“That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5).
Having received a full report of several unscriptural practices in Corinth, the Apostle Paul has immediately begun to try to correct these problems. Specifically, here, he is trying to persuade the Corinthians not to listen to the false teachers but to base their faith on teachings that have come from God.
Paul has declared that his words are plain and simple and that they come through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and not from the wisdom of men.
In a religious world where free and independent thought and even creative thinking about spiritual matters are the order of the day, this teaching seems especially appropriate. Whatever we practice religiously, then, must have as its source the inspired Holy Scriptures—because all else comes from the wisdom of men that Paul here condemns.
“You shall not follow a crowd to do evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice” (Exodus 23:2).
Although the context of this teaching has to do with judicial proceedings, the first part of this verse gives a general principle for everyone—not just judges—to follow. Even when a majority makes the wrong judgment, others should not violate their own consciences and follow them.
Equally important, a person is not to give false testimony against another just to please the majority—in such cases, justice is set aside and truth does not prevail. The point is the majority is not always right.
No principle exists that could be more practical for us than this one: be your own person—stand on your own two feet—allow no one to lead you into a bad situation that can be only detrimental to you. Do what is right, regardless of what others do.
And, likewise, if you are called upon to make a judgment about another person, follow what you know to be true, regardless of what the majority says.
“Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).
The Apostle Paul is writing to a church that is beginning to see the intrusion of false teachers who are trying to convince Christians in Colossae to look to more than just Jesus as they seek a relationship with God.
Some of these false teachers are Jews who would like to hold on to the “handwriting of ordinances” for spiritual guidance. Paul says that law—the Law of Moses—was “against us” and “contrary to us,” meaning it lacked the element that would provide complete redemption to God. That element was the blood of Jesus. That law ended at the cross.
His point is designed to emphasize the necessity of looking only to Jesus as the Savior of the world. The modern world we live in needs that message as strongly as the Colossian brethren did: Jesus is our Savior, and the guidance He gives through His word is all we need in our quest to find God.
“Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).
The redemption process for all obedient children of God is clearly summed up in the words of this verse. In fact, it is one of the best in all of scripture.
Jesus died an agonizing death on the cross, shedding His blood for the redemption of all mankind, and was buried in a tomb. Then, by the power of God, He was brought forth from the grave, making Him the ultimate victor.
In the same manner, based upon the confession of our faith in Jesus as the Son of God, we reenact this scene: we are immersed in a grave of water, only to be raised from that grave a new creature in Christ Jesus.
“Because your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You” (Psalm 63:3).
The Psalmist David is in the wilderness of Judah when he makes this declaration about God and his devotion to Him. He is far away from the comforts of home and from the tools of worship as he remembers God, but his isolation doesn’t cause him to forget God.
Having just expressed his deepest feelings to God, saying his soul thirsts for Him and his flesh longs for Him, he moves into this unusual expression about a reason for his praise of God: God’s lovingkindness. He describes it as something greater than life itself.
David teaches us that, regardless of where we are or what circumstance we might find ourselves in, true faith will not allow us to forget God nor the spiritual principles that are a part of the fabric of every serious child of God.