Online Bible Commentary
Glory to the Lord!
1 Corinthians 1:26 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." (NKJV)
The writer of 1 Corinthians is the apostle Paul. He wrote this letter to the church at Corinth, Greece during his third missionary journey. The church was established by Paul during his second missionary journey when he ministered in Corinth for a year and a half during A. D. 51-52.
Paul wrote this letter during his two year and three month ministry in Ephesus, Asia in A. D. 54-56. It was actually his second letter to the church (1 Cor. 5:9). However the first letter obviously was lost. The purpose of this letter is to emphasize that Jesus is our Lord and Master.
In this passage, Paul is writing of true wisdom, the wisdom from God. He begins by informing the church in Corinth that “not many” of those who are seen as wise in the eyes of the world, or powerful, or rich and famous will become Christians (v. 26).
Instead, they will be “put to shame” by “things” that the world sees as “foolish and “weak” (v. 27). These “things” are the gospel and the offensive nature of the crucifixion, which are despised by those non believers who are sold out to the world. Christianity is despised by these non believers.
Those who are chosen by God, through His foreknowledge of their acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, are also “despised”, for their Christianity (v. 28a). However, it is this very Christianity that will “bring to nothing the things that are”, the things of the world (v. 28b). “No flesh”, none of the things of the world, will find glory with God (v. 29).
Paul then imparts words of encouragement to the Corinthian believers, and to all Christians. As Christians, we are “in Christ Jesus” (v. 30a). And through Him, we enjoy “the wisdom from God”, “righteousness”, “sanctification and redemption” (v. 30). He imputes His wisdom and righteousness in us. He sanctifies us over time and when He returns we will be fully redeemed.
Paul closes this passage with a quote from the Prophet Jeremiah; "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord" (v. 31). The Scripture in full is “But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:24).
As Christians we should take the time to know and understand the Lord. We should glory in Him, not in the world. The world cannot give us God’s wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Only the Lord can bless us in this way. All the glory should go to the Lord. Glory to the Lord!