Bragging Rights

1 Corinthians 1:30-31

And because of [God] you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”


As I become more mature I want more and more to be thought of as wise. Part of that would certainly be self-serving and egotistical. But the better part of me hopes that some of the lessons I have learned along the way would be helpful to others who could learn from my mistakes. A follower of Jesus will also seek to grow in godly living and an ever-increasing sense of his or her unique identity as a daughter or son of God. Jesus’ work of redeeming us becomes increasingly more important to the sinner saved by grace.

If I really want to embrace these gifts from God and model them in my own life, I will look ever more closely at Jesus. We might say that the Old Testament predicts Christ’s coming, the Gospels proclaim Christ’s presence, the book of Acts portrays Christ’s impact, and the letters of Paul and others explain Christ’s purpose. Here we have at least one purpose of Christ’s work for us: that we might boast in the Lord.

If someone observes that I have offered a wise insight, my response would be, I believe Jesus embodied that wisdom in his life. If I am able to embrace a lifestyle that is at the same time separate, unique, different from the world – all the while not embracing the world’s values – it is because Jesus shows me how to do that. If I am ever tempted to hold up my own acts of righteousness, I will remember Jesus’ words, “When you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” (Luke 17:10)

During this Holy Week it is time to lean into Jesus’ teaching and life with special attention. We will learn so much about wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification as we see the most intense work of our salvation unfold. Thank God that Jesus has become these things for us. We show that to be true as we make our boast in the Lord.

Holy Week Readings 2016
From the Revised Common Lectionary

Tuesday of Holy Week
March 22, 2016
Isaiah 49:1-7 Psalm 71:1-14 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 John 12:20-36

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

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? 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. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

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. 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; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

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