Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. (1 Cor. 1:26)

German theologian Rudolf Bultmann said, “The one basic sin is self-assertion, or the desire for recognition.” And it is in this passage that Paul addressed this struggle between our craving for recognition of the self (flesh) and giving recognition to the One who deserves it: Jesus Christ.

In verse 30, Paul said it is not what we do or who we are (flesh) that brings us in favor with God. Rather, it is through the grace, love, and power of God through his Son that we are ushered into an everlasting relationship. Paul accurately reminded us who we once were apart from Christ. For once we were boasting fools, ignorant of and blind to the things of God. But in Christ, we have received truth and wisdom. Furthermore, though we were guilty, he has given us righteousness, our great atonement. Though we were depraved and corrupt, he has given us righteousness and sanctification so that his redemption may be complete, freeing us completely from sin.

At the end of this passage, Paul, referencing Jeremiah 9:23–24, made clear that when those who believe are freed and redemption is found through Christ, we are the ones who are humbled, and it is God who is glorified and exalted. All is as it should be.

With a humble heart, give him thanks for he is good!

Jeremy Summers serves as multiplication pastor at Alive Wesleyan Church and adjunct professor at Southern Wesleyan University.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.