1 Corinthians 1:29
That no flesh should glory in his presence.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1:26-31 God did not choose philosophers, nor orators, nor statesmen, nor men of wealth, and power, and interest in the world, to publish the gospel of grace and peace. He best judges what men and what measures serve the purposes of his glory. Though not many noble are usually called by Divine grace, there have been some such in every age, who have not been ashamed of the gospel of Christ; and persons of every rank stand in need of pardoning grace. Often, a humble Christian, though poor as to this world, has more true knowledge of the gospel, than those who have made the letter of Scripture the study of their lives, but who have studied it rather as the witness of men, than as the word of God. And even young children have gained such knowledge of Divine truth as to silence infidels. The reason is, they are taught of God; the design is, that no flesh should glory in his presence. That distinction, in which alone they might glory, was not of themselves. It was by the sovereign choice and regenerating grace of God, that they were in Jesus Christ by faith. He is made of God to us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; all we need, or can desire. And he is made wisdom to us, that by his word and Spirit, and from his fulness and treasures of wisdom and knowledge, we may receive all that will make us wise unto salvation, and fit for every service to which we are called. We are guilty, liable to just punishment; and he is made righteousness, our great atonement and sacrifice. We are depraved and corrupt, and he is made sanctification, that he may in the end be made complete redemption; may free the soul from the being of sin, and loose the body from the bonds of the grave. And this is, that all flesh, according to the prophecy by Jeremiah, Jer 9:23-24, may glory in the special favour, all-sufficient grace, and precious salvation of Jehovah.That no flesh - That no person; no class of people. The word "flesh" is often thus used to denote human beings. Matthew 24:22; Luke 3:6; John 17:2; Acts 2:17; 1 Peter 1:24; etc.

Should glory - Should boast; Romans 3:27.

In his presence - Before him. That man should really have nothing of which to boast; but that the whole scheme should be adapted to humble and subdue him. On these verses we may observe:

(1) That it is to be expected that the great mass of Christian converts will be found among those who are of humble life - and it may be observed also, that true virtue and excellence; sincerity and amiableness; honesty and sincerity, are usually found there also.

(2) that while the mass of Christians are found there, there are also those of noble birth, and rank, and wealth, who become Christians. The aggregate of those who from elevated ranks and distinguished talents have become Christians, has not been small. It is sufficient to refer to such names as Pascal, and Bacon, and Boyle, and Newton, and Locke, and Hale, and Wilberforce, to show that religion can command the homage of the most illustrious genius and rank.

(3) the reasons why those of rank and wealth do not become Christians, are many and obvious:

(a) They are beset with special temptations.

(b) They are usually satisfied with rank, and wealth, and do not feel their need of a hope of heaven.

(c) They are surrounded with objects which flatter their vanity, which minister to their pride, and which throw them into the circle of alluring and tempting pleasures.

(d) They are drawn away from the means of grace and the places of prayer, by fashion, by business, by temptation.

(e) There is something about the pride of learning and philosophy, which usually makes those who possess it unwilling to sit at the feet of Christ; to acknowledge their dependence on any power; and to confess that they are poor, and needy, and blind, and naked before God.

(4) the gospel is designed to produce humility, and to place all people on a level in regard to salvation. There is no royal way to the favor of God. No monarch is saved because he is a monarch; no philosopher because he is a philosopher; no rich man because he is rich; no poor man because he is poor. All are placed on a level. All are to be saved in the same way. All are to become willing to give the entire glory to God. All are to acknowledge him as providing the plan, and as furnishing the grace that is needful for salvation. God's design is to bring down the pride of man, and to produce everywhere a willingness to acknowledge him as the fountain of blessings and the God of all.

29. no flesh … glory—For they who try to glory (boast) because of human greatness and wisdom, are "confounded" or put to shame (1Co 1:27). Flesh, like "the flower of the field," is beautiful, but frail (Isa 40:6).

in his presence—We are to glory not before Him, but in Him [Bengel].

And God doth this in infinite wisdom, consulting his own honour and glory, that none might say, that God hath chosen them because they were nobler born, or in higher repute and esteem in the world, than others, but that the freeness of Divine grace might be seen in all God’s acts of grace. That no flesh should glory in his presence. That is, "in the presence of God", as some copies, and the Arabic and Ethiopic versions read; not in their blood, birth, families, lineage, and natural descent; nor in their might, power, and dominion; nor in their riches, wealth, and substance; nor in their wisdom, learning, and parts: for however these may be gloried in before men, yet not before God. These are of no account with him, nor will they be regarded by him, or men on account of them; and he has taken a method in choosing and calling the reverse of these, to stain the glory of all flesh, that no man may attribute his salvation to any thing of the creature, but wholly to the sovereign grace and good pleasure of God. That no {z} flesh should glory in his presence.

(z) Flesh is often, as we see, taken for the whole man: and he uses this word flesh very well, to contrast the weak and miserable condition of man with the majesty of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 1:29. Final aim, to which is subordinated the mediate aim expressed by the thrice-repeated ἵνα κ.τ.λ[278]

ὅπως μὴ καυχ. πᾶσα σάρξ] Hebraistic way of saying: that no man may boast himself. Its explanation lies in the fact that the negation belongs to the verb, not to πᾶσα σ. (כָּל־בָּשָׂר): that every man may abstain from boasting himself. Comp Fritzsche, Diss. in 2 Cor. II. p. 24 f. Regarding σάρξ as a designation of man in his weakness and imperfection as contrasted with God, see on Acts 3:17.

ἘΝΏΠ. Τ. ΘΕΟῦ] Romans 3:20; Luke 16:15, al[280] No one is to come forth before God and boast, I am wise, etc.; on this account God has, by choosing the unwise, etc., brought to nought the wisdom and loftiness of men, so that the ground for the assertion of human excellences before God has been cut away.

[278] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[280] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.1 Corinthians 1:29. God’s purposes in choosing the refuse of society are gathered up into the general and salutary design, revealed in Scripture (see parls.), “that so no flesh may glory in God’s presence” (a condens quotation) = πάντα εἰς δόξαν Θεοῦ (1 Corinthians 10:31). For ὅπως, which carries to larger issue the intentions stated in the previous clauses, cf. 2 Corinthians 8:14, 2 Thessalonians 1:12. Two Hebraisms, characteristic of the LXX, here: μὴπᾶσα (khôl … lo’), for μηδεμία; and σάρξ (bâsâr), for humanity in its mortality or sinfulness. Cf., for this rule of Divine action, 2 Corinthians 12:9 f.; also Plato, Ion, 534 E, ἵνα μὴ διστάζωμεν ὅτι οὐκ ἀνθρώπινά ἐστι τὰ καλὰ ταῦτα ποιήματα οὐδὲ ἀνθρώπων, ἀλλὰ θεῖα καὶ θεῶνὁ θεὸς ἐξεπίτηδες διὰ τοῦ φαυλοτάτου ποιητοῦ τὸ κάλλιστον μέλος ᾖσεν.1 Corinthians 1:29. Ὅπως μὴ, that not) The antithesis to, that, 1 Corinthians 1:31.—πᾶσα σὰρξ, all flesh) a suitable appellation; flesh is beautiful and yet frail, Isaiah 40:6.—ἐνώπιον, before) We may not glory before Him, but in Him.Verse 29. - That no flesh should glory. For the weak instruments of God's triumphs are so weak that it was impossible for them to ascribe any power or merit to themselves. In contemplating the victory of the cross, the world could only exclaim, "This hath God wrought." "It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes."
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