1 Corinthians 1:31


The one condition of spiritual blessing, upon which Scripture universally insists, is humility. The lowly are assured of acceptance, and the proud and self confident are condemned to rejection. The terms of Christianity correspond with the teaching of the Old Testament; for it is to the poor in spirit and to the meek, to the child like in character and disposition, that the blessings of the new covenant are assigned. The same spirit which is a means of obtaining the blessings of Christianity is distinctive of those who possess these blessings. They have received all they enjoy from the free grace of God, and it is their delight to abase themselves and to exalt him from whom they have derived their spiritual privileges and prospects. They may glory, but it is not in anything which is their own; it is in him of whom and to whom are all things.

I. CHRISTIANS REPUDIATE ALL GLORYING IN SELF.

1. In their own possessions anal powers. There is a natural tendency to think highly of self, and to depreciate our fellow men and their gifts, and to forget our God the Giver of all. But the very fact that we are Christians is conclusive against the lawfulness of such moral habits. God has made us; Christ has redeemed us, and we are not our own.

2. In the gifts of God's providence. To boast of wealth, or nationality, or family, is to overlook the great question, "What hast thou that thou didst not receive?"

3. In their privileges. This the Jews were constantly in the habit of doing; they boasted that they were Abraham's children, and Moses' disciples, etc. If highly favoured by Christian privilege, let Christ's people be upon their watch lest they claim credit for what they owe to the free grace of God.

4. In their attainments. The Corinthians seem to have been in special danger of falling into this snare. Human learning and philosophy may very possibly become an occasion of stumbling and reproach.

5. In their virtues. This was the Pharisaic spirit, and should be checked by the remembrance that "we are unprofitable servants."

II. CHRISTIANS CULTIVATE THE HABIT OF GLORYING IN THEIR LORD.

1. This is a just and reasonable habit. Reflection assures every true and spiritual Christian that he is indebted to the mercy of God in Christ, first for his redemption from sin, and then for every grace, all help, all counsel, all comfort, through which he is what he is. Therefore in the Author of salvation and life he is bound to rejoice.

2. This is a profitable habit. To glory in the Lord is a sure preservative against ingratitude and murmuring, and will help in maintaining a cheerful and happy tone and temper of mind. It is, moreover, an evident and beautiful preparation for the employments of heaven.

3. This is a habit for which we have the apostolic example and precedent. It was the habit of Paul's mind to glory, not in man, but in God. He could glory in his own infirmities; he could glory in the blessing God bestowed upon his labours, though then he "became a fool in glorying." But this was the prevailing sentiment of his spirit: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Christ Jesus my Lord!" - T.







He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
here is an irresistible tendency in us to glory in something or other. All classes of men glory. Good people have the tendency to glory, and sometimes they glory in unworthy objects, and therefore God has prepared a cure for it — not by repressing the instinct, but by giving it a worthy subject. The prevention or cure of glorying in men, in riches, and in self, is glorying in the Lord. Let us —

I. GLORY ONLY IN THE LORD. Because —

1. The theme is too great to admit of another. If God fills all in all, there can be no other god; and if the glory of God be infinite, then there can be no second glory.

2. Any other object highly provokes the Most High. He has said, "My glory will I not give to another, nor My praise to graven images." Where the ark of the Lord is, Dagon must come down. God will be all, or nothing. Think of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, and Herod.

3. There is no other fit ground for glorying.(1) If there were some other object in which we thought we could glory, yet since it came from Him it would be idle to glory in the streams, we had better boast in the fountain-head from which the stream descends.(2) Moreover, all things in this world are fleeting, and wherefore should we glory in that which to-day is, and to-morrow will pass away? Let your glory be in that which will last as long as your own being.(3) Besides, there is nothing in this world worth glorying in, in comparison with God. He is the sun; the stars must hide their heads when He appears. Let us bless the eternal ocean of all-sufficient glory and goodness, and not turn aside to magnify our little Abanas and Pharpars.

4. When we do so we shall be in accord with the true order of the universe.(1) With creation "The heavens are telling the glory of God." "All Thy works praise Thee, O God." Creation is a temple in which every one speaks of His glory.(2) With Providence. "For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be the glory for ever."(3) With the angels. What is their song? "Glory to God in the highest."(4) With the Divine Trinity; for what does the Father do but glorify the Son? What does the Son aim at when He says, "Father, glorify Thy Son" ? It is, "that Thy Son also may glorify Thee." What does the Holy Spirit do when He takes of the things of Christ, and shows them unto us? Has not Jesus said of Him, "He shall glorify Me" ?

II. GLORY HEARTILY IN THE LORD. Because of —

1. His love. Glory in —(1) Its antiquity. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love!"(2) In its wonderful benefactions.(3) In its freeness. He loved us because He would love us; not because we were lovely, but because He was love. Glory in it, therefore, all the day long, for well you may. "He loved me, and gave Himself for me."

2. His faithfulness. Whom once He loves He never leaves, but loves them to the end.

3. His holiness. "Bless the Lord, O my soul," and "All that is within me, bless" — His gracious name, is it? No. His loving name? No; but "His holy name," because the whole includes all the parts, and the holiness, or the wholeness of God is a grander thing than any one of the distinct attributes which make up His character. Glory in the holiness of God, for there is none holy as the Lord. It is this which angels glory in, for as they veil their faces, they say, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts."

4. His all-sufficiency, and the liberality with which He distributes His mercies among His chosen. In Christ Jesus is not one good thing given to us, but every good thing. Do we need to be instructed? Christ is oar wisdom. Do we need to be clothed in the sight of God with a righteousness that shall render us acceptable? Christ is our righteousness. Do we need to be purified and cleansed? Christ is our sanctification. And do we need to be set free and delivered from all bondage? Christ is our redemption.

5. The nearness and dearness of the relationship which God holds to us. The mar, who can bow his knee, and say from his heart, "Our Father," has more to glory in than the emperor of the grandest nations. Is Christ my Brother? I am ennobled by that relationship.

III. GLORY IN THE LORD GROWINGLY. That is to say, we should glory in God in proportion as we learn more of Him, and receive more from Him. Glory growingly in the Lord as you know more of Him —

1. By revelation. And as you see more of Him, go and tell abroad more of Him, and let others know what a glorious God you serve.

2. By experience. Never let a special season pass without praising Him; and as answers to prayer increase, as grace is given to you in times of need, and as you see converting work going on in others glorify Him more. By and by, as time rolls on, we shall know more of the Lord, and get to be more like Him, and approach nearer to the glory itself. Beholding that glory, as in a glass, we are changed from glory to glory, as by the image of the Lord.

IV. GLORY IN THE LORD PRACTICALLY.

1. By owning that you belong to Him. A man does not hide away that which he glories in. Charge a veteran with having been at Waterloo, and he will glory in it. Accuse an artist of being a Royal Academician, and he will own the charge. Abuse me for loving my wife and children, and I smile at you. Why, then, blush to be called a follower of Jesus?

2. By talking about Him on all fit occasions. We are too reticent in our piety. As the rose betrays itself by its perfume, and the glowworm by its shining, so should our glorying in the Lord discover us to all observers. A foreigner may speak English well, but he is known by his accent, and the accent of grace is quite as marked as that of nature.

3. By standing up for Him when He is opposed. If you hear the proud ones ridicule His gospel, and despise His people, put in a word for Jesus.

4. By being calm under your troubles.

5. By having a contempt for those things which others value so much. Do not be greedy after the world.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Man —

I.LOVES TO GLORY.

II.HAS NOTHING IN HIMSELF OF WHICH HE CAN GLORY.

III.SHOULD GLORY IN THE LORD — who —

1. Has given him all.

2. Redeemed all.

3. Is become his portion for ever.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

That men are sinners I shall assume. If, then, there is any salvation for them, it must be by grace. And such a salvation cannot fail to exalt God and humble the sinner. None will deny that the world are proud. The tendency of the gospel to exalt God and humble the creature appears —

I. IN ITS OUTWARD ADMINISTRATION. This includes —

1. The humble appearance of Christ in our world. When we understand the reasons of this humble appearance of Christ, we see in it the wisdom of God; but had it been left to us beforehand, we should have assigned Him the most magnificent state. Thus did the wisdom of man pronounce. Indeed, the pride of man, showing itself in lofty pretensions to the omniscience of wisdom, was seen to be the most intrepid enemy which the religion of heaven had to encounter. It therefore was a main point in the outset to overwhelm this enemy with convictions of his own ignorance and folly and of the far superior wisdom of God. In all these proud pretensions reason aspires to a place for which it was never designed. It is not its province to penetrate the mysteries of the universe by its own ken, but to work up into judgments materials furnished by information. It is the eye, but it cannot see without, light. In no other science but that which relates to the incomprehensible God and to the interests and government of the universe, does reason attempt to build on its own independent discoveries. The anatomist does not presume to tell you how a man ought to be made, but with all submission proceeds to examine the animal system which God has exposed to his view. And why does man act so differently in this case from what he does in all others? Because in other sciences he wishes to obtain accurate knowledge; in this, relief to his conscience and fears and mortified pride. He does not like God, and wishes to modify Him after his own taste.

2. Another way in which the outward administration of the gospel took the pride of the world, was in the weakness of the instruments employed, the simplicity of their preaching, and their triumphant success. Instead of angels or Jewish doctors or Grecian philosophers, Christ chose fishermen.

II. THE SAME TENDENCY APPEARS IN THE TEXTURE OF THE GOSPEL. This is noticed in our text and the preceding verse. "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption; that, according as it is written, He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord."

1. Our wisdom. Instead of ignorant and prejudiced reason, on which the wise men of the world proudly rested for the discovery of God, Christ, the great Prophet of the world, was appointed to lay open the secrets of the eternal mind, and to bring "life and immortality to light"; "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him."

2. Our righteousness. There is nothing to which men more strongly adhere than to the claims of their own merit. The whole texture of the gospel is fitted to put down this arrogant pretender, to annihilate the last lurking pride of man.

(1)The atonement.

(2)The obedience of Christ.

(3)The intercession of Christ.But the soul-humbling and God-exalting process is not yet ended. Not only are the atonement, obedience, and intercession of Christ thus provided, in a way to support the rights and claims and government of God, to condemn sin, and cover pride with eternal confusion; but no man is allowed to share in this salvation until, from the bottom of his heart, he has approved of all these measures and all their expressions; until he has taken back all his proud speeches against God, and bent his imperious head to his Maker's feet. Even pardon itself buries the sinner still lower in the dust. This is none of that poverty of spirit which involves degradation. It is only viewing things according to truth.

III. THE SAME TENDENCY OF THE GOSPEL APPEARS IN ITS APPLICATION. Christ is made of God unto us sanctification, "that, according as it is written, He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord." As the race were condemned by the law to the curse of eternal abandonment, the Spirit could not come to men without the mediation of Christ. The heathen philosophers depended on the self-determining power of the will for all their personal virtue, and on their self-Caught ethics for the reformation of the world. In opposition to all these proud aspirations, the gospel casts the world fur sanctification on the Spirit of God and the purchase of Christ. Nor is this all. In their spiritual death it finds nothing in them to aid their resurrection, and ascribes to God, not only the whole power, but a conquering power, "the working of mighty power," as great as that "which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places." Thus every part of the gospel is calculated to abase the pride of man, to break and subdue and humble the sinner, to support the rights, the claims, the government of God, and to give all the glory to Him. "Whatever light or holiness or title to salvation we possess, comes from God through the Redeemer. Whatever brings out God to view, exalts Him, abases sinners, and humbles and blesses the creation. Let us, then, see what and how much of God is revealed in the plan of salvation. In the first place, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are brought out to view in their own proper and infinitely important characters; a distinction never whispered to the universe in any of His other works. In the next place, His inflexible resolution, at all hazards, to support His moral empire over the creation, comes out; disclosing His infinite attachment to all the principles of His law and to the happiness which it subserves, and thus manifesting His holiness, justice, and benevolence. In the next place, His amazing compassion and mercy and patience and condescension and accessibleness and truth are brought to light; His power, too, in subduing the carnal heart, in restraining, bounding, and defeating all the machinations of Satan. But the wisdom elicited is that on which I wish chiefly to dwell. This wonderful plan of the Incarnation was the forming of a connecting link between finite and infinite natures, and filling up the whole chasm between God and us. He confounded the wisdom of men by the triumphs of that very weakness which provoked their contempt, and by making, in various ways, the most unpromising means lead to the most splendid success. He so shaped the gospel, that, in every part, it should be at war with pride, and touch it in every tender spot, and call into the field every arm of that foe, and exhibit it before heaven and earth in the hideous attitude of warring against all the love and authority of the gospel. He pressed into the service of His cause all the agents in the wicked world; the policy of kings, the pride of philosophers, the craft of priests, and the very ferocity of bloody persecution. He defeated all the stratagems ,of Satan and effectually bruised the serpent's head. Elect man is a gainer by his own ruin. His sin is made the occasion of higher advances in holiness; for to whom much is forgiven the same loveth much. His misery is made the occasion of his greater blessedness. And finally, the wisdom of God appears in that capital measure to vindicate His own impartiality, the appointment of the Friend and Brother of man to be his Judge. "The Father hath given Him authority to execute judgment also because He is the Son of man." Why should you think that this grandest of all the exhibitions of God will be shut up in the nut-shell of a single world?

(E. D. Griffin,. D. D.).

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