Piper: Every prop of human pride is knocked out from under us

John Piper on  1 Corinthians 2:

The main point of 1 Corinthians 1–4 is to show that God has accomplished our redemption in such a way that every prop of human pride is knocked out from under us. “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 . . . Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:27–31; cf. 2:5; 3:7, 21; 4:6). When the natural man hears that, he says that’s foolish. Why? Not because he doesn’t understand its meaning, but because he loves the praise of men. He loves the exhilaration of accomplishing great things in reliance on himself. He loves the autonomy of pulling his own strings. He loves the sense of esteem that he can get through the use of his intelligence or skill or talent or strength. The suggestion that all this should be left on the bridge while he jumps off into the arms of Christ is to him simply ridiculous. In our natural condition we cannot prefer Christ over self-glorying. The desire for credit is too great. Jesus said, “How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44). Faith in Christ is foolishness to the natural man because the essence of the natural man is his love of self-determination and the sense of power and pride that come from it, while the essence of faith in Christ is to say, “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of Christ.”

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