We are going through the first epistle to Corinthians. In today’s episode, let us see the all sufficiency of our Lord Jesus Christ. The all sufficiency of Lord Jesus Christ. This is a truth every Christian must understand thoroughly because Jesus is all we have. Let us read first Corinthians chapter 1, verse 31
Christ Jesus, who has become
for us wisdom from God – that is,
1 Corinthians 1:31
Note these words. Lord Jesus Christ has become four things for us. Our wisdom, our righteousness, our sanctification and our redemption. First, Christ, our Wisdom. What is wisdom? I define it like this. Wisdom is knowing the reality and living your life according to that knowledge. To be wise, you should know the nature of reality and change your life according to that knowledge.
For example, you got a car. You want to drive that car. First, you should know how to drive that car. You should know the speed limits. You should know which side of the road you should drive, you should know the signal lights, where you should stop, where you should yield,where is the break, where is the accelerator, where are the windshield wipers, how to turn on the lights etc. Bad things, even fatal things can happen if you drive your car without that basic knowledge.
This church is located in Corinth, which is located in Greece. Greece is all about philosophy. It is all about seeking wisdom. To them, the Apostle said, ‘Christ is your wisdom’. Greek philosophers are least bothered about Jesus and his followers. Roman rulers are least bothered about Jesus and his followers. They missed a core fact of reality: Jesus Christ is wisdom. Today we are no different. We don’t associate Jesus with wisdom. And that is a fatal mistake.
We read in Colossians chapter 2, verse 3.
Christ, in whom are hid all
the treasures of wisdom
All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Lord Jesus Christ. Greek civilization is all about great philosophers. Their primary occupation is search for wisdom. They spend all their lives pondering Big Questions. Consider the big three: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Socrates used to say, ‘the show of wisdom without the reality’. The show of wisdom without the reality. Some people put up a show of wisdom without knowing the reality. Putting up a show is not real wisdom.
The Greeks often used the word ‘teleology’. Teleology is purpose. Is there a purpose to this universe? Is there a purpose to human life? If there is one, what is it? The Greek philosophers believed in a purpose. They called it ‘teleology’. They believed that our cosmos is teleological. It is purposeful. Lord Jesus Christ taught us teleology. Our teleology is the glory of God. God created this universe for his glory. God created us for his glory and for his pleasure.
Teleology: what’s the purpose
Jesus said these words we read in Matthew chapter 4, verse 4.
Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceedeth
out of the mouth of God.
To be wise, you should not focus just on the material needs of your life. To be wise, you should focus on every word that comes out of the mouth of God. You see, only God can tell you the complete reality. A biologist can tell you some biology. A physicist can tell you some physics. A psychologist can tell you some psychology. A chemist can tell you some chemistry. But they don’t know all reality. Only God knows all reality in all its dimensions.
God has not told us all there is. But He told us the most about all there is. So, to understand reality, we must start with God. To be wise, we must start with God. Socrates believed in a dualistic universe. The philosophers who came before Socrates were materialists.
For them, the universe was fundamentally a material universe. But for Socrates, the universe was more than just matter. It is composed of two realms. The physical realm and a spiritual realm. The spiritual realm is of both ideas and of the soul. His disciple Plato described this dualism in Phaedo.
Socrates has been found guilty of impiety and corrupting the youth. He is sentenced to death for these crimes. He was given a cup of hemlock. Socrates was not too distressed about this death sentence. Phaedo describes the last hours of Socrates’s life.
He spends those hours in philosophical conversation with his friends. He says, ‘the soul trapped in the body would be liberated to fuller wisdom after death’. Apostle Paul echoed this sentiment when he wrote,
For now we see only a reflection
as in a mirror; then we shall
see face to face
1 Corinthians 13:12
What you know today is like a reflection in a mirror. When you see Jesus, it is like face to face with wisdom. On that day, you will attain the perfect wisdom. The Greek philosophers talked about two most important things on matters of philosophy.
First, the reality and illusion
and then, the perfection and imperfection.
First the reality and illusion. What is real? What is illusory? In his book Republic, Plato describes a dialogue between his brother Glaucon and his mentor Socrates. He describes the allegory of the Cave.
Plato describes a group of people chained to the wall of a cave. They face a blank wall. There is a fire behind them. They see shadows projected on the wall when objects pass in front of the fire behind them. They only see shadows. That is their reality. They take those shadows as reality.
They don’t have access to the real reality outside their cave. One must be liberated from the cave to go out and see the reality as it is under the sun. One must be liberated from the chains to go out and see the objective nature of things under the sun.
Apostle Paul wrote,
These are a shadow of the things
that were to come; the reality
is found in Christ.
In Greek he wrote, ha estin skia ton mellonton to de soma tou Christou. Skia and Soma. Skia is shadows. Soma is body. Skia is shadows. You see skias. You see shadows. How can you see soma? How can you see the essence? The soma is Christ. The essence is in Christ. Satan shows you shadows and says, ‘This is reality’. Satan is the master of the shadow world. He creates illusions around people. He tells lies to create this illusory world around people. That is what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Satan deceives with shadows
He told them, ‘Eat this fruit and you will become like God’. That is the most deceitful illusion Satan creates around individuals. If you listen to me, you will become like God. As they listened to Satan, Adam and Eve got completely detached from reality.
The reality is we humans can never become divine. We are never meant to be divine. We are meant to be human. We should not live in the shadow world. The reality is in Christ. He is our soma. He is our essence.
The Law of God was only a shadow. The reality is in Christ.
The prophets were a shadow. Christ is the reality.
The Levitical priest hood was a shadow. Christ is the reality.
Tabernacle was a shadow. Christ is the reality.
All offerings like sin offering were shadows. Christ is the reality.
All festivals like Passover were shadows. Christ is the reality.
The Temple in Jerusalem was a shadow. Christ is the reality.
Then, perfection and imperfection.
The Greek philosophers talked about perfection and imperfection. Their famous example is a triangle. We all draw triangles. But they are only imperfect versions of a perfect triangle with perfect angles. Similarly, for imperfect love, there is perfect love. For imperfect wisdom, there is perfect wisdom. For imperfect joy, there is perfect joy. That is what God gave us in Christ.
Our love is imperfect. The love of Christ is perfect.
Our power is imperfect. The power of Christ is perfect.
Our joy is imperfect. The joy of Christ is perfect.
Our wisdom is imperfect. The wisdom of Christ is perfect.
Our holiness is imperfect. The holiness of Christ is perfect.
The Greek philosophers taught the world to go from shadows to reality and from imperfections to perfection. In Christ, God gave us those things. He is our reality. He is our perfection. Jesus Christ is the perfection of wisdom. He is the perfection of all reality. Without Jesus, you are living in illusion. You are living in the shadows. You are living in imperfections.
In the Bible, God teaches us a lot of things about fools.
The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God’
-1 Corinthians 1:18
The fool rejects the cross of Christ
-1 Corinthians 1:20
The fool thinks this world gives all the wisdom he needs
The fool lives without fear of God in his life
The fool thinks he is right in his own eyes
The fool is reckless and careless; he does evil things
The fools thinks about sinful things
The fool trusts in his own mind
The fool vents all his feelings. He has no control.
Proverbs were written by King Solomon, the wiseman ever lived. Jesus is greater than Solomon. Jesus is the perfect wisdom. Let us take a look at a story he told in Luke chapter 12. Once upon a time, there was a richman. He had a large farm. It produced heavy crops. He got so much harvest that he had no room to store it. He had to pull down his barns and build bigger ones to store all the grain. He told himself, ‘Oh my soul, you have plenty of good things stored up for years to come. Relax! eat, drink and have a good time’. But God said to him, ‘You fool, this very night you will be asked for your soul! Then, who is going to possess all that you have prepared?’
Majority of people live like this richman. Its economy stupid. The economy is good. The job market is good. The stock prices are good. The supply chain is good.This materialism has taken over our generation. Relax! Eat, drink and have a good time. They never think about God. They never think about heaven or hell. God calls them, ‘fools’.
The richman never thought of eternity and God called him a fool
Who is wise in God’s eyes? Everything opposite to what the fool does is wise in the sight of God.
The wise believes in the existence of God
-1 Corinthians 1:18
the wise believes in the cross of Jesus as the way of salvation
-1 Corinthians 1:20
The wise does not look to the world for the wisdom
The wise lives in the fear of God
The wise considers his actions in the eyes of God
The wise flee from evil things
The wise thinks about holy things
The wise does not trust his own mind but considers the Word of God
The wise will control his feelings and actions
The wise does not store his riches in this world. They prepare for eternity.
Secondly, Christ, our Righteousness.
Our righteousness is like filthy rags before God. It cannot make us perfect before him. Righteousness is not just an idea or a concept. It is connected to justice. It is connected to law. Every society writes its own laws based on its righteousness. When people violate those laws, they will be punished. The police go to arrest that person. They give them a reason for their arrest.
You are under arrest for shoplifting
You are under arrest for assault
You are under arrest for rape
You are under arrest for murder
They will make you stand before a judge. The prosecutor says, ‘Your honor, this man is accused of these crimes. I have this evidence to convict him.’ Then the judge will announce his judgment and penalties. So, righteousness, law, and justice go together. The Law came from God’s righteousness. We failed to obey the laws of God. We were declared guilty by God, the judge of all souls.
Let us read a few verses from Acts chapter 17.
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked,
but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
because He has appointed a day on which He will
judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.
He has given assurance to this to all by raising Him from the dead’ Acts 17:30-31
God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world. How does He judge? He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. Who is this man? He is Lord Jesus Christ. He will judge this world in his righteousness.
The righteousness of Christ. If you reject Christ, you will be judged by his righteousness. If you receive Christ, you will be saved by his righteousness. So, both the unsaved and saved will be affected by the righteousness of Christ. God has given assurance to all by raising Jesus from the dead. Let us read Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of law for righteousness to every one that believes.
The law cannot make us righteous before God (Galatians 2:21). In fact, it makes us guilty before God. The law must be satisfied. Who satisfied the law to its perfection? Only Lord Jesus Christ.
Because He is perfectly righteous, only He was able to satisfy the law of God to its perfection. So, praise God. To everyone who believes, Christ is the end of law for righteousness. Let us read 2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be
sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the
righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus Christ, who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Romans 4:25 says, He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Someone said, ‘Justification is just as if we never sinned’. We are justified. We are made perfectly righteous in Christ. That is as if we never committed a sin in our entire existence in this world.
Only Christ’s wisdom imparts life