Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians
21 “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”
Verses 19-25 give three reasons for why we cannot trust man’s wisdom:
Scripture, vv 19-20
Finiteness of reason, vv 21
Spiritual issue, vv 22-25
Paul now gives the second reason we cannot trust man’s wisdom—his finiteness. Man in man’s capacity cannot know God.
For since, in the wisdom of God,
The word “since” means in as much as. The idea is “in as much as the reality of God’s wisdom is a different domain that the wisdom of men.” This is the attestation for verse 20—where are the answers of man?
All human philosophy operates in the realm of the finite soul, not in the realm of an infinitely wise God—an omniscient God. Both philosophy and science rest on man’s capacity to understand with his finite brain. God’s wisdom is omniscient encompassing both time and eternity, both space and beyond space (that which is transcendent). God’s wisdom demands that man depend on God for knowing eternity and everything transcendent (beyond time and space). This is humbling for man. Most men do not want to submit to the wisdom of God.
the world through wisdom did not know God,
In the realm of wisdom, the world by employing human wisdom did not know God. The only way anyone can know God by supernatural means God reveals Himself (1:18-2:16). Human wisdom breaks down in its attempt to know God; it is utterly futile for finiteness to find infiniteness.
If man is going to know God, he can only know God by God’s revelation.
No one can become a Christian solely from the Adam’s apple up. Neither can anyone become a Christian without information. It is the nature of the information whereby a person becomes a Christian—God’s revelation of the gospel in the Bible.
No one would know God if God did not reveal Himself. Since God is infinite, no one can know Him by finite means. God reveals Himself by nature, by the person of Christ, and by the Word of God.
All human philosophy and ethics revolve around the finiteness of man. Man’s ethics demand that he complies with human standard but there is no universal norm to determine what that standard is. That is why man is trapped in a plurality of ideas with no universal truth to help them come to universal conclusions. They are, therefore, locked into relativism. Everyone has their own philosophy and opinion but no one has an answer.
Christianity depends on God to reveal Himself. It is a system of faith based on unadulterated grace from God to show Himself in Jesus Christ, in nature, and in the Word. There is no merit in operation bootstraps.
The only way to come to infinite (absolute) truth is through an infinite God who reveals Himself. Finite man must depend on God for God to reveal Himself. Man is not autonomous so there is no sense in asking him to come to God independently to God. If the Bible is true, then man must humble himself to accept God’s grace in showing Himself to man.
Man wants to hang onto his system independent from God. This is kosmos diabolicus—the satanic system that seeks wisdom about God independent from God. Satan’s system is an organized system that pivots around the autonomy of man. God’s system is entirely different—His truth transcends time and space so only He can give us truth about Himself.