Christ Calls an End to Selfish Boasting
While religions of many different flavours boast of self-improvement in order to reach God, it is by God's loving grace alone that we are in Christ Jesus; safely sheltered from the wrath of God against our sins. There is nothing anybody can do to achieve favour with God, except to receive His gift.
Paul wanted to remind the Corinthians that although they thought they were spiritually superior, even to the Apostle, their boasting was foolishly offensive to God. Their hearts were wrong. Every blessing they possessed came from God. Their righteousness was given and not earned. Their holiness was God's choosing and their redemption came at the price of Christ's blood.
Instead of running after worldly wisdom and trying to generate public approval for their spiritual insights, the Christians in Corinth needed to humbly realise that everything they needed to live a godly life is found in Christ Jesus. He is the all-wise person who knows everything and always uses that knowledge to bring blessing to those who will accept His rule.
But believers today are all too 'Corinthian' in their personal attitudes. Boasting is easy, it is a part of our fleshly nature; it seeks to exalt self. It is not a mark of godliness because Christ is the only person who Father God exalts and we must too. If we are to boast, we should boast in Him. Yet the churches, parachurch ministries, leaders and their flocks are naturally wired up to boast about themselves. It is only the indwelling Christ who can alter our attitude. When He does, the humility of Christ in His people will become obvious and those who watch on, at work and in the community, will notice. Some will ask, "Why are you different?" The answer should be, "Jesus Christ is living in me!" He will come to your friends and colleagues too if they accept Him as their Saviour and Lord.
© Dr Paul Adams