Monday, February 4, 2008

So that no man may boast

While studying for my sermon last week in John 6, I was struck afresh by just how foolish and offensive it must seem to believe in a broken, bloodied, crucified Messiah. Yet that is precisely what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:23: "But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness." Just a few verses later, Paul declares,

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

As I read these verses last Saturday night, it occurred to me they really do summarize my salvation, and explain God's whole redemptive history recorded in the Bible.

Why did God set His favor on an obscure Chaldean named Abram? Why did God choose a lowly, young shepherd boy named David to become king of Israel? Why did he use a harlot named Rahab? Why did Jesus minister in the rural region of Capernaum? Why did He choose lowly fishermen for disciples?
Why did the Messiah arrive in a manger, and why did He die on a cross? Because again, and again, and again in the Scriptures, God chose the foolish, and the weak, and the base, so that no man may boast. God alone deserves the praise and glory for my salvation. His redemptive story, from beginning to end, is an exciting drama of mystery and grace!

1 comment:

David said...

Wow, right on!

God uses weak, broken, hurting, humble things so that in the end they can't take the glory.

He used little David to defeat Goliath. Remember what David said, "So that all the world will know that there is a God is Israel."

It would have done no good for Goliath to come out and battle a Hebrew giant. Everyone would just say that israel has big giants. But for a boy to beat a giant... no one can boast.

That's still true, isn't it! You and I cannot boast in anything God does, but only be thankful for being allowed to be used by God.