Read chapter in full: www.biblegateway.com/passage/?version=ESV&search=1Corinthians+001
The book of Acts describes how Paul brought the royal news about Jesus the Messiah to Macedonia (northern Greece), but then had to flee to Achaia (southern Greece) for his own safety. He visited the city of Corinth there, a wealthy and cosmopolitan commercial center. Many people became believers, so he stayed for a year and a half to teach them.
After he left, the Corinthians wrote to Paul (in a letter we no longer have) with some key questions. The Corinthians had adopted the common Greek idea that physical things are bad, so they wanted to free the human spirit from the body. This affected the way they saw such things as marriage, attendance at ceremonial meals for pagan gods, and even the resurrection of Jesus. In the letter we know as 1 Corinthians Paul addresses all of these concerns, as well as questions about worship.
Paul writes that this world in its present form is passing away, but the Corinthians can give themselves fully to the work of the Lord since their labor in the Lord is not in vain. The coming resurrection of the dead, and the new world that will accompany it, will show the value of all their current efforts. Paul’s practical advice for how to consistently embody the new life of God’s kingdom during a particular scene in the biblical drama gives us great insight as we seek to take up our roles today.
CHAPTER 1 (ESV)
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
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.”
- What pictures come to mind when thinking about powerful, successful people? How do these ideas sometimes conflict with following Christ? How have I confused the world’s wisdom with God’s wisdom?
- Have I witnessed a situation where God used the weak, lowly, and despised to fulfil his plan of salvation?
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer.