What Does 1 Corinthians 1:26 Mean?

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;

1 Corinthians 1:26(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The focal theme and central thrust of all Paul's epistles is the message of the cross.. the good news of the gospel of Christ. However Paul in his letter to the Corinthians gives two opinions of the cross of Christ: 1) the cross of Christ as unsaved men view it and 2) the cross of Christ as God views it.

To those that are perishing (the unsaved) the cross and its message are viewed as foolishness. However God views the cross as wisdom.. true wisdom - a wisdom that is hidden from those that do not believe in Christ for salvation. But those of us who are saved by grace through faith in Him, recognise the cross as the power of God and the wisdom of God. And although the world may consider those who believe in the cross to be foolish, weak, insignificant and of no account - true wisdom from God's perspective comes through a knowledge of Christ and Him crucified - and not in elevation of the unsanctified and 'foolish' wisdom of man.

Those who despise the message of the cross and follow after the ways of the world elevate worldly wisdom, worldly intellect, worldly power and worldly positions, but God views their worldly wisdom and high intellect as foolishness and God considers worldly power and elevated positions to be of no importance.. Though highly esteemed in the mind of man and in their own self-importance - God sees such people as weak, worthless fools who are of no significance whatsoever, if they have not believed in the message of the cross.

The focal theme and central thrust of all Paul's epistles is the message of the cross.. the good news of the gospel of Christ. However Paul in his letter to the Corinthians gives two opinions of the cross of Christ: 1) the cross of Christ as unsaved men view it and 2) the cross of Christ as God views it.

To those that are perishing (the unsaved) the cross and its message are viewed as foolishness. However God views the cross as wisdom.. true wisdom - a wisdom that is hidden from those that do not believe in Christ for salvation. But those of us who are saved by grace through faith in Him, recognise the cross as the power of God and the wisdom of God. And although the world may consider those who believe in the cross to be foolish, weak, insignificant and of no account - true wisdom from God's perspective comes through a knowledge of Christ and Him crucified - and not in elevation of the unsanctified and 'foolish' wisdom of man.

Those who despise the message of the cross and follow after the ways of the world elevate worldly wisdom, worldly intellect, worldly power and worldly positions, but God views their worldly wisdom and high intellect as foolishness and God considers worldly power and elevated positions to be of no importance.. Though highly esteemed in the mind of man and in their own self-importance - God sees such people as weak, worthless fools who are of no significance whatsoever, if they have not believed in the message of the cross.

When you look at the person of Christ you see the ONE and only Person that is able to save a lost sinner.. you see the ONE and only Work that was carried out for the redemption of fallen mankind and you see the ONE and only gospel of the grace of God - the message of the Cross, which is foolishness to those that are perishing but to us who have been saved (i.e. the single act of justification) and who are being saved (i.e. the ongoing process of sanctification) - it is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

The minds of men that elevate human wisdom and glory in worldly power are minds that have despised the message of the cross.. hearts that have rejected God's offer of salvation, souls that remain dead in their trespasses and sins.. people that abide under God's eternal condemnation - and God views such men as foolish. Their wisdom is according to the flesh and not of God. Their might is founded on a flawed worldview and not sound Biblical understanding - and their strength relies on worldly might and not the One and only Person of Christ, the One and only Work of Salvation - the One and only Message of the Cross.

When the wisdom of man rejects the message of the Cross - they become fools, for the fool that has said in their heart there is no God. When human intellect relegates God and His Christ to the realms of myths and folk-law - they become senseless men with no knowledge of eternal truth, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise godly wisdom and biblical instruction. And when the message of the Cross is substituted for position, prestige, human honour and worldly wealth that man becomes wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked in the eyes of the Lord.

No wonder Paul wrote that there are not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty according to man's viewpoint, and not many noble that come to accept the message of the Cross, for they have substituted Self for God on the throne of their life. It is recorded that one high-born aristocrat, praised God for the letter 'M' in this verse... not Many who are mighty and of noble birth are saved as opposed to not Any being saved! for this aristocratic lady of noble birth had come to a saving faith in the message of the cross. No wonder the Lord said that the wisdom of this world is foolishness to Him - for when the message of the cross is rejected by those that consider themselves wise in this world they become fools in the sight of the Lord.

It was God in His wisdom that planned and purposed that salvation would be accomplished through the message of the Cross. Those that become wise in their own eyes become foolish in the eyes of God. Those that are mighty in their own judgement become weak from God's heavenly perspective. Let us purpose in our heart to glory in nothing - but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, for He is the the ONE and only Person that is able to save the lost sinners by the grace of God through the message of the Cross - for He is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and by faith we are ONE with HIM.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, I have nothing to recommend myself except for the death of Jesus Christ my Saviour and King. May I come to a deeper knowledge and understanding of the amazing message of the Cross, and all that Christ has done for me through the death, burial and resurrection of Your dearly beloved Son, Who alone is worthy of all praise.. and in Whose name I pray, AMEN

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