SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul (whose story we learned about in the book of Acts) writes to the Christians in the city of Corinth. He begins his letter by expressing his thanks for them.
- Paul then (verses 10-17) addresses a problem in the Corinithian church. As we read through this letter we'll discover that the Corinthian church had many problems. The issue Paul mentions first is that rather than everyone being united by the fact that they all follow Jesus, they were taking pride in what person baptized them and saying they followed that person. That is wrong, since Jesus is the leader and one to be followed. Paul says he's actually glad he didn't baptize any of them, so that they can't say they are followers of Paul.
- Next (verses 18-31) Paul says that Jesus is both the wisdom and power of God. He says that the Jews were looking for God’s power in miraculous signs and the Greeks were looking for God’s wisdom in philosophy. But both reject the ultimate expression of these things by rejecting Jesus. He's saying that the world just doesn’t get it. At the same time, in the world's eyes, Jesus' followers don't get it, because they are all about Jesus. But Paul explains that the power and wisdom of God are truly found in Jesus.
- After this Paul talks about the identity of the Corinthians before they followed Jesus. He says that most of them were not wise, influential or of noble birth. They were the people that the world didn’t respect or honor. But in Jesus they found acceptance, love, and value. And Paul reminds them not be proud of their status in the Kingdom of God but instead to be proud of who God is.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Jesus is the only one worthy of our ultimate allegiance. He is the one we should follow.
- Your identity should come from God and the fact that Jesus thinks so highly of you He was willing to die for you and take your sin.
- We should “boast” in the Lord. Instead of taking pride in our own accomplishments, we should focus and talk about how great God is and the great things He has done in our lives.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- If you follow Jesus, what were you like when God called you? Who valued you and why? How did you find your self-worth rise and fall based on circumstances or success (or lack of) or other people's opinions? What could it look like for you to get your identity from God and the worth He finds in you?
- Look for opportunities this week to "boast in the Lord." How can you take pride in God and what He has done? What chances can you find to make God look great?