So we finished the book of Romans yesterday — the next book would be 1 Corinthians! To summarise, Romans is a book that, in terms of the teachings, follows up the four gospels extremely well. Essentially, I think it answers to questions like “Okay, Jesus died for my sins. How can I impart this truth into my life?” which may be asked by a lot of new believers or Christians who want to deepen their relationship with God. Even for long-time believers, it shares many reminders. It takes our understanding of Salvation and Jesus Christ, and takes it to the next level, dwelling into the implications of Salvation, what righteousness is and, more generally, our mentality and attitude towards seeking God out of our sin.
Living in the 21st century, the air is filled with the tension of conforming to standards and pressure. There are so many voices constantly telling us what to do or think, whether it is our teachers, classmates, parents, friends, the internet and the media. Our worth is dictated by our social status, wealth, power, intelligence and how well our views match those of the world’s. Beyond that, we often get criticised and feel like there is little we are able to do to affect change around us – whether this is in our cliques or the greater community.
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—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. — 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
God is not looking for those who are proud and with much power and wealth – many of those people are often motivated by their own needs and absorbed within the material world. Instead, he chooses and uplifts those who seem meek, insignificant and do not seem to be able to affect change. This verse allows us to boost our faith in God, as we are reminded that God oversees everything. He knows our heart and our mind and those who think they are nobodies are those who standout and are to be chosen by Him.
We also see the justice of God here and He reminds us what REALLY matters. It is not how much power we have in this world or how ‘liked’ we are by others. God wants us to use the gifts He has given us — although it may seem irrelevant to the definitions of success in this world — and use it with a pure heart such that we can be uplifted to work miracles for Him!
Only this way are we able to grow in Him. We become more righteous, more graceful and more suited to carry out the work of the kingdom. In chapter 2, we are told how we can be chosen by God and how we are able to receive the blessings and gifts from God so that we can standout to Him. Paul teaches us how to live differently from worldly ways such that we can be unaffected by corrupt values and experience the work of God.
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. — 1 Corinthians 2:13-14
In our spirit, we must adopt the ways of God. Otherwise, we are unable to discern righteousness and in the metaphor used in the verse above, “speak Spirit-taught words”. We must correct our attitude and way of life before we can understand what God is trying to say and His wisdom. It is compared to language and how a lack of a godly spirit deprives us with the words, or ‘tools’, required to know His way. By embracing God’s wisdom, we are able to make better decisions in our everyday life, to receive His grace and to be used by God to bless others.