Message 16 - By Jerry D. Green

The Foolishness of God

 “…The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men (I Corinthians 1:25).

What is the foolishness of God? There was a time when I believed Paul to be saying that the all knowing God is so much wiser than man that all the wisdom of man is only foolishness in comparison. Likewise, the weakness of God is stronger than all the power of man. Though all of this is totally true, that is not exactly what Paul was speaking of in this teaching. The foolishness of God he is speaking of here, is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel he had received by revelation (Galatians 1:11-12). The gospel that he was “…not ashamed…” to preach to both Jew and Gentile (Romans 1:16-17). The gospel which “…is the power of God unto salvation…” to as many as will ever hear and believe IT. The gospel wherein “…the righteousness (justice) of God is revealed from faith to faith: (for) as it is written, The just shall live by (‘…His….’) faith…,” the gospel of Him, the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17; Habakkuk 2:4). The gospel which includes “…the preaching of the cross (which) is to them that perish, foolishness; but unto us…  (who) …ARE saved, it is the power of God” (unto salvation; I Corinthians 1:18).

What does this gospel which is the “…power of God…” save us from? Well, thanks be to God, it saves us from hell. How does it save us from hell? That is where the foolishness of God comes in. First, we must understand that Jesus did not suffer and die on that cruel cross just to save us from hell. There was and is another foe that was and is the primary enemy of both God and man; and that foe is sin. Secondly, we need to know a few more specifics about this gospel which includes everything that Jesus accomplished through his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. We must believe that He suffered and died on a cruel cross and that His Father, “…the only true God…” (John 17:3), did raise Him from the dead. Also, we must call on God (the Father) in true repentance (Godly sorrow for our sin and our sins), in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for “…whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32). For “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We must “…confess with… (our) …mouth the Lord Jesus, who is also the Christ, and…believe in… (our) heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, … (in these things, we shall) …be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-11).  In repenting of our sin and our sins, we must repent, not only of the wrongs which we have done (sinned) but also of that which we are that compels us to do those things which are wrong (the sin nature within us). I could go on, but I suspect by now you have seen that there is more to getting saved than just believing or saying one particular verse of scripture and putting your trust for all eternity in one particular scripture and/or one particular act. Yes, all of the above scriptures are totally true and I myself fully stress the simplicity of the gospel; but the fact of the matter is, the church today has over simplified the gospel message.

Let’s discuss how we are SAVED from hell. Death and hell are the inescapable end for a sinner, but thanks be to God, “…Jesus came into the world to SAVE SINNERS…” FROM their sin and sins, which in turn, SAVES a sinner FROM hell (I Timothy 1:15). Escaping hell is only a fringe benefit of believing the true gospel, which makes a person “…free indeed…” FROM SIN (John 30-36; Matthew 1:21).  The true gospel of Jesus Christ “…IS the power of God unto SALVATION…” from SIN, to as many as are fortunate enough to hear IT, BELIEVE IT, and SUBMIT themselves unto IT. IT is also the ONLY answer for sin. How great then, is the importance of being MADE FREE FROM SIN.

What is believing?  Believing is to know and accept in your heart as the absolute truth, that which God has said. Abraham was such a person. That is why he is referred to as the “father of faith.” “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3, 22; Genesis 15:6; Galatians 3:6).  Abraham believed God in many things. He left the land of his nativity and went to dwell in a strange and hostile land because he believed God.  Let’s look for a moment at Abraham, the believer, and see if we can learn something from his experience. First, what was this “…righteousness…” which “…was counted (‘…accounted; reckoned; imputed…’) unto him…” (unto Abraham)?

Genesis 15:16

“And Abram said (to God), Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house (a servant) is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.”

A very simple statement (promise), but just as so many do, Abraham immediately set about to help God accomplish that which He had spoken. Just as the natural, carnal mind of man always does, he began to REASON within himself how he could bring this promise of God to pass.

