Boasting in Christ: Christ is our Wisdom

boast-in-the-lordWhat does it mean to be “wise”? The Bible contrasts those who have the “wisdom of the world” with those who are wise before God. To be truly wise, then, in the Biblical sense is to be called a child of God. Paul goes on specifically to say to the Corinthians that Christ is our wisdom. True wisdom is found only in relation to the person of Jesus Christ, therefore no one has room to boast.

We may, once again, speak of Christ being “wisdom” in a general sense. It was common enough in ancient cultures to personify Sophia. The book of Proverbs, in particular, treats Wisdom as a lady to be pursued. Here in the New Testament, Paul utilizes that rhetorical device to connect wisdom to the person of Christ. Christ is wisdom. He says the same thing to the Colossians who were being deceived and led into the pursuit of a “higher spirituality.” They were told to discover the secret truths of the stars and the spirit world. To them Paul stresses the supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus. He writes:

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. (Col. 2:1-4)

Paul’s goal is to help the Colossians not be deceived by the “plausible arguments” of the false teachers. He wants them to see that in Christ are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” It’s clear from this passage that Paul has in mind particularly spiritual truths. It is certainly true that Christ is the storehouse for all wisdom. He is, after all, God, creator of the universe. The divine mind knows all things and as such Christ is the epitome of wisdom. Yet, Paul has in mind something more specific in this text, and in our present text. Christ is the wisdom of God for spiritual life.

Some sociologists have suggested that America has entered a new spiritual age. There has been an ever-growing interest in spirituality in our country, yet most of it would not even remotely qualify as Biblical spirituality. There is an interest in finding your own spirituality, in pursuing the wisdom of false teachers, mediums, and novel spiritual teachers. But such things, however “plausible” they might seem, do not possess wisdom. It is in Christ that we find truth; it is in Him that we will glean real spiritual wisdom. The answers to the questions of our life, our purposes, our relationship to God and to the World are found in Him.

Again we may ask, what have we to boast in? I did not come to know the truth of God on my own. I did not discover salvation apart from the wisdom of Christ. No man can claim to have been “born again” via their own academic acumen, their own intelligence. Paul has already made this clear, for “in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom” (v. 21). Instead God ordained to reveal himself through the person and work of Christ. Paul goes on to clarify:

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Cor. 1:22-25)

Man’s wisdom could not comprehend the things and the plans of God. Instead it is through Jesus Christ, the very wisdom of God, that salvation has been revealed. Again, we say, we have nothing to boast in. I think of myself as “smart.” I read extensively and diversely, I study hard, and I attempt to process information carefully and exhaustively. But I am an idiot compared to God, and I could never think my way to God. If Christ is not my wisdom I remain lost in my stupidity always out of reach of salvation.

It is arrogance and/or ignorance which presumes to have found God without His aid. It is Christ who reveals God to us (John 1:18; 14:9). It is Christ himself who says, “I am the truth” (Jesus 14:6).  Christ is our wisdom, apart from him we are spiritually blind, ignorant, and lost. We have nothing to boast in, only Christ.

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