“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 message of the Gospel is so simple, so powerful, and so anointed that it does not need to be preached with fancy words in order to be effectively communicated to people. People whose hearts are not open to the Gospel story think that it is absurd nonsense, but those who have opened their hearts to the Gospel and received it, through faith, have seen and experienced the manifestation of the power of God.
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
God cannot be found in the multitude of man’s philosophy. Philosophy is a product of the human brain – the carnal mind. They see the Gospel as mere foolishness. The more they try to understand God, the less they do understand Him. The carnal mind is an enemy of God. Romans 8:6-7 AMP says, “Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.” Unless you approach the Gospel with an open mind and a heart of faith, you will never receive it or understand it. Philosophy wants to figure it out and understand it before it believes it, but faith simply receives and accepts it as it is, and therefore understands it.
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. 25[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.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25 AMP
Unbelief will blind your eyes to the truth. The Jews had already decided how the Messiah would come and what He would do. Because of their preconceived ideas and religious conceit, their eyes were blinded to the truth. The Jews closed their minds and would not accept Jesus for Who He was – they did not consider or recognize the fruit of His ministry before or after His death – and they refused to believe that He was Who He said He was. Even though He performed miracles in front of their very eyes, they were not satisfied. Instead of believing in Him for the miracles they had seen, they asked for more miracles. As the saying goes, “There are none so blind, as those who will not see.” The truth cannot be found by those who do not want to know or acknowledge the truth.
The Gospel is diametrically opposed to human wisdom, which has its source in carnality and worldliness. Human wisdom is contaminated by sin, demonic ideas and the lusts of the flesh. The Gentiles value human philosophy, education and intellectual pursuits, which do not accommodate the truth of the Gospel. They stumble over the simplicity of the Gospel. They are so much “in their head” that they cannot receive the truth that is right in front of their face. They have set ideas and cannot receive anything that goes against their view of life. They do not leave room for anything different from what they already perceive as truth. Because they can’t make sense of it, they do not appreciate its value.
God never does things in a certain way just because we expect Him to and He is not limited to our idea of Him. It is we who must open up our hearts and accept and believe His word just as it is. It is we who must receive Him for Who He says He is, by faith, in order to experience the power of His word in our lives.