First Corinthians 1:26-31


The division of these verses:

a)      1:18-25 – the message of the cross (text verse Isaiah 29:14)

b)      1:26-31 – the people who heard the message (text verse Jeremiah 9:3-24)

c)      2:1-5    - the person who brought the message

d)      2:6-16 – what really is spiritual and what really is wisdom (text Isaiah 64:4)



“Brothers” is the start of a new point in Paul’s writing.  It will be a new point but a continuation   of his theme.  In the eyes of the world and its pursuit of greatness, wisdom and stability

the Word of God and the Kingdom of God are not understood.  The world sees all of God

and his plan as: Simple message, Simple people, Simple preacher.

Boasting becomes the new theme:

a)      the Corinthians were boasting one leader verse another

b)      Paul goes to Jeremiah 9:23-24 for his text verse in this second point


“Called” is a reference to their point of salvation.  When they were “called” to receive the offer

            of salvation none of them were called because they deserved it.

“Called” is from the word “kalew”.  The root word is “kal” and so our English word “call”.      The word means “to call anyone, to invite, summon”. 

Theologically it is used of the Divine call to        partake of the blessings of redemption.

It does not mead the call or invitation can not be rejected. 

Through out scripture men         have rejected God’s call.


“Not many” is not exclusive but it is limiting.  Meaning there were among them some considered by the world to be wise, influential and noble.


“Human standards” is the word “sarka” or “flesh”.  It the first use of this be Paul.


They themselves have nothing to boast about in the natural but yet they are judging Paul by this

            Human standard.  Paul is simply turning it around and applying it to them.  Their only                  strength is the fact that they accepted God’s call.


“Wise” is “Sophia”

“Influential” (“powerful) is the word for power “dunamis”

Both these terms have already been used.


Jeremiah 9:23 uses two of these but Jeremiah uses “rich” as the third word

Paul instead chooses to use the word “well born” which refers to born into the upper class of wealth.  Many of the Corinthians were probably wealthy, but few were born into the noble class.


Some of the Corinthian believers were of the upper class by birth: Crispus, Gaius, Erastus, Stephanas


Paul’s point was it did not take special qualifications to receive the call to the gospel.





“the things that are not” (mh onta) There is not a more contemptible expression in Greek thinking that was possible for Paul to use.  The lack of “being” was the worse it could be.


“nullify” (katargeo) is an eschatological term.  It means “to put out of action, to make inactive, to reduce to nothing”