There are many voices clamoring for our attention and affirmation. Some of the “voices” that come to mind are:
— Social Media – TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Podcasts, Twitter, YouTube, and the old-fashioned blog appeal to our interests and “clicks” that trigger their algorithms.
— Friends and Family – Family and friends continue to be a powerful influence on our attitudes and behavior.
— Influential Personalities – The opinions of sports figures, politicians, TV personalities, clergy, models, Hollywood stars, and other celebrities have a wide-ranging appeal.
What do former football stars and washed-up actors know about Medicare? Yet, they are paid millions to advertise, because companies know people will purchase products based on their recommendation.
There is a direct connection between Paul’s problem with the church in Corinth and the way people are influenced by the various “voices” of our world.
Be Influenced by Jesus
The heading, “be influenced by Jesus,” captures Paul’s desire for the church
— 1 Corinthians 1.21-25 – For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.
22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Wisdom in Corinth was not wisdom at all. Corinthian “wisdom” was the ability to get people to listen to you, be impressed with your words, and get paid well for what you do.
Like media stars today, who millions each year, wisdom teachers in Corinth were more like entertainers than truth tellers.
No wonder, no one could learn about God’s wisdom from these teachers. They weren’t interested in conveying accurate information. All they wanted was to gather larger and larger audiences.
A Church Problem
The world does not value a life lived by Jesus’ values that took him to the cross.
The world sees adopting Jesus’ attitudes and actions that led to the crucifixion as foolish and scandalous.
The world’s system operates under Satan’s agenda that sought victory through the death of the Son of God. No wonder they see the cross as foolish and odious.
When the church refuses to follow the cross-life of Jesus and adopts the methods of the world’s system, we abandon God’s resources and wisdom.
We have heard so-called Christian leaders say, “The ends justify the means.” The truth is that we become like the means we use.
It is infinitely more important to learn from Jesus than from a popular entertainer, politician, preacher, or pundit.
Jesus should determine our attitudes and behavior. Jesus knows more about how to live than anyone or earth.
People who are willing to trust their eternity to Jesus, should trust him for daily living, too.
The heart of Jesus’ daily lifestyle was to follow the guidance of the Father, even if it meant death on the cross.
Let’s learn from Jesus and ask him to help us imitate his way of life.
Please take ten minutes to listen to Rudy Ross and me talk about this passage on YouTube. Rudy adds a considerable amount of insight to our discussion. The video is on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
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