“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)
In many churches today what is valued are things such as personal charisma, gimmicks, flashy media presentations, elaborate programs and music, and flashy eloquent preaching. Paul wrote this epistle to correct such errors and problems which had arisen among the Christians at Corinth. The brethren there were primarily Greeks converted from paganism. Their cultural background and upbringing had a perverse influence on the way they did church there, the way they worshipped God. Paul had to address these issues because things had gotten so out of hand that the church and the church worship had degenerated into chaos. Paul needed to remind the saints of their sins. Their pride was manifested in their exercise of what to them were the supremely important gifts of prophetic utterances and speaking in tongues. They while were so lacking in of love, service, discipline and holiness that the church service resembled the world rather than the Kingdom of God.
When the church adopts worldly ideas and ways of worship, theology, and ministry, she forsakes the Wisdom of God and His Word. Selfishness and pride are often both cause and effect. Paul sweeps away pride and selfishness by reminding the saints that they were weaklings and and sinners, prone to sensuality, foolishness and pride. He proclaims that worldly “wisdom” deems God’s wisdom as foolish but the reverse is true. Why then take worldly ideas and adopt them for the church and the Christian life when they lead to sin and error? We cannot boast in the world or worldly values. We cannot boast in what we were without Christ for the great truth we must acknowledge is that we are nothing without Him. Therefore we must rejoice always in what He has done for us.