Knowing Things Wrong
By Fred Zaspel–
One of the striking things about us human beings is that despite our high intelligence and great learning, we have an amazing tendency to be wrong when we are so confident that we are right. Sometimes it’s just a blind spot. And sometimes it’s more like the basketball player who steals the ball and breaks away quickly to the other end of the court only to score a goal for the other team! Confident, but wrong.
This is how the Bible describes those who do not trust in Christ for salvation. “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” (1 Cor. 1:18). The really sad thing, he says, is that this only message that can save is a message those who need it think is foolish. This is the horrible effects of sin within us. It has so affected the mind that our natural perception of the gospel is skewed, and we are biased against it. As the familiar proverb says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).
Paul’s point is a humiliating one, one that cuts deep across our whole sense of self-esteem and self-sufficiency. Not only does man confidently think of God and the way of approach to God in ways that are entirely wrong; he actually perceives the right way to be “foolish.”
But we are assured that for those whose heart God opens, this same gospel which we thought foolish proves to be “the power of God” to salvation. When God “calls” us to salvation he changes our minds and brings us to see that this gospel of Christ is indeed the gospel of salvation. And so when he calls, we come.
Fred Zaspel holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from the Free University of Amsterdam. He is currently a pastor at the Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA. He is also Professor of Systematic Theology at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA. He is the author of The Theology of B.B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary (Crossway, 2010) and Warfield on the Christian Life: Living in Light of the Gospel (Crossway, 2012).