• Matt Beaney

#450 (1/10/21) - BOAST IN THE LORD



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

‘It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”’ (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)

I don’t really follow football but, as I’ve gathered, fans know that if they go to watch their team play, they will be moved emotionally and verbally about how well or poorly their team are playing. Fans know that putting themselves into the stadium will lead to ‘boasting’ (‘exulting’) - depending on the performance of course! We all purposefully put ourselves into different contexts to produce a positive experience: the cinema, a fairground, a concert, with people with love etc. The truth that we all know is that if we want to ‘exult’ in something, we need to put ourselves into the right environment.


Likewise, if we want to boast in Jesus as we should, we need to put ourselves into the right environment. Don’t complain that your love for God and joy in the gospel is weak if you don’t put yourself in a context that will inspire worship!


BOAST IN THE LORD


i) THE TRUTH LEADS TO BOASTING IN JESUS

Firstly, if we want to overflow with joy and gratitude to God, our minds must be filled with the good things of the gospel. Truth sets us free. Lies bind us up. If you want to feel bad, give your mind to lies! If you want to feel better and have renewed appreciation for Jesus, fill your mind with truth.


ii) SONGS THAT BOAST OF CHRIST

I believe that music is a powerful gift from God. It’s designed, principally, to move our emotions with the truth of God. If we listen to music that boasts in ourselves, in hate, in sexual sin… we will be influenced by this. If we fill our minds and sing songs of the cross, we will find that our emotions catch up with this wise choice. We are urged,

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.’ (Colossians 3:16)

Do you see how the ‘message of Christ’ (Another way of saying to boast in Christ) dwells richly among us through song!


iii) PERSONAL BOASTING

Jesus tells us,

‘But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ (Matthew 6:6)

Boasting - praise and worship - is a massive part of private prayer. Do you hear Jesus’ promise to you? The Father will reward your secret prayer! This is great motivation for us. This is not some stingy, exaggerating person who wants to manipulate us! This is our loving Lord Jesus making this promise. Will you and I honestly turn Him down?!


iv) CORPORATE BOASTING

When the church meets, we are to overflow with boasting for Jesus. The message of the cross should be central. If we want to be those who boast in Jesus we need to put ourselves into the context that will inspire us, and the church gathering church is paramount. It’s amazing how often this simple logic is lost. Later in 1 Corinthians we read of the purpose of our gathering,


‘What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.’ (1 Corinthians 14:26)

We come together to give of our gifts and to receive of the gifts of others so as to be ‘built up’: built up in our faith and renew our passion for Jesus. Our boasting in Christ will never be what it could be without a local church community to inspire us!


So, let’s boast in Jesus. Why would we want to do anything else? Why would we boast in anything or anyone more than Jesus? If our fire has grown dim, don’t be passive! This command to boast in Christ contains the promise of the Spirit’s help to revive us if we will honestly repent of our lukewarmness.


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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