What Are We Boasting In? - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

What Are We Boasting In?

I tell my wife this…But when I was growing up, I thought that I was much greater at things than I actually was or am. I had natural talent as an athlete, but I didn’t put in much more work because I felt I didn’t have to. What I didn’t realize until God humbled me was that I was becoming arrogant in the abilities that God gave me. I wasn’t being boastful in the Lord because of the work He was doing in me, but I was boasting about my own efforts and abilities.

How often do we boast in our abilities and gifts that God has given us instead of boasting in the Lord for the work He does through the abilities given to us?

1 Corinthians 1:26-31
26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Consider your calling…what is your calling? What is God calling you to do or to be? Our calling is a divine invitation to true salvation to enter into the kingdom of God. Paul points out that the vast majority of us are average and nothing special in the eyes of the world. There is no need for us to be arrogant and view ourselves as something greater than we are. According to the world, we may be insignificant. But God hand-picked us one by one. In His eyes, we are special. Jesus intentionally uses the poor, the sick, and the worst sinners as examples of those who have access to God’s grace. Everyone has equal access to salvation.

Now Paul reminds the Corinthians that since God has done a great work through them, they are to remember still where they came from. It wasn’t their own works, deeds, nobility, or power that did the work of God, but it was God who chose to work THROUGH them. We also need to remember where we came from that it isn’t by our own strength and doing that we are successful or that the church is successful and thriving. It isn’t because of some amazing concert-style worship, an energetic speaker up front at the pulpit, or amazing ministries that bring people in….No, it is God who uses every one of us to work together for His glory. God is the one doing the work in our lives, our church, and our families. We must not look to ourselves and boast about our great works. Paul calls us to boast in the Lord because He deserves the glory.

I encourage us to set aside our pride and live humbly because it is all about Jesus. It is not about ourselves and what we can do. It doesn’t matter what our personal status is, how great a preacher we are, how amazing a singer we are, or any other area we deem important. God has blessed us with many gifts, but we must not be arrogant and boast about the abilities that God has given us. We must remember that God hand-picked the lowly. He uses those who have a heart that is willing to follow and be submissive to His calling. God will groom the lowly and weak to make the strong in the purpose that He provides for their lives, your lives. Just don’t let it interfere with the work that God has for you. We need to remember where we came from and that we are to boast in Christ because it is all about Jesus.  
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