In Jeremiah 9:23-24, we read, “This is what Yehovah says: Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, nor the strong man in his strength, nor the wealthy man in his riches. But let him who boasts, boast in this, that he understands and know Me, that I am Yehovah, who exercises loving devotion, justice, and righteousness on the earth – for I delight in these things. Declares Yehovah.” In 1. Cor 1:31, we read, “Therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts boast in Yehovah.”
What does it mean to boast? When you boast about something you brag about it, you take pride in it, and it is a source of strength that you look to for comfort, courage, and solutions. Another way to say it is that if you boast about something, it is the object of your faith something you trust in. So what Yehovah is saying in Jeremiah 9:23-24 is, do not trust in your wisdom, in your strength, in your wealth. Trust instead in Me, Yehovah, your God.
We have all heard sermons about 1. Cor 1:31 telling us to boast in the Lord and how the Lord is Jesus, so we are to boast in and trust in Jesus and what He did for us. But when we read what Paul says in 1. Cor 1:31, we will soon realize those sermons were wrong. He is not telling us to boast in and trust in Jesus and what He did for us. He is repeating what Jeremiah said and telling us to trust in Yehovah.
How do we know this? Look at what Paul writes in 1.Cor 1:31: He says, “Therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts boast in Yehovah.” Because Paul says, as it is written, we know Paul is referring back to Jeremiah 9:23-24, where Jeremiah tells us to boast in Yehovah and not in Jesus. How do we know Paul is not referring to the New Testament? It would be another 300 years before the New Testament existed. The only Bible Paul had was the Old Testament. If we want to understand what Paul is saying in 1. Cor 1:31, we first have to understand what Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 9:23-24.
Jeremiah says, if we know Yehovah and understand who He is and what He does and how He delights in His Torah (the written law of Moses), we can boast about it and have our trust in Him. To be able to do what Jeremiah says, we have to learn the Torah, live by the Torah, and apply the Torah to our lives. In other words, we have to make the Torah the object of our faith. If we need something from Yehovah, we have to trust we will get it because of the Torah and our obedience to it.
Most Christians believe the Torah (the written law of Moses) is a burden, something Jesus came to do away with at the cross or on the road to Damascus. Let me ask you an honest question, how is it possible for you to do what Jeremiah and Paul say if you reject the Torah?
In 1. Cor 1:30 Paul says something very interesting that is often overlooked. He says, “It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from Yehovah, that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.”
What Paul is saying here in 1. Cor 1:30 is this, Yeshua is our wisdom from Yehovah, and through that wisdom, we have righteousness, holiness, and redemption. So, according to Paul, Yeshua gives us the wisdom to achieve righteousness, holiness, and redemption.
We all know He is our redemption because He sacrificed Himself for us on the cross. But here, in 1. Cor 1:30, Paul says we can only be redeemed, righteous, and holy if we first accept and believe in the wisdom Yeshua has given us.
What is this wisdom Paul keeps talking about here in 1.Cor 1:30?
In Matt 5:17-19 Yeshua says He has not come to do away with the Torah, He has come to show us and teach us how to obey the Torah. In Matt 5:19 He even says if we do not follow the Torah, He will personally destroy us. There is no doubt about it, Yeshua was and still is very passionate about His Fathers Torah, the very thing most Christians today claim was done away with at the cross. The wisdom Paul refers to in 1. Cor 1:30 is the Torah. So what Paul is saying here is this, if we obey the Torah the way Yeshua taught us to, we will have righteousness, holiness, and redemption (in that order.)
How do you think it makes Yeshua feel when He sees His followers reject the Torah? The answer is in Matt 7:21-23.
What happens if you obey the Torah, the wisdom of Yeshua?
The Bible says in 1. John, the book of Romans 1-7, you become righteous and holy. In 1. John 2, the Bible says you become one with Yeshua, in Him. James 2, 1John 2, and John 3 say it saves you. So, according to the Bible, your unity with Yeshua, and even your salvation depends upon your Torah obedience. How does my salvation depend on my Torah obedience? If you obey the Torah you have to atone for your sins, the only way to do so is to believe Yeshua died on the cross for us. So do you see how obedience to the Torah redeems you, makes you righteous and holy? This is why Paul says, in 1. Cor 1:30-31, if we obey the Torah, we will become righteous, holy, and redeemed.
If the Torah redeems you, makes you righteous and holy, it should give us good reason to rejoice in it, trust in it and boast about it. (Jeremiah 9:23-24, 1. Cor 1:30-31)
If you boast in, trust in and rejoice in the Torah, you are trusting in Yehovah, boasting in Yehovah, and rejoicing in Yehovah. (Jeremiah 9:23-24.)
So what does it mean to boast in the Lord?
It means to boast in the Torah, to take great pride in the fact that you live by the Torah, obey the Torah, and know how to apply it to your life. It means to have a passion for the Torah, to love and protect it at all cost. It means to make the Torah the object of your faith, so if you need something from Yehovah, you know He will give it to you in His timing because you obey the Torah. And according to 1.John, it is the only way to boast in Jesus and have Yeshua and what He did for us as the object of your faith. It is the only way for you to become one with Yeshua and the only way for you to become a child of Yehovah. (John 3, 1.John, James 2)
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