Art Toombs Ministries 

Online Bible Commentary

The Answers to Life’s Questions
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 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. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (NKJV)


Who are you looking to these days for the answers to life’s questions? How do we know who is wise, and who just thinks they are wise? We find the answer in this passage. 

Paul begins this passage by stating that “the message of the cross is foolishness” to the unbeliever, but to the believer “it is the power of God” (v. 18).   He quotes the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 29:14) that God destroys “the wisdom of the wise” and frustrates “the intelligence of the prudent”, the so called intelligent (v. 19). 

Next, Paul writes that “God made foolish the wisdom of the world” (v. 20) because the world does not know him (v. 21a). Those who do not know God, unbelievers, follow a foolish “wisdom”, the wisdom of the world. They do not possess true wisdom because wisdom comes only from knowing God. Therefore, it pleased God to save those who did take the time and profess the faith to “believe”, to know Him (v. 21b). 

Paul writes that “the Jews request a sign and Greeks seek after wisdom” (v. 22). The sign the Jews wanted was a sign of earthly power, of earthly rule. The death of Christ, the crucifixion, therefore was a “stumbling block” to the Jews believing in Him as the Messiah. Also, the crucifixion seemed, to the Greeks, to make Christ out to be weak, and it was “foolishness” to believe in Him as God (v. 23). 

But, to those who chose to believe in Christ, they saw in Him the power and wisdom of God (v. 24).  In summary, God is wiser than human wisdom and stronger than human strength (v. 25). 

It always amazes me when some unbelieving Hollywood types think they are experts at life. What is even more amazing is that millions of people buy into their nonsense. After all, they are trained to be entertainers, not theologians. 

More importantly, wisdom and intelligence come from God and those who do not walk with God cannot possess His wisdom and intelligence. Even so, these unbelieving Hollywood types are always ready to offer an opinion, whether asked or not, and people are always ready to buy what they are selling. 

In this passage, we learn that human wisdom and human strength is no match for God. People who are intelligent in the ways of the world are frustrated by the intelligence of God. They may achieve wealth and fame but what they need the most, peace, eludes them. 

They are frustrated by God. They appear to be wise, but without God they are made foolish. They may think they are strong and can weather any hardship, and then God brings them to their knees. 

We should look to the Bible for the answers to life’s questions, not unbelieving Hollywood types. The Bible is our owner’s manual on life. God, our manufacturer, knows how to fix anything that goes wrong with us. So when we need answers to life’s questions, we should turn off our televisions and turn to our Bibles.