Boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:30–31) - Radical

Boast in the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:30–31)

“And because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption. So that as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 1:30–31)

What a great close to this chapter. This chapter has just talked about the power of the cross, to save us from our sins by God’s grace and calling us to himself. So when you put all this together, when you think about salvation through the cross of Christ, by the calling of God and his grace, do you have anything to boast about that you have done before God? Do you have anything to boast about that you have done before God? The answer is clearly no.

The only way we can stand before God is by boasting in what Christ has done in His death and resurrection.

Why am I a follower of Jesus, a saint sanctified in Christ Jesus? First Corinthians 1:2. Why have I seen in the cross salvation instead of folly or a stumbling block, like so many other people in the world see folly and stumbling block? Why have I seen salvation? Is it because I’m smarter? Is it because I’m better? It’s because I’m richer or this or that? No, that’s the whole point, like leading up to this. Paul just says over and over again, “It’s not because you’re wiser than others. It’s not because you’re richer than others. It’s not because you have all these things. God’s actually chosen the low and despised in the world. It’s because you don’t have these things.”

He goes so far as to say like, “The only reason you and I who have trusted in Jesus have found salvation in him or sanctified in him are called saints who we know that we’re going to be held to the end guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only reason for all of that is the grace of God.” It’s the only reason. It’s because of his mercy so that the only boast we have is him, like none of us stands before God with a boast that says, “Look at what I did,” The boast that says, “Look at what I did.” Look at what I did, know the exact opposite.

The only way we can stand before God is saying, “I’m only here because of what you did, what you have done, what you are doing.” You are to use first Corinthians 1, verse 30 language. You are my righteousness. You are my sanctification. You are my redemption. Jesus, you are all these things for me so that the only boast I have is in you. That’s why Paul says in Galatians 6, “We only boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” like that’s our only boast. How do we have life forever with God? How will be held guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ? How are we called saints and sanctified in this world? How do we have righteousness and redemption? Only by the cross of Jesus, only by the grace of God.

So we praise you, oh God, for your grace. We praise you for your mercy and our lives. God, even right now in my own life, I’m just overwhelmed in a fresh way by your grace toward me. There is no other explanation why I am, one, a follower of Christ; two, pastor in church; three, like leading a podcast like this, like leading in prayer to you, like there’s no way all of this is by your grace. There’s nothing I have done to merit where I am in my life. It’s totally by your mercy.

The same is true for all of us who are in Christ. We are only where we are because of your grace and your mercy. We are your children only because of your grace and your mercy. So we praise you, our Father, for your grace, for your mercy, and we pray use our lives to spread it to others. God, we want more and more people to know your grace. We want more and more people to know your mercy through our lives, right where we live and God, far from where we live.

God, we pray for the Kunbi Konkani people in India, 660,000, like I can already say their name. God, you know all of them though. You know all 660,000 and then you know there’s not one follower of Jesus right now, one person who knows your sanctification and your righteousness and your redemption. God, change that. I pray for the Kunbi Konkani people. Please, oh God, change this for them and use our lives, our church to do it, to make your grace known right where we live and far from where we live, even as we praise you day by day by day, moment by moment by moment for your mercy in our lives. We love and worship you, God, for your grace toward us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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