God’s Humbling Ways (1 Corinthians 1:26-30)

1 Corinthians 1:26-30


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.


            God does not do things the way we might plan to do them. God did not plan to win the world by building a team of the strongest, wisest, and most popular. Nor did God choose to save his people through means that the world expects. He chose grace, not works. He chose faith, not ritual. He chose to save the needy, not the best of the best.


            As Paul points these things out to the Corinthians, he lets them know that they too should consider their own calling. You and I need to do the same. If we are saved, it is not because we brought something special to the table. O, we are valuable and special; but that value comes to us because God gives it, not because we earn it. Not many of us have anything to brag about. We who follow Jesus are sweetly ordinary. There is humility that comes to the believer who grasps that he or she is saved by God and not because he or she is in a special category of greatness.


            Then, at the end of the verses above, Paul tells us the reason God has done things in the way that he has. God chose to save the weak and the poor through means the world believes to be foolish. Why? Verse 29 tells us that God did things in this way so that no human being can boast before God. The fact is, we have nothing to brag about, and God wants us to know it. It is God and God alone who is worthy of all praise.


            So, what does thinking this through do for a modern believer? In a word, it brings us a God-glorifying humility. He is wiser than us. His ways are beyond our comprehension. His mercy is magnificent. And we are small, weak, needy recipients of grace. We have great reason for joy, as God’s love has been lavished upon us. But we also smile knowingly, realizing that we are sinners saved by a grace that the world around us, until they know Jesus too, simply cannot fathom.