#448 (29/9/21) - NO ONE CAN BOAST BEFORE HIM (1 COR. 1:29)
This week’s devotionals are from 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
‘So that no one may boast before him.’ (1 Corinthians 1:29)
This text begins with a connective: ‘So that’ speaks of the result of what has been said previously; Let’s remind ourselves of the previous verses,
‘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…so that…’ (1 Corinthians 1:27-28)
The result and aim of teaching us about our unprivileged background when God called us was ‘So that no one may boast before him.’ If we have understood what is taught in 1:26-28 we will be kept from boasting in ourselves before God. In essence, in 1:26-28, Paul has taught them that God chose them and saved them in Christ, even though most of them did not have the status and attributes which the world values. God chose them even though they were ‘losers’ (to put it in modern terminology).
REFLECTION LEADS TO HUMILITY AND WORSHIP
Remembering and reflecting on our condition when God called us will keep us from boasting in ourselves and cause us to boast in Jesus alone. If we believe that we are somehow owed salvation, that it’s some kind of right, we have no real understanding of our sin and God’s holiness! If we believe that we deserve hell but we are gifted with heaven, this will lead to humility, joy and worship.
This text makes it clear that we are Christians because God both ‘called’ and ‘chose’ us (repeated three times). The doctrine of unconditional election (predestination) will keep us boasting in Jesus. God chose and called us by grace alone and nothing in ourselves. Anyone who becomes a Christian does so because God chose them. The church is a chosen people no matter their background. He chose us when we had no merit at all. He chose and called us by His pure mercy and love. Paul wrote,
‘Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.’ (Ephesians 1:3-6)
This text from Ephesians also ends with boasting in Jesus. God choosing us leads to ‘the praise of His glorious grace’.
How often do you reflect on God choosing you in eternity past? Does this great mystery lead you to overflowing with praise?
STOP BOASTING BEFORE HIM
Jesus warns against boasting in ourselves when He said:
‘To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”’ (Luke 18:9-14)