Do Not Boast in Men (1 Corinthians 3:21–23) - Radical

Do Not Boast in Men (1 Corinthians 3:21–23)

“So let no one boast in men for all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or the present, or the future. All are yours and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.”
– 1 Corinthians 3:21–23

What a great conclusion to this chapter here in 1 Corinthians 3:21–23. Really these three chapters as Paul has been talking about the division in the church of Corinth over allegiance to different leaders and the arrogance that was coming from that, the pride that was coming from that. And Paul says, “What are you doing? Don’t boast in men. Why would you boast in Paul? Why would you boast in Apollos when you have Christ. That makes no sense whatsoever.”

May God give us grace to boast in Him. We need not acceptance, approval, or applause from the world because we are accepted by God in Christ.

He says, ‘All things are yours. You have everything you need in Christ. All is yours. You belong to Jesus and Christ is God’s like you have everything.” The whole picture that we saw in 1st Corinthians chapter 2, that the Spirit of God is yours, the mind of Christ is yours. Why divide over whether or not you’re in Apollos’s camp, or Paul’s camp, or you’re with this person or that person’s. No, you have Jesus, and this is such an awesome, clear, helpful, hopeful reminder to you and me, because all things are ours.

1 Corinthians 3:21–23 Reminds Us That Our Strength Is in Christ

We have Jesus. You have Jesus. Just let this soak in. You have Jesus. You have Jesus in you, with you, on your side. And Jesus is God’s. You have God. So we’ve seen it. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, they’re yours. They’re yours. You belong to them. They’re with you, in you. God is in you. God is in you. This revolutionizes your life in so many ways. We could spend hours right now just talking about all the implications of this. Let’s just pray through implications of this.

So God, open our eyes even right now in a fresh way to all the things that are ours in Christ flowing from you. Your wisdom is ours. You give us all the wisdom we need.

Your acceptance. We are free, oh God, from the need for acceptance, approval, applause, acclaim from anyone, anything in this world. And We don’t live for man’s applause, man’s acceptance. We have yours. We have your righteousness, your holiness, your redemption.

New Creations

We’ve been made new. We’re new creations because we have you. We have strength in our weakness. We have peace that passes all understanding. And we have joy that supersedes all circumstances. Now we have a life that will last forever. We have comfort in the middle of our sorrows. We have hope in the middle of our suffering. Oh God, we can’t even measure these things. They are more than we can fathom and they’re ours. You’ve given them freely to us. Now we have knowledge of you. We have understanding of you. We have communion with you. And we have life with you.

You are with us. You are for us. As Romans 8 says, “If you are for us, who can be against us? Nothing. No one.” We have confidence in you. We have courage from you. All these things that flow from you, God. We can keep going on and on and on and on here. We praise you for your generosity toward us. So help us to live in it, help us to realize it, that all things are ours and we are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. Help us to live out of the overflow of the wealth that you have given to us in relationship with you. And we pray that we would experience unity in your church as we share together in all these things. We pray this with awe in our hearts, overwhelmed by your generosity toward us. In Jesus name, Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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