Now the womb of his wife Sarah, had always been barren. This was the reason Abraham was childless and had no heir. So at Sarah’s counsel, he took and married her handmaid and conceived a child by her. Praise God! At last he had the child of his own body, which God had promised, which he had so long yearned for. And, for 13 years Abraham rejoiced in this child he had conceived of his own body (of his “…own bowels…”). But this was not what God had in mind for Abraham. This child which Abraham had produced through carnal REASONING (in marrying a servant woman; was “…a wild man…; Genesis 16:12). Nevertheless, Abraham loved Ishmael and believed him to be the fulfillment of God’s promise to him, until he was 99 years old when God again spoke to him:

GENESIS 17:4-5, 9-10, 15-19, 22, 24-26 and 18:1, 9-15

“As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a FATHER OF MANY NATIONS. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations HAVE I MADE THEE. …Thou shall keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. (And) this is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. …As for Sarai thy wife, …I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and (in his heart he) laughed (at the foolishness of God), and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred (100) years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety (90) years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee (Abraham’s faith could not lay hold of so great a promise.)! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him…And He left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. And Abraham was ninety years old and nine (99), when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen (13) years old, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: And…said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself (at the foolishness of God) saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh (in her heart), saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And He said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.

GENESIS 21:1-8

And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred (100) years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age. And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.”

What a great story and what a great lesson to be learned. For when the day came that Abraham had come to the end of that which he could do and believed God, God brought to pass that which He had spoken. In like manner, God has “…given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these… (through faith in these promises of God, we) might be (made) partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Peter 1:4). The question is this, can we believe the promises of God, or will we, just as Abraham and Sarah, laugh within our heart at the foolishness of God?

ROMANS 4:1-25

“What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (What was this righteousness which was counted unto him? It was a son of his own body by his wife Sarah.) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be IMPUTED unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, ([For] as it is written, I HAVE MADE thee a father of MANY nations,) before Him whom he believed, even God, who QUICKENETH the DEAD (Abrahams dead body and Sarah’s dead womb) and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now DEAD, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the DEADNESS of Sarah's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. …Therefore it was IMPUTED to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for US also, to whom it SHALL be imputed, IF we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

ROMANS 5:1-2

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this GRACE wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”


“For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching (the true gospel of Jesus Christ) to save them that believe (it). For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ (is both) the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise…after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen (that which is foolishness to) …the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound… (the) mighty.”


(For) …the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

How then do you compare with Abraham? Are you trying to fulfill the promises of God through your own means, through your own strength, through your own wisdom? Are you still trying to tame the “…wild man…”; the “…old man…”; “…the flesh…”? Do you laugh in your heart at “…the foolishness of God…”; “…the foolishness of (the) preaching…” of the cross; “…the foolishness of preaching…” the true gospel of Jesus Christ; which says, “…our old man is crucified with Him…” (Romans 6:6)? Do you laugh at “…the foolishness of God…” which says “…we are buried with Him by baptism (immersion; not into water; but,) into (His) death…” (Romans 6:3-4); “…the foolishness of God…” which says “…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10); “…the foolishness of God…” which says, “…I live; yet (it’s) not I (that lives)…but (it’s) Christ (that) liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20).

This is the true gospel of Jesus, the Christ, which IS “…the foolishness of God…” that will save the soul of all who hear and believe it from the heart; and submit themselves unto IT. If anyone, including lost, religious people, will hear and believe God and His “…rightly…” divided Word (the true gospel), IT will make you “…free indeed…” FROM SIN (John 8:30-36). And freedom FROM sin is the only possible escape FROM eternal “…death and hell…” (Revelation 20:13). So don’t struggle with your old “…wild man…, the “…old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, until it’s too late (Ephesians 4:22). Humble yourself before God today, and call on Him to save you. REPENT and BELIEVE “…the foolishness of God…” (the true gospel of Jesus Christ). For only those who “…be of faith (true believers of the true gospel) are blessed with faithful Abraham” (Galatians 3:9).

JDG Message 16 - The Foolishness of God






Keith Surface MESSAGES

Leroy Surface MESSAGES