For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — that, as it is written,
“He who boasts, let him boast in the LORD.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Christians are a peculiar people. They live in the flesh. They live in the world. But they are not of the world. They live by faith in Jesus Christ (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17, etc.). Jesus is their confidence. He alone is their boast and their glory.
Whether having little or much, we learn, by God’s grace, that it matters not whether we have abundance or lack (Philippians 4:13). Having Christ, we have everything we need, for what is more needful than God’s judgment and condemnation for our sin subsiding? What greater need does the sinner have before God but to have that sin atoned for, taken away, and not counted against the sinner?
Nothing compares to what we have in Christ Jesus. Nothing! Nothing in the world at all approaches the grace of God. And yet, we take it for granted. We neglect the forgiveness of our sins and consider it an insignificant thing to replace Christ with our own interests, activities, and life. We neglect the hearing of God’s Word. We complain and grumble that things are not the way that we think things should be. We seek our own way out of trouble rather than waiting on the Lord (Psalm 27:14). In effect, we boast and glory in our own accomplishments, trying to make them our own, and consider God to be our servant, imploring Him to do our bidding instead of we being His servants and seeking to do His bidding according to His Word. We fret and get all worked up because God does not do things our way and thus, we lose sight of God’s ways for our own and in the process, call our ways good and God’s ways evil.
Through Isaiah the prophet, God speaks of this when He declares, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21)
Instead of putting yourselves before God and His ways, like Peter who wanted nothing of a suffering Christ and who was rightly rebuked (Matthew 16:21-23), be mindful of the things of God, not the things of men (see also Colossians 3:1-4ff). Consider who you are in the light of God’s Holy Law—a sinner, a sinner in need of God’s salvation in Christ; a sinner for whom Christ died, willingly, that you might live.
Consider now your place as God’s blessed child, having been baptized into the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Consider that you are no longer your own, but God’s child, purchased with the price of Christ’s blood (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
Now that you know that God is “for you” in Christ, and that nothing can separate you from God’s love in Christ (Romans 8), so now live. Live in confidence! Should even Satan stand against you, he cannot prevail, for Christ is victor! Since such is the case, what need you fear the things of this life? “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
You have no reason not to boast and glory in Christ, for God forgives your sins, you have eternal life promised you, and you belong to your Heavenly Father. God is your God! Salvation is yours!
“Now Christians know their boast in Christ, not that we are rich and worth a fortune, nor that we win a kingdom and principality, but that through Christ we become loosed from sins, from death and the devil and are established in hope. So to this extent, we are brought into the eternal kingdom and we boast that we have a gracious God and Father because we are baptized and believe in the man who can give us eternal life, of whom no Turk, no divisive spirit, no bishop or the pope, no prince, no teacher or false saint and in summary, the whole world, knows nothing.” (Geo. Link, Luther’s Family Devotions, 644)
Prayer: Dear Jesus, forgive us for our pride before you, lamenting that we do not have what we think we ought and for seeking what you do not promise. Help us to recognize and believe that You only are our everything, and that having You, we need no more, for You will provide and care for us of Your bountiful mercies. Amen.