The foolish things that confound the wise
1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1Cor.2v16)
1Co 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
1Co 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
1Co 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
1Co 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
1Co 1:15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
1Co 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.
1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1Co 1:20 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?
1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (John 1v1-5 and v10-17)
1Co 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (Matt.11v25 and Lk.10v21)
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. (Eph.2v5 and 8)
1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (Jer.9v23-24)
I recently had the blessed privilege to attend the baptism of a man who wanted to fulfill that which is right in the sight of God – choosing to enter this new life, hidden in Christ by dying to his old life through baptism and rising into his new life as a new creation in Christ. It was precious, and it stirred the Spirit of the Lord in me to such exuberant joy I could scarcely contain it!
It made me think of this passage written by the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth. You see, he is correcting them on the childishness of their disputing among one another about baptism and from what I gather in the passage, rating who’s baptism was more relevant or special, leading them to completely miss the point. If we look back into the Gospels we will see John was going through a similar situation in Matt.3v11; Mk.1v4; Lk.3v16; Jn.1v33 and he explained the difference in his baptism and the baptism Jesus was bringing. John was a pre-cursor to Christ, so the baptism of repentance was there to prepare the soil of the heart to receive Jesus who would bring the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire (tests, trails, temptations, tribulations and troubles all make up a baptism of fire, as it tests our faith and brings it forth pure as the purest gold. It is a purification process which we will continue to go through as we continue to grow in Jesus and as we continue to be perfected by Him.)
Today, we still have this dispute in the church. Is it sprinkling, is it full immersion? Is there such a thing as infant baptism or is it an adult thing? And then among those who have the understanding that it is a decision of the will brought on by a desire to obey the Lord and enter into the fullness of Him, we have new disputes (not new really, but new to some) where people are expected to first attend courses on baptism, or read a number of books on the subject. It grieves me!
It grieves me because as the Apostle Paul so aptly says, we are trying to fulfill righteousness, and not just fulfill it but do it in our own wisdom. Jesus help and forgive us!
Firstly – ANYONE who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ in his heart and confesses Him with his mouth and understands the principle of death to self and the old man and being raised with Christ into newness of life, have the right to be baptized. They can be five years old or fifty five years old, it does not matter. We are not to be stumbling blocks for those who want to obey.
Secondly – it is full emersion and not sprinkling. Jesus was fully immersed, and John baptized where there was ‘much water’ (Jn.3v23) and nowhere in the Bible does it speak of infant baptism, to the contrary it explains that it is a decision of the will (Rom.6; Eph.4v5 and Col.2v12)
Thirdly – it does not say that it has to be an ordained minister, to the contrary the ministers are there to train all the believers to do this work according to Eph.4 especially v11-16.
We make void the power of God with our childish disputes and useless arguments, the word is simplistic and clear – baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. It does not say, debate it first, study and research and special bells and whistles, simply, baptize.
We make things complicated because it makes us feel good, superior and it draws men unto us, instead of allowing them to be drawn unto Christ only. We are merely the point of contact, or the sign post pointing them in the direction they should go – it is Jesus their entire lives should be orbiting around, not us.
So let’s stop hindering the sincere hearts and desire for salvation in the people around us, rather let’s just be available, be ready and be fully equipped as Apostle Paul writes to Timothy in 2 Tim.2v15 so we can baptize one another, and we can pray to be filled in the Holly Spirit. Let us know the truth of His word and the simplicity of the Gospel. Let us point others to Christ and not try and hold them around us, let’s train them through the Word how to see Jesus and how to hear His voice.
People can see and hear what they need to do next, let’s not hinder them. Yes Paul is speaking about calling in the sense of what God wants you to do with your life, but it also means that we do see daily what we ought to do, look at James 1v22-25, we see in the Word what we need to do, so if someone see that the Lord calls us to be baptized, please, do not hinder them. Simply ask if they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, if they confess Him as their Lord and Savior, and if they understand what baptism stands for as in Romans 6 – the dying of the old man, buried with Christ through full immersion (we don’t put corpses under a half sheet and hope no one will smell the rot and see the decay, we bury them in a deep hole in the ground and we uncover them not! So too, baptism is burying that old man, that sinful nature, and being resurrected in Christ and being a new creation in Jesus 2 Cor.5v17 and we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus our Lord 2 Cor.5v21 now growing unto maturity.)
Lastly Paul also warns in Heb.5v12 to 6v2 that we who ought to be mature and eating meat are not to behave like babes drinking milk, so on this note, please I implore you, let us do as Jesus reminded John – fulfill all righteousness (right doing and right living) and let us not hinder the working of the Lord by His Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of people, in Jesus name.
© Celeste Glass