By Doug Bell
1 Corinthians 1:
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.”
Once again, Paul is centered on the message of the Gospel. And he should be. It is the very heart of what Christianity is all about. Without the Finished Work of Christ What have we to offer a Lost, Dead, and Rebellious World?
So Paul begins by telling us what the Gospel is NOT, because some have and do still misunderstand the Gospel message, Paul says , ‘here is what it isn‘t!’ First, the Gospel is not Baptismal regeneration. That is the belief that a person is saved through being baptized. Just listen to the Apostle;
14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15 so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name.
16 (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel.
NOTE: Can it be any plainer? IF baptism were a part of salvation he would have said, ‘God sent me to baptize.’ But he did not! Instead, he said, ‘Christ did NOT send me to baptize.’ What is it Paul was sent to do? “Preach the Gospel!” Even the most unlearned can understand what Paul is communicating. Baptism is NOT part of the Gospel. So much so , he says, Vs. 14 ‘I thank God that I baptized none of you.’
The next thing Paul says that the Gospel ISN’T, 17 ‘For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.’ The Gospel is NOT to be preached with “eloquent wisdom.” Paul explains what this means in the chapter 2:1 “And when I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come as someone superior in [a]speaking ability or [b]wisdom, as I proclaimed to you the [c]testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.“ (NASV) The reason being, the Gospel message is not to glorify the man speaking, but to glorify Christ! The power is not in the speaker, but in the message of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection!
We finally come to what the Gospel IS!
18 ¶ ‘For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’ So first, the Gospel is God’s Wisdom and is effected through God’s Power! The world looks at the Gospel and says it’s foolish. It doesn’t make sense. How can a person dying on a cross, affect me in any meaningful way? But God said way back in Genesis 3:15; “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” In fact, before God created the world, He had prepared a plan to save some from a devil’s hell (Ephesians 1:4). 21 ‘For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.’
23 ‘but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’
“Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” The Gospel then is what saves. It is again; the Life, Death, Resurrection, and ascension of Christ! And why is it this and nothing else?
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.
In other words ALL OF SALVATION; I.e., justification, sanctification, and ultimately even glorification is all of God and all from God! And why is that? “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” No one gets the glory from our salvation except God, and God Alone! And He alone deserves to be Worshipped!