• Matt Beaney

#446 (27/9/21) - THINK OF WHAT YOU WERE (1 COR. 1:26)

Updated: Sep 27




This week’s devotionals are from 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.’ (1 Corinthians 1:26)

PRIDE IS A CONSTANT DANGER

Pride is a constant danger. Pride is to judge ourselves as self-sufficient and better than others. Pride expresses itself in many ways: prayer-less-ness (“I don’t need God”), lack of love for God’s word (“I don’t need God’s wisdom”), isolation (“I don’t need God’s people”), lack of joy in the gospel (“I deserve salvation”), haughtiness (“I know better”), and a tendency to think of oneself as better than others. Oftentimes, as in this text, this prideful superiority is along the lines of ‘wisdom’ (superior education) influence (being well connected) and being of ‘noble birth’ (high-status background). However, in our culture, we can also have a reverse snobbery that takes pride in our poor education, lack of influence and our ‘working class’ or particular ethnic background.


THINK OF WHAT YOU WERE SO AS TO COMBAT PRIDE

In order to combat divisive pride, God wants the Corinthians (and us) to think of what we were. Most in the church are not ‘wise…influential… of noble birth.’ The Father wants us to understand that these things do not raise our status in His Kingdom. We are not to be jealous or hateful of those who do have these worldly advantages, and we are not to be puffed up if we do happen to have these advantages.


WHEN YOU WERE CALLED

We are to ‘think of what we were when we were called’. No matter whether we had more or less worldly advantages, God chose and called us regardless of these things. God wants you to know that you, specifically, were chosen by Him. Too many of us get our self-evaluation from our past and other’s judgement of us. You are to get your worth from God having called you in love. Your value with God does not come from your background.


God is writing this so that you won’t dismiss or exalt yourself because of your past. He wants to keep us from the trap of dividing over these things; He wants all of us to repent of giving more or less honour to those who have what we consider to be a more or less favourable background. There is no place for any kind of discrimination in the church. God is writing this so that you will regularly think of what you were when you were called by Him. Reflect on this so as to remember that you are loved regardless of your past and so that you can love others regardless of their past.


OVER TO YOU

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text. Use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).

1. Praise - What can you praise God for?

2. Petitions - What can you ask for?

3. Peace-making - Do you need to receive or give forgiveness?

4. Protection - How do you need protection?


COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Next week is SIV Week. Please come along ready to share, pray, and plan about how we are Serving, Investing and Inviting into our communities.

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group

On Sunday we continued in our series in 1 Corinthians. The title of the message was, 'BOAST IN THE LORD NOT OURSELVES'.


Please read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31


BOASTING IN JESUS OR BOASTING IN OURSELVES?

Pride is a constant danger for all of us. Pride is to judge ourselves as self-sufficient and better than others. Oftentimes, as in this text, prideful superiority is along the lines of ‘wisdom’ (superior education) 'influence' (being well connected) and being of ‘noble birth’ (high-status background). However, in our culture, we can also have a reverse snobbery that takes pride in our poor education, lack of influence and our ‘working class’ or particular ethnic background.

Rather than pride, God wants to bring us to a place of boasting in Jesus alone who saved us regardless of our past.


REMEMBER WHO YOU WERE

In order to combat divisive pride and inspire boasting in Jesus, God wants us to think of what we were. Most in the church are not ‘wise…influential… of noble birth.’ In fact, most of us were 'foolish...weak...lowly...despise...the are nots'! On top of this everyone, even with worldly status, is in sin and powerless to save themselves.


REMEMBER THAT YOU WERE CALLED

Having remember who we were in our hopeless state, We are to ‘think of what we were when we were called’. No matter whether we had more or less worldly advantages, God chose and called us regardless of these things. God wants you to know that you, specifically, were chosen by Him. Our hearts are stirred to boast in Jesus as remember His grace in choosing us.


REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE

We will boast in Jesus as we remember who we were, remember that He chose us, and, finally, remember who He has made us to be. In Christ, we have 'righteousness, holiness and redemption'. The worlds wisdom may look attractive and powerful, however, it is only God’s wisdom - Jesus and His cross - which can grant us these peerless gifts of righteousness (justification), holiness (set apart for God) and redemption (brought out of slavery). Anyone who truly understands the grace of God in Christ will boast in Him and throw off foolish and divisive pride.


Discussion questions

1. Did God speak to you, or what do you plan to do in response to Sunday's message?

2. What about your past inspires worldly pride and what about it causes you shame?

3. God chose us regardless of our past status. How does this make you feel?

4. We described the term 'righteousness' as being equivalent to justification. We described this as 'just as if I'd lived like Jesus'. Discuss the vital idea of justification in Christ.

5. This text is teaching us to 'boast in the Lord'. How will you put this into practice?

6. Do you have any additional questions about this text?

5. SIV

Finally, it would be helpful to talk and pray about how we are doing in regard to Serve, Invest and Invite. Do you have any encouraging stories or any plans in this regard? How do you want to pray in regard to our mission?


Let's be praying and actively preparing to invite friends to our carol service on 5th December. Please make sure this is in your diary.


Next week is SIV Week. Please come along ready to share, pray, and plan about how we are Serving, Investing and Inviting into our communities.







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