"Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise" (I Corinthians 3:18).
The true Christian life is so uniquely different from the life of the natural man that its characteristics must often be expressed in terms of paradoxical contrasts. For example, as our text emphasizes, that which passes for "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God" (I Corinthians 3:19).
This profound truth has many implications for us as Christians. "My strength is made perfect in weakness," says the Lord. "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (II Corinthians 12:9). Thus, to be strong, we must be weak, and to be lifted high, we must stoop low, for "he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matthew 23:12). Not only so, but "whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant" (Matthew 20:27).
Note especially II Corinthians 6:8-10: ". . . as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."
All such ascriptions apply, first of all and most of all, to Christ Himself, our perfect example: "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9).
Thus, "if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him" (II Timothy 2:11-12). "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20). All such descriptions may seem paradoxical to the natural mind, but they are real and true. HMM