“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise…that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” (1 Corinthians 1:26–31—NKJV)

It is a never-ceasing cause of wonder for me to observe God’s hand through the ages. He rarely uses the dramatic, the profound, or the awe-inspiring acts that are fully within His capability. God seems to prefer, as a general rule, to use people, places, and things that are not noteworthy or extraordinary. More often than not, God acts in an understated sort of way while doing mighty things.

The Bible is full of such examples. God used Abraham to father many nations. God used a shepherd boy to slay a giant. God used a tiny nation, when considering its physical size, to change the course of the world. God used a Jewish maiden to be the mother of His Son. God sent His Son to take upon Himself the form of an humble man, and not just a man but a servant, to be the mighty Kinsman Redeemer for men.

In all probability, when God brought you to Himself, when you trusted Christ as your Savior and Lord, He probably did so in an understated sort of way. You may be an exception where God moved heaven and earth, but statistically you would be unusual. Your point of conversion most probably resembled the Ethiopian who was met by Philip, heard the Gospel, and trusted Christ somewhere along a roadway of life (Acts 8:26–40).

Please do not get me wrong, no conversion is unremarkable. Every conversion is a miracle, but not as the world would recognize it. The unregenerate mind is wired to discount what it does not grasp and what its native sense does not value. Your conversion is certainly remarkable to you, if to no one else, but your “unremarkable” testimony is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal to illustrate the Scriptures when you witness and share the Gospel.

Our text explains the reason for God’s preference to use the “unremarkable.” Paul explains that God chooses (literally, to chose out for Himself by gracious and deliberate choice) the foolish things, weak, despised, and the non-existent things to put to shame the wise, the mighty, and to bring to nothing (make null and void, abolish) the things that are. His reason? So that no flesh may glory in His presence (not before Him, but in Him). In other words, humility before God may still revel in God’s gracious choice to save your soul but never allow any creeping drift in your bedrock understanding that there was nothing in you that drew Him. There was nothing seen or foreseen in you that attracted God’s grace.

Revel in the fact that three times in these six verses God simply states that He chose—and, if you are born again, you know He chose you! True, God chose that which is naturally a poor reflection of Himself so that you may be all the more aware of the fact that in Christ alone you find all the wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption required for you to be useful to Him in this world.

Verse 30 provides an outline of Paul’s book of 1 Corinthians. Each of the four topics is easily tracked through the chapters. Wisdom covers chapters 1–4, righteousness—5–6, sanctification—7–14, and redemption is featured in 15–16. Each topic has a good measure of overlap with the others, of course. In Christ every believer has made available to him everything he lacks, no matter how “unremarkable” in his own eyes he may be.

Jesus Christ is the Fountainhead (His Headship over the church and the saint) from which springs all wisdom. Wisdom includes knowing “what” is wise, knowing “why” it is wisdom, and knowing “how” to use that knowledge. Wisdom in Christ is not just book-learning, it is practical. 1 John uses two Greek words for “know,” one meaning knowledge that is learned by precept, and the other is knowledge learned by familiarity and practical experience. Jesus Christ is our Wise Counselor, our Advocate, and He reveals the Father to us.

From His wisdom unfolds both objective and subjective righteousness imputed and imparted to the saint. Sanctifying holiness in both the positional and practical sense is lavishly provided in the saint’s life. Redemption is the complete package of what God has designed for the believer (Ephesians 1 & 2). See to it—though you are probably ill-equipped to adequately reflect the glory of God—that you still glory in God and joyfully take advantage of the glories of Jesus Christ, your personal Savior, daily! Trust and obey.