Sunday, 11 May 2014
Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: 1 Corinthians 3:21
“Therefore” is now stated for consideration of what he has been considering throughout the entire chapter. Paul is moving from his argument into an exhortation to those in Corinth (and thus to us who read this epistle). However, his following words are some of the most disregarded in the entire letter – “let no one boast in men.”
It is with the greatest note of sadness that this simple sentence has gone almost completely unheeded in Christianity. Catholics boast in the pope; Lutherans boast in Luther; Calvinists boast in Calvin; modern followers of prophecy boast in individual analysts; people cling to TV evangelists and preachers as if they possessed the source of wisdom and knowledge. And yet… they are just people serving in a limited capacity for a limited time and their analyses are merely attempts to explain what has already been given.
Paul exhorts each of us to not boast in any man. Instead, let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. Anything other than this merely diminishes what should be the sole and complete focus of our attention, Jesus Christ. In order to explain this, he follows up with an argument for his exhortation by stating “For all things are yours.” This will be expanded upon in the verses ahead; it is not a stand alone thought that we can run with and claim all-knowledge or all authority in and of ourselves. Instead, it is a precursor to what he will next explain.
Life application: It is commendable to recognize a sound theologian, commentator, preacher, evangelist, etc. But Paul warns us that we are not to boast in that individual. Be careful to heed these words lest your eyes be misdirected away from the Lord.
I will fix my eyes on You, O Lord. My heart will be steadfast in my devotion to You, my God. Throughout my days, I will think on You, meditate on Your word, and speak of Your goodness to others. And when I get misdirected, please nudge me back onto the right way once again. You are my All in all and I wish to proclaim You – only You! Amen.