26 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. 27 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; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (ESV)
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Time Is Short. Eternity Is Near. (Part 1)
Our time in this age is nearing an end, and the concerns of the age will pass away.
We see this truth specifically emphasized in verses 29b and 31c of 1 Corinthians 7. We know from the book of Matthew that many people will not be ready (24:38-39). These realities should deeply moderate our emotions and approach to all areas of life.
In the context of the below arced passage, Paul gives extended attention to the topic of marriage. It is good, morally and practically, for people to stay as they are. The married should not seek release, and the single should not seek a spouse. If the single marry they have not sinned, but they should know that marriage will bring ‘trouble’. The word used for ‘trouble’ is elsewhere translated ‘tribulation’ and ‘affliction’–this sounds like real pain. Paul knows this, despite not being married himself, and would spare the unmarried from it. Marriage should not be the focus of our lives (v 29d-e), and those with wives should live “as though they had none”.
You have a certain amount of time remaining in this life. Seek to approach all of your affairs in such a way that their joy and pain do not distract your heart or mind from impending Eternity. Know that the affairs of this age will soon pass away. Whether your marriage is hard or easy, or your work stressful or light, do not let them cause you to forget that your time is short, and eternity is near.
(This was originally posted on the Biblearc blog by Robert Elphick on November 5, 2014.)
Calvinistic Election Based on Foreknowledge
A careful reading of 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 makes clear that election unto salvation is based on God’s foreknowledge. That is, not his foreknowledge of our faith, but rather his foreknowledge of our not-ness.
So often when we read the Bible with an open heart, we discover our questions are turned on their head. Such is the case with this text. Many ask (I have!) if election is based on foreknowledge or not. The answer is “yes”—but not in the way we meant when we asked.
This is clear in the passage below. Why did God choose those whom he chose to be saved? The answer is not “it had nothing to do with that person.” But the answer is also not “because God foresaw that person’s faith.” The reason God chose those whom he chose is because of their not-ness. He chose them because they were not wise. He chose them because they were not strong. He chose them—that is God chose us—because we were those who were not. And since this choosing occurred prior to my existence and demonstration of my not-ness (Ephesians 1:4), then apparently this choosing was based upon God’s foreknowledge of that not-ness.
This is a wonder to consider, as is the purpose for which God has chosen in this way—namely, that no human being, neither the unchosen somebodies nor the chosen who were once nobodies, may boast in the presence of God.
For this same subject, also consider Romans 9:11, 1 Timothy 1:16, and James 2:5.
(This was originally posted on the Biblearc blog by Andy Hubert on October 23, 2014.)