• Matt Beaney

#447 (28/9/21) - GOD CHOSE THE FOOLISH… (1 COR. 1:27-28)



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

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. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are…’ (1 Corinthians 1:27-28)

This is a very interesting way to address this church community! He doesn’t flatter them. He’s no hypocrite who says one thing to your face but speaks badly behind your back. Paul addresses them honestly throughout this letter. On another occasion, Paul encourages us,

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ’ (Ephesians 4:10).

Speaking plainly, truthfully and lovingly is the route to a healthy church. This church were dividing and needed an honest talking to.


YOU WERE FOOLISH BUT GOD CHOSE YOU!

I don’t imagine that anyone of us is free from the temptation to appear more intelligent than we are. Many of us feel ashamed of our schooling and our educational attainments. Most in the church are not ‘wise by human standards’, but are what Paul terms ‘the foolish’; they are not of the educational elite; there are some in this class but not many. God chose the foolish things of the world! God doesn’t call us to Himself because He loves and respects people with higher-level qualifications.


God is writing this so that if we are ‘foolish’ or ‘wise’ by the standards of this world, we would love one another regardless, as we have been loved by God.


YOU WERE WEAK, BUT GOD CHOSE YOU!

Many are seeking to befriend the influential. Many seek to make progress in life through the assistance that knowing such people affords to them. This, of course, is not wrong. However, let’s be clear, God does not save us or favour us because we are influential; God mostly calls those who are ‘weak by the standards of this world’. Most in the church are not ‘influential’ but are ‘weak’ and there appears to have been growing division between these two groups.


God is writing this so that we don’t dismiss ourselves if we feel weak. He is writing this so that we don’t dismiss others who are weak. The Father doesn’t want us to favour those who are influential. We are not to be hospitable and invite people to our lives and Community Groups because they are more influential. We are to love the weak and know that we are loved.


YOU WERE LOWLY, BUT GOD CHOSE YOU!

Most in the church are not ‘of noble birth’ but are ‘lowly’ and not ‘high born’. No matter our heritage, God chose us. God doesn’t favour certain family names, nationalities or certain races. Your family may have been useless and immoral, they may been highly respected, no matter, God chose you by grace.


God is writing this so that you will not dismiss yourself on the grounds of your heritage. He’s writing this so that you will not be ashamed of your family. He’s writing this so you will not despise those with - according to this world - a less favoured background.


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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