World Wide Study Bible

Study

a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary

26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”


Select a resource above

26. ye see—rather, from the prominence of the verb in the Greek, "see" or "consider" (imperative) [Alford from Vulgate and Irenæus].

your calling … are called—Instead of the words in italics, supplied by English Version, supply, "were your callers." What Paul is dwelling on (compare 1Co 1:27, 28) is the weakness of the instrumentality which the Lord employed to convert the world [Hinds and Whately; so Anselm]. However, English Version accords well with 1Co 1:24. "The whole history of the expansion of the Church is a progressive victory of the ignorant over the learned, the lowly over the lofty, until the emperor himself laid down his crown before the cross of Christ" [Olshausen].

wise … after the flesh—the wisdom of this world acquired by human study without the Spirit. (Contrast Mt 16:17).

27. the foolish things—a general phrase for all persons and things foolish. Even things (and those, too, foolish things) are chosen by God to confound persons, (and those too persons who are wise). This seems to me the force of the change from neuter to masculine.

to confound—The Greek is stronger, "that He might confound (or put to shame)." God confounds the wise by effecting through His instruments, without human wisdom, that the worldly wise, with it, cannot effect, namely, to bring men to salvation.

chosen … chosen—The repetition indicates the gracious deliberateness of God's purpose (Jas 2:5).

28. yea, and things which are notYea is not in the Greek. Also some of the oldest manuscripts omit "and." Thus the clause, "things which are not" (are regarded as naught), is in apposition with "foolish … weak … base (that is, lowborn) and despised things." God has chosen all four, though regarded as things that are not, to bring to naught things that are.

29. no flesh … glory—For they who try to glory (boast) because of human greatness and wisdom, are "confounded" or put to shame (1Co 1:27). Flesh, like "the flower of the field," is beautiful, but frail (Isa 40:6).

in his presence—We are to glory not before Him, but in Him [Bengel].

30. But … ye—in contrast to them that "glory" in worldly wisdom and greatness.

of him are—not of yourselves (Eph 2:8), but of Him (Ro 11:36). From Him ye are (that is, have spiritual life, who once were spiritually among the "things which are not." 1Co 1:28).

in Christ—by living union with Him. Not "in the flesh" (1Co 1:26, 29).

of Godfrom God; emanating from Him and sent by Him.

is made unto ushas been made to us, to our eternal gain.

wisdom—unattainable by the worldly mode of seeking it (1Co 1:19, 20; contrast Col 2:3; Pr 8:1-36; Isa 9:6). By it we become "wise unto salvation," owing to His wisdom in originating and executing the plan, whereas once we were "fools."

righteousness—the ground of our justification (Jer 23:5, 6; Ro 4:25; 2Co 5:21); whereas once we were "weak" (Ro 5:6). Isa 42:21; 45:24.

sanctification—by His Spirit; whereas formerly we were "base." Hereafter our righteousness and sanctification alike shall be both perfect and inherent. Now the righteousness wherewith we are justified is perfect, but not inherent; that wherewith we are sanctified is inherent, but not perfect [Hooker]. Now sanctification is perfect in principle, but not in attainment. These two are joined in the Greek as forming essentially but one thing, as distinguished from the "wisdom" in devising and executing the plan for us ("abounded toward us in all wisdom," Eph 1:8), and "redemption," the final completion of the scheme in the deliverance of the body (the position of "redemption" last shows that this limited sense is the one intended here). Lu 21:28; Ro 8:23; Eph 1:14; 4:30.

redemption—whereas once we were "despised."

31. glory in … Lord—(Jer 9:23, 24)—in opposition to "flesh glorying in His presence" (1Co 1:29). In contrast to morbid slavish self-abasement, Paul joins with humility the elevating consciousness of our true dignity in Christ. He who glories is to glory in the Lord, not in the flesh, nor in the world.




Advertisements