top of page
  • Chad Werkhoven

1 Corinthians 1:27-30 - Humbled Wisdom & Strength

In eight words, the Bible obliterates the world's wisdom.

 

1 Corinthians 1:27-30 (NIV)


27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

 

Listen to passage & devotional:


 

Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 22 - Our Justification Through Faith in Christ


We believe that

for us to acquire the true knowledge of this great mystery

the Holy Spirit kindles in our hearts a true faith

that embraces Jesus Christ,

with all his merits,

and makes him its own,

and no longer looks for anything

apart from him.


For it must necessarily follow

that either all that is required for our salvation

is not in Christ or,

if all is in him,

then he who has Christ by faith

has his salvation entirely.


Therefore,

to say that Christ is not enough

but that something else is needed as well

is a most enormous blasphemy against God—

for it then would follow

that Jesus Christ is only half a Savior.

And therefore we justly say with Paul

that we are justified “by faith alone”

or by faith “apart from works.”


However,

we do not mean,

properly speaking,

that it is faith itself that justifies us—

for faith is only the instrument

by which we embrace Christ,

our righteousness.


But Jesus Christ is our righteousness

in making available to us all his merits

and all the holy works he has done

for us and in our place.

And faith is the instrument

that keeps us in communion with him

and with all his benefits.


When those benefits are made ours

they are more than enough to absolve us

of our sins.

 

Summary


What a humbling statement!


Verse 30 says "It is because of Him [God] that you are in Christ Jesus." It's so easy to flip this concept around, isn't it; to think that it was our own ability to recognize God's good news in a world full of bad news, or that somehow we were able to make sense of the evidence God's provided of His existence and Christ's salvation when so many others either chose to ignore or reject it.


"It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus." That second half of the sentence summarizes the essence of Christianity: being in Christ. Christ has exactly what you need: the righteousness and holiness required to satisfy our perfectly holy Father. Those who are in Christ have what He has, so in Him, you have the perfect righteousness and holiness that your eternal redemption requires.


Both halves of this humbling statement point you away from your sinful nature's instinct to define yourself. Your sinful nature seeks the strength and wisdom of this world, as Paul puts it here. In other words, you want what the people around you seem to have and value, and you want to gain these things on your own.


In eight words, Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, obliterates the world's wisdom. You don't gain eternal riches by your own knowledge or efforts, you gain it because God placed you in Christ.



Dig Deeper


Foolish; weak; lowly; despised. That's how the world views you as a Christian.


But for many of us in this group, it may not seem that way. We live in communities that still value godly lifestyles and promote biblical principles. Even the most pagan among us at least seem to respect our piety, that is, as long as we leave them out of it.


Our communities are really good places to live, offering a far higher than average quality of life than what's found in less Christianized places. Why is this? Well it's because we're such awesome people who do things the right way. Or at least that's what we tend to think after awhile.

That's why it's so important to remember these eight words that come in v30 to keep yourself humble: "Because of Him you are in Christ Jesus." It wasn't your idea to enter into this relationship, and it isn't your talent, wisdom or ability that keeps you there. It's purely God's grace, "so that no one may boast before Him."


As our Confession puts it, "faith is the instrument that keeps us in communion with him and with all his benefits." Thank God for giving you this faith, and make every effort to build and strengthen it daily.



  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; the weak things of the world to shame the strong and the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are (v27-28);

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for placing you in Christ and giving you faith, and pray that you will make every effort to build it up;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Luke 12

Comments


Questions or comments?

Recent Posts:

bottom of page