October 16, 2017
1 Corinthians 1:27-31 - But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong; God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things of the world to nullify the things that are, so that no one can boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Jesus Christ, who has become for us wisdom from God, that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption, therefore as it is written; "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord!"
One of the great things about being on the radio this October, preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is that this is the 500th-year anniversary of the Reformation, the posting of the 95 Theses, when a simple monk named Martin Luther unleashed the power of real forgiveness in the person and work of Jesus; He unleashed it for all. The Gospel of Jesus is not wishful thinking. It's not the best effort of merely a great man of the past. It's not the message of a hero, the religion of a guru, even a saint. No, it's the work of God in the flesh for the sake of every human being in the world. What makes Christianity so different than other religions in the world is just that: it's not about any of us; it's not about the best efforts of any of us. It's about God's work in the world for sinful people just like you and me. Wow! The Reformation was a moment where one man was willing to boast about this Jesus and His message of grace alone, through faith alone, based on the Scripture alone -- no matter what it cost him. Why? Because he wanted people like you and me to know that Jesus by faith.
Boasting about Jesus: there's nothing like it. Why? Because it's not about boasting about ourselves. It's not about boasting about our accomplishments in Him. It's not about anything like that at all. The passage in 1 Corinthians can't say it any clearer. When it comes to us, there's no boasting possible. Our science, our technology, our engineering, our cumulative wisdom, it's always tainted by our sin, our pride, our ambition. When God comes to remedy that, He is even willing to come as a Servant, through a manger, by a cross because that's the power of God for salvation for all who believe. And that's worth boasting about because it blesses not just the proclaimer but the listener as well.
You know, I've often told you about the zeal of Green Bay Packer fans. They are crazy, aren't they, especially when they put that cheese on their heads? But I always was a bit in awe of how much they loved their team, their willingness to boast about them, win, lose, or draw. They love their coaches, their players, their announcers, the staff at the stadium. Why? Because this was their team. It belonged to the community, and the effort to strive for excellence was not just by the team; the crowd was there for them, too. "Count on it," they would say. That boasting blessed the team, blessed the community, blessed the fans -- because it was boasting about something bigger than themselves.
If you think that's powerful, it's not even a glimpse of boasting in the excellence, the holiness, the grace of God in the Person and work of Jesus. In the game that really matters, He's the only One worthy of being boasted about because He accomplished the victory for one of each of you. Luther boasted about that grace. I've boasted about that grace in Jesus. Why? So that anyone listening might come to life and salvation in Him forever. I pray that His Gospel has been a blessing to you. Keep the faith!
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, give us the confidence to trust in You, to boast in You, to live life boldly for You in all we do. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries