Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 5, 2018

“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong … so that no man may boast before God.”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 2:14-17.

“As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax booth, and He *said to him, “Follow Me!”  And he got up and followed Him.

And it *happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples;  for there were many of them, and they were following Him.  When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”  And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick;  I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Mark 2:14-17.

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Jesus was not saying that the apparently healthy and righteous, namely, the Pharisees, scribes, and religious leaders, did not need Him.  Everyone needed Him!  But, they did not choose Him, and He did not choose them.  They trusted in their own wisdom, will, and goodness.

Likewise, there are many today who trust in their own wisdom, will, and goodness.  They may deny it, but their doctrine emphasizes man’s alleged free-will and wisdom (their choice of Christ) and/or goodness (their works) as what distinguishes them worthy of salvation.

But, Reformed Doctrine sees that Scripture classifies everyone in “Total Depravity” (the “T” of “TULIP”), in the same room as the tax collectors and sinners.  And, that the only reason why certain individuals are saved is that God elected them for salvation, “Unconditional Election” (the “U” of “TULIP”), and did everything else necessary for their salvation.

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.  For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;  but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:21-31.


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