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What does it mean that Jesus became wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:30)?

Jesus became wisdom from God

Many of the believers in the Corinthian church were spiritually immature, lacking a proper understanding of the essential truth of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 1:18–31, the apostle Paul wrote to clear up their misunderstandings and explain what Jesus Christ’s death on the cross truly means to believers. He stated that Jesus Christ and the message of the gospel are the “power of God” (verses 18 and 24) and the “wisdom of God” (verse 24).

Concerning the believer’s union with Christ, Paul dismissed any cause for pride or boasting in the Corinthians (see 1 Corinthians 1:31). He said, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30). Human wisdom did not make the Corinthians believe the gospel. Their own power did not save them. It was because of God alone that they were in Jesus Christ.

God’s power and wisdom are the forces that enable us to believe and be saved. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). We cannot take credit for coming to salvation in Christ. All the power and wisdom come from God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. All credit goes to Him.

Paul knew the Corinthian believers were placing too much value on human wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:20). If they were to experience “the full riches of complete understanding,” they would have to stop pursuing the world’s wisdom and recognize that only in Jesus Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2–3).

In 1 Corinthians 1:30, Paul specifies three distinct areas in which Jesus became the “wisdom from God” for believers: He became “our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” Jesus Christ took our sins upon Himself on the cross so that we might receive a righteous status or right standing before God. Isaiah prophesied that Israel’s Messiah would be “pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed” (Isaiah 53:5, NLT). Jesus’ sacrificial death “accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (Romans 10:4, NLT; see also Philippians 3:9; Galatians 3:24).

A second way Jesus became wisdom from God for believers was by making us holy before God. The author of Hebrews affirms, “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time” (Hebrews 10:10, NLT; see also Hebrews 13:12; Ephesians 5:25–27; 1 Peter 2:4–5; Romans 6:22). God knew there was nothing we could ever do to make ourselves holy enough to be saved (see Romans 3:23; Matthew 19:26; Ephesians 2:4–9).

Third, Jesus became wisdom from God by redeeming us with His blood and setting us free from sin (Romans 3:23–26; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Ephesians 1:7). Only the blood of Jesus Christ could pay the price for our redemption (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18–19; Revelation 7:14).

Wisdom from God through Jesus Christ humbly accepts and embraces that we cannot become righteous, holy, or redeemed by any human means: “Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. . . . There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith” (Romans 3:27–30, NLT).

Paul told the Romans, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory” (Romans 5:1–2, NLT). We owe everything in our new lives of faith to Jesus Christ, God’s only Son. He is the most valuable treasure we can claim. He became wisdom from God, sent to live and die for us and provide for us the indescribably good gift of eternal life (John 3:15–16; Romans 10:9; 2 Corinthians 9:15).

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What does it mean that Jesus became wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:30)?
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This page last updated: January 18, 2024