1 Corinthians 1:26-31. Jesus Works Through The Weak and The Foolish


1 Corinthians 1:26-31. Jesus Works Through The Weak and The Foolish 

1 Corinthians 1:26-31.             Kevin E. Jesmer

Key Verses: 1:27,30

27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;¦ And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,” (ESV)

Part 1: God Chose Foolish Things (26-29)

In this passage, we learn the kind of people that God chooses to work through and why. Verses 26-29 reads, For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”

God chose weak and humble people to bring the gospel to the world. The people whom God called were not some ultra-sophisticated people with jobs nestled at the top of society. No. Most of the early believers were very poor. They were slaves and former slaves. Yes, there were some rich people. But the majority was struggling to survive at the bottom of society, just as many believers are today. Think about the first disciples. They were fishermen. There was a tax collector. Jesus was a carpenter from a poor family. Mary was a poor widow. They were all very ordinary and probably undereducated. But it is amazing that God called such people and worked in them and through them. He chose foolish people so that the humanly wise and powerful people might be humbled to see their need for the Savior. He also chose the underdogs, so that His power and glory and compassion may be revealed to the fullest extent.

Jesus still works the same today. Anyone is eligible to be part of God’s family. You don’t need so many credentials. You simply need to believe in Jesus. And then Jesus forgives your sins and make you a child of God. You enter gain eternal life. God comes to dwell in your heart and guides your life. He heals you and strengthens you and begins to bear his great fruit. He lifts a person of faith out of the muck and the mire of sin and stands them on solid ground and helps them to stand as members of God’s holy nation. Jesus does all this for weak people who were formerly lost in the darkness. Jesus is truly glorified through the lives of the weak and foolish.

We need to see the potential in people as Jesus does. Usually 20% of the population seems to have it all together.  We tend to think that the 20% have more potential as leaders. But actually, God is at work among all people. God does work through the weak and the foolish. Actually, he works through any who humbly confess their sins and turn to Jesus for salvation. These redeemed people make up the church in any generation and in any culture.

Craig Smith, in his book Whiteman’s Gospel, thought about the 72 disciples. They were very ordinary men. It was Jesus’ intent to do this. That is the principle of God using underdogs to do his greatest and most effective work. (p. 26. Whiteman’s Gospel.) The 72 had faithfulness and a deep sense of inadequacy and a complete dependence on the empowerment of God. These 72 paved the way for Jesus to enter into many different communities. Through faith and dependence on Jesus they were defeating evil forces in these communities. They were not preoccupied with attaining high status in life. They were focused on Jesus and serving God’s purpose in their generation. Jesus still works through the underdogs. He (Jesus) seems to delight in reserving special revelations of His ways and means to those whom the rest of the world views as “second class citizens.” (p. 27) Craig realizes that God does not exclude anyone from salvation. The Gospel is for all people. Jesus uses heavenly standards and not human standards when he calls and works through people. God chooses the people according their faith, not their standing in the eyes of the world. Jesus also delights in the choosing and working through the underdog. Why? According to Craig, God does not want to share his glory with mankind. He is God. All glory honor and praise must go to him.

Craig makes a connection between God calling and working through the Natives as God called and worked through the 72. Many have a sense of inadequacy when facing the dominant culture. But when we think about whom God chooses and works through, the Native people can see that they are just the people whom God delights in and chooses to work through. They are the ones whom God wants to unfold his Gospel history and reveal his glory though. Craig ends this discussion with, what seems to be, a victory shout, “Couldn’t you just imagine what might happen if a few more underdogs were willing to stand up and be counted!” (p. 40)

Part 2: Christ Is Our Wisdom And Righteousness (30-31)

Our lives are fleeting. We are a puff of smoke¦ a vapor that dissipates quickly. Who are we? What is our family? I am not going to answer that. But I will say that Jesus is everything to us who believe. Look at verses 1 Corinthians 1: 30-31,”And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'”

It is because of God’s grace and mercy that we are in Christ. It is because our sins have been forgiven, through the Gospel. We have done nothing to deserve such mercy. Furthermore, there is no goodness or righteousness in us. But we are in Christ, and he is our righteousness, holiness and redemption. This is the pure grace of Jesus Christ. Jesus is everything to a believer. If we boast, we boast in the Lord, not in anything about ourselves. Actually, anything of worth in us is a direct result of Jesus’ grace. If we accomplish anything of lasting value in ministry it is all because of Jesus’ wisdom that has been imparted to us because we have been made righteous by his grace.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for working through the foolish and the weak, by your grace. Underdog believers hold a special place in your kingdom. Bring glory to yourself through them.

One Word: Jesus brings glory to himself, through the underdogs.

reference: Whiteman’s Gospel by Craig Smith

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