:18-20. Why does Paul say, “Do not deceive yourselves?” There is something about the world’s wisdom that is deceiving. It is easy to convince ourselves that what we want to believe, what is comfortable, what is familiar, is right. . (Other Scripture: Luke 16:15)
- Matthew 16:13-17. What kind of man was Peter? Was he religious? He certainly gets a right answer here. According to Jesus, where does this answer come from?
- Matthew 16:21-23. What does “Peter rebuked him” mean? Peter thought he was seeing things God’s way, but in reality he was still on the side of the world’s wisdom. We can know the right answers and still be living according to the wisdom of the world. What was Jesus’ response? Where does the world’s wisdom really come from? From Satan. No wonder it is the opposite of God’s wisdom. (. (Other Scripture: James 4:4)
- Before we go on: What is the “world’s wisdom”? If you asked a person who is street smart or the person on Wall Street or just a person who watches a lot of TV, what is at the heart of the world’s wisdom about how to live? “Look out for number one.” “Get what you want.” “Get the power, the pleasure, the control you want.” “Get the money.” “Protect yourself.” “Guard your rights.” “Maintain your independence.” And so what is at the center of man’s wisdom? Self! (See 2 Timothy 3:2.)
- Matthew 16:24-26. What is Jesus’ message? How is it the opposite of the world’s message? (1) Deny self – “disown” (Matthew 26:34). We renounce our old self, our old approach to life. (2) Take up the cross (instrument of death). Die to ourselves. (3) Follow Jesus. Make his life our model. Jesus life is a demonstration of his message. What does Jesus say will be the bottom line for those who “save their own lives”? For those who foolishly lose their lives for him?
- Final thought. What is everything on the left side (world’s wisdom) called? Sin. What is everything on the right side (God’s wisdom) called? Love. (See diagram) How have you lived according the world’s wisdom? Have you ever made a decision to renounce it? Which side was Peter still on (though he was religious)? Which side are you on? During the next few days pay attention to your thoughts. Which side?