GO Marching On Series – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Intro: The culture which we are a part of tends to put rankings on mankind; it is the nature of the beast. In the public school system you were exposed at quite a young age with what peer pressure was. You had the popular students, the smart, the not so smart, the athletic, and the not so athletic, the geek and not a geek, the good looking and not so good looking. You would think or hope after school those cultural peer pressures would change. The reality of these cultural pressures just magnify for so many, because now it is important to have the nice expensive car, big house and boat, a job with a 6 figure income. If you weren’t ranked in the upper class you would be ranked middle class or lower and society would say you’re no body.
Thank God this pressure doesn’t rear its ugly face in the church, RIGHT? We all get a long and everyone is equal? Well it looks good in my notes! A key factor in this first chapter of 1 Corinthians deals with putting to rest division. There is not one more important that anyone else. “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.” Romans 12:16
Text: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (NKJV)
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 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; 28 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, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- 31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD."
The Corinthians needed to remember who they were. Not too many had come from among the wise, the powerful, or the noble. They had no excuse for acting snobbish, or for criticizing and ignoring others. They were only what God had made them. Their knowledge, rank, and power did not attract God, and such things would not now secure any special favors from God. Every church and believer needs to take the message of this passage to heart, for one of the most tragic characteristics of modern society is its pride and self-sufficiency.
The world's crying need is for man to see that the only answer to division is reconciliation with God and with each other, and the only way to be reconciled is to live life’s that are simple and humble. In my text today I want to share four things God not man chose for you.
1. God Chose Normal: Vs. 26
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.”
God does not call many outstanding people:
God does not call many "wise men [who live] after the flesh": the educator, the teacher, the philosopher, the politician—all who seek the wisdom of this world instead of the wisdom of God. "The wise after the flesh" are those who pursue and live for the fleshly wisdom of this world. Few of these are ever saved. Some are, but not many. Men do not discover God by the wisdom of this world. “Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.” Romans 12:16
God does not call "many mighty" men of this world: the great, the powerful, the rulers, the wealthy, the business leaders, the politicians, and the influential. Of those who are wrapped up in the positions, wealth, and authority of this world, few are ever saved. Some are, but not many. Men do not have influence with God because of who they are. Their earthly position and power have no bearing upon God's acceptance of them.
God does not call "many noble" men: the high bred, the upper class, the well-born, the nobility of society, those of respected heritage, those with noble roots. All men stand on an equal footing before God, no matter their status: “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Galatians 6:3 (NIV)
2. God Chose Simple: Vs. 27-28
“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; 28 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.”
The word "chosen" brings the understanding that men do not save themselves, but God saves them. Three times in our text the words "calling" and "chosen" are mentioned. God is the One who takes the initiative in saving men. It is God; who does not call many outstanding people, who does call the simple and humble people.
God's choice is not without reason. He knows why He chooses the simple and humble over the outstanding. God has His reasons, and He explains His reasons in this passage. God chooses the foolish things [people] of this world to confound the wise. The wise feel self-sufficient in their education, knowledge, and wisdom. They feel little if any need for God, and often question if there is a living and true God who is sovereign. Common sense and logic tell us that such an attitude of arrogance could never be acceptable to God.
God chooses the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. By weak is meant those without position, influence, or wealth. The weak are the less important, the insignificant, and the more dispensable. He will only accept the person who comes to Him in weakness and cries for His help. God chooses the base things and the things which are despised. The base and the despised would include the lower classes of society: the lowly, the vile, the criminal, the immoral, the depraved, the dirty, and the distasteful. It is such people that God chooses instead of the upper classes of society. Why? Because of pride, arrogance, self-righteousness. More of the upper class are unwilling to give all they are and have to Christ and His cause. They want some religion and some charitable causes, but they are unwilling to surrender their lives to a Lord who demands their total allegiance.
God chooses the nothings to nullify the something’s of this world. There are people in this world who are overlooked and bypassed and considered totally insignificant and useless. God chooses His people from among them as well, and He does it to nullify, dethrone, and bring to nothing all those who think they are something in this world. God expects man to reason with Him, but He expects an honest and seeking heart and the hopelessness of one's life to His Lordship once the truth is revealed.
3. God Chose With a Purpose: Vs. 29
“That no flesh should glory in His presence.”
God has one purpose for saving only the simple and humble people—to eliminate man's boasting. Man does not deserve God's attention, much less His salvation. But God loves man, so He gives us both His attention and salvation. God does not put up with the foolishness of man's depraved wisdom and ridiculous claims to self-sufficiency and self-righteousness. Man does not control his destiny. All he has to do is look at the behavior of men, and then look at the grave and be honest and thoughtful about the facts, and he has to confess his need for God. This is the reason God has chosen to do the very opposite from what man thinks. He chooses as His followers and servants the people who are the very opposite from whom man chooses. “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4
4. God Chose Christ: Vs. 30-31
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- 31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD."
God's real wisdom is Christ:
Christ is the wisdom of God given to the world so that men might know the way, the truth, and the life of God. God sent Christ to earth as the Word (logos) of God. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" John 14:6 KJV
What all this means is that a man must come to Jesus Christ if he wishes to know God, for Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God revealed to the world.
Christ is the righteousness of God. When a man believes in Jesus Christ—really believes—God takes that man's faith and counts it (his faith) as righteousness. Very simply stated: Jesus Christ is the righteousness of God. He is the only way a man can become righteous and acceptable to God. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Christ is the sanctification of God. Sanctification means to be set apart unto God. When a man believes in Jesus Christ, God takes that man's faith and counts it for the man's sanctification. God counts the man as one of His, as set apart unto Him. Sanctification means holiness: to live a holy and righteous, pure and clean life. When a man believes in Christ, God does a most marvelous thing. God puts the Spirit of Christ—the very life and energy and power of Christ—into the heart and life of the new believer. “He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:15-16
Christ is the redemption of God. Redemption shows the wisdom of God to the world. As the Ideal and Perfect Man, He was able to bear the punishment for every man's sins. Through His death Jesus Christ redeems (delivers) us from sin, death, and punishment. He is the redemption, the deliverance of God for this world. “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7 (NLT)
Conclusion: Carnality, Deliverance from
The story is told of Handley Page, a pioneer in aviation, who once landed in an isolated area during his travels. Unknown to him, a rat got aboard the plane there. On the next leg of the flight, Page heard the sickening sound of gnawing. Suspecting it was a rodent, his heart began to pound as he visualized the serious damage that could be done to the fragile mechanisms that controlled his plane and the difficulty of repairs because of the lack of skilled labor and materials in the area.
What could he do? He remembered hearing that a rat cannot survive at high altitudes, so he pulled back on the stick. The airplane climbed higher and higher until Page found it difficult to breathe. He listened intently and finally sighed with relief. The gnawing had stopped. When he arrived at his destination, he found the rat lying dead behind the cockpit!
Oftentimes we, God’s children, are plagued by sin that gnaws at our life simply because we are living at too low a spiritual level. To see sin defeated in our lives requires that we move up—away from the world—to a higher level where the things of this world cannot survive.
The purpose of God in sending Christ to earth was to stir men to praise God instead of boasting in their own wisdom and self-sufficiency. God has chosen the normal, the simple, He chose with a purpose and He chose Christ. The saint has a reason to march on so: “My beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Let’s move to higher level!
In : Sermon
Tags: "saits go marching on series" "book of 1 corinthians"
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