Look at this as all one paragraph, one sentence, without
‚ÄúBrothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of
you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many
were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to
shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the
strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised
things‚Äîand the things that are not‚Äîto nullify the things that are, so
that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are
in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God‚Äîthat is, our
righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written:
‚ÄúLet him who boasts boast in the Lord.‚Äù‚Äù
(1Cor 1:26-31 NIV)
1 Wisdom – Ignorance
– Jesus has become our wisdom. Formerly we were foolish, we
didn’t know how to get to God, or who God was, or anything
about Him, but now that Jesus is ALIVE inside of us, and the
HOLY SPIRIT is in us, He is teaching us all things.
John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the
Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and
will remind you of everything I have said to you.
2 Righteousness – Shame (about my legal standing with God)
– Jesus has become our righteousness. We used to be evil
lawbreakers. We had shame ever since Adam and Eve ate the
apple and tried to cover themselves. Jesus has become for us
the answer to our shame, the covering of our shame.
Luke 18:9 To some who were confident of their own
righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told
Luke 18:10 ‚ÄúTwo men went up to the temple to pray, one a
Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
2Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for
us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
3 Holiness – Lawbreaking (about my way of living with God)
– Many people thought that their righteousness could be taken
care of by a sacrifice of a lamb or something and then they
could come before God. I think of holiness as what happens
between sacrifices. What is your life really like when you
are outside the temple. Are you not with God then too?
Holiness is about how set apart your life is. The articles in
the temple that were marked holy weren’t made always made out
of different materials than what was in people’s homes, but
they were set apart to be used by God. Our holiness comes the
same way. In Christ we are set apart for a different use than
the other un-holy stuff people in this world. Do you see the
unholy forgiving their enemies? Do you see the unholy showing
compassion to the helpless?
Galatians 5:16¬† So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will
not gratify the desires of the flesh.
4 Redemption – Paying Off the Debt
– All sin is ringing up a cost towards God. He is infinitely
wonderful, infinitely fantastic and worthy and pure, so any
time we choose something instead of Him, saying that it is
better than He is, we are deserving of an equally infinite
punishment. Most of the point of every religion, and
unfortunately Christianity has been made this way, is to work
back into harmony with the capitalized Whatever and bring
about one’s redemption. I don’t know of a religion that
deeply considers creation and the human condition and then
figures everything is alright and doesn’t do anything about
what they’ve considered. Even Unitarian Universalists meet on
Sunday mornings and sing songs for some reason (this has
confused me since I first learned what they were.)
Jesus said it several times. Our redemption is only paid by
Him. It is too costly for us. No matter what we paid, no
matter how we lived, our redemption can never be ours. It is
His redemption of us. You can’t vacuum the carpet you’re
standing on, and you can’t make a pure sacrifice that will
take care of all of the sins of your past AND future, but He
can, and He did.
This is all from God. If David dumps out all of the toys in his toy
box, and I pick them all up, he can’t boast about his clean room. The
more he talked about what he did, my wife would realize more and more
how much work I did to clean it up. He has nothing to boast in about
himself, only in my cleaning up his mess.
So all of this comes from Jesus. I don’t have to try to generate any
of these things myself‚Äìnot before God, and not before other people. I
don’t have to prove or be reminded of or build up to someone that I
have these things, because I have them. I don’t have to remind anyone
that Cindy is my wife. She is. We love each other.
That’s great about how I don’t have to prove myself to anyone, but
what about everyone to me? What if I not only saw myself has having
my wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption straight from God,
but what if I saw others has having theirs from God too? What if
through the Holy Spirit living through me people knew without a doubt
that I considered them complete in all 4 of those areas? What if I
built up everyone I met with the confidence in THEM that THEY HAVE
what I am discovering that I HAVE!? Fullness, not lacking in
‚ÄúFor in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,
and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over
every power and authority.‚Äù
(Col 2:9-10 NIV)