If You Must Boast

(1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

If you must boast, than boast in the Lord Jesus Christ. These are the final words in this first chapter of Corinthians that Paul writes to the church both then and now.

Don't boast of yourself, boast of the Lord
Don't boast of yourself, boast of the Lord

As a general rule, and as we are told in other places, boasting is not good. Boasting of yourself is an attempt to make yourself out to be something more or better than you are. It is shameless self-promotion for the purpose of having other people look at you differently. It is a human weakness and I am sure we have all been guilty of it from time to time.

So the bottom line is…don't boast. It does not tend towards anything good and makes you look a fool if you are found not to be what you claim to be. Furthermore, the thinking that underpins boasting does not come from humility but from pride, and we are called to be humble servants of Christ.

But if you must boast, then…

Boast Of The Lord

Yes. Boast of the Lord and what he has done. Boast of God who has allowed you to come into His presence and shown you the way to life through His son Jesus Christ. These are things worth boasting about because they are good.

These things are truths and do not show you up as being more than you are for you cannot boast about how you saved yourself since no man can save himself.

The only source of salvation is from God through grace by faith in Jesus Christ.mand God established that process and accepted our faith as righteousness when we believed what He did and what He said. It has nothing to do with us for it is God's work and His doing so there is nothing for us to boast about.

Except to boast of what Jesus has done for us.

Lifting Us Up

Here is another interesting point in this section of scripture.

God chose us, not for anything we have done but because we believed. When we sought to find Him and to believe in what He did in Christ Jesus, He accepted us through faith. It was not by any works, wonders, acts, behaviors nor any wisdom, knowledge, intellect nor physical prowess, business acumen or anything else. He accepted us by faith alone.

And this is why Paul writes here the following verses,

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. – (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

When Jesus came to the earth, whom did He call first? Was it the rich, the powerful, the mighty, the brave, the political leaders, the chief priests, the highly educated or the men of renown in the land?

No! When Jesus came he called the fisherman, tax collectors, publicans, tent makers, beggars, the sick, lame, blind, adulterers and sinners. Jesus came to call the common people and especially the sinners of the world so that they could find salvation and release from their sins.

And too often it was the high and mighty who were responsible for much of the grief borne by the common people. It is the rich who oppress the poor. It is the powerful who keep the commoners downtrodden. It is the lawyers, judges, wealthy and powerful who have the means to twist the laws to suit their own ends and to keep the common man under bondage.

But Jesus came and offered release without great bondage. He said,

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – (Matthew 11:28-30)

Do those in power today offer an easy path? Do they offer a path that is not bound up in rules, regulations, laws and costs to be paid?

No. The ways of this world, especially of the rich and powerful is to so order things as to keep their power to themselves and to ensure everyone else toes their line. I am not intentionally being critical here, but this is the way of the world. It is the way of man.

It is NOT the way of God for He desires man to be free. And thus Jesus came to the common man to offer something the world has never offered; He offers peace, security, freedom, salvation and life.

Boast of God

And it is clear to see that these are indeed things worth boasting about. Boast not about what you have done or achieved, but what God has done for you in Jesus Christ. Boast about the salvation that God has wrought in Jesus Christ and how it leads to life. Boast about the freedom that He has given you and also offers to the rest of mankind if they will just listen.

These are things worth boasting about for they are the works of God. And God has chosen you and I to receive these gifts. And thus Paul writes,

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.” – (1 Corinthians 1:30-31)

It is because of God that we have these blessings and the promises that come through faith in Jesus Christ. We can do nothing and receive nothing without Him. So as Paul says, if we must boast, boast in the Lord.

(Image sourced from freeimages.com provided by Jarett Sabirsh)

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