A CORRESPONDENT in Virginia inquires whether the text 1 Cor. i. 30, teaches that the preacher is of God, Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption, or that Christ is made these things unto us?
From the statement of the question, we infer that some self important preacher has laid claim to the application of these words to those who preach; that as preachers, they are the wisdom of the church. This idea would seem to agree with what Job said ironically to his miserable comforters, “No doubt ye are the men, and wisdom will die with you.” Nothing can, however, be more clear, than that these words are spoken in testimony of what Christ is of God made to his church. “But of him are ye in Christ? Of whom God who hath chosen the weak and despised things, &c., is antecedent to the pronoun Him; therefore the plain rendering is, “But of God are ye,” (that is his people, his new creation; for, if any man be in Christ Jesus he is a new creature, old things are passed away, and all things have become new) “in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom,” &c. It is not of ourselves, nor of our works, nor of men, nor of angels, that we are in Christ, for if we are in him, “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God bath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Eph. ii. 10 Of God were we set up in Christ from everlasting, chosen of God in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world. – Eph. i. 4 “Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” These same scriptures which prove that our existence and security in Christ is absolutely of God, equally demonstrate that our life in Christ is not of our minister, nor of any other being or power than that of God alone. That Christ, and not the preachers, is made unto the members of his mystical body, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, is so abundantly proved by the united testimony of the scriptures, and so very apparent in the experience of all who are born of God, arguments would be quite superfluous.
First, of God, of the provisions of his counsel, of his grace, and experimentally of the quickening operation of his Holy Spirit, Christ is made unto us wisdom. “We preach Christ and him crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” – l Cor. i. 22, 23. But why is Christ to the one class so essentially different from what he is unto the other? Why is he a stumbling block and foolishness to carnal Jews and Greeks, and the wisdom of God to all that are called? Because God has chosen him so. God has caused us to differ. God has chosen us unto salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.
Secondly, Of God, Christ is made the righteousness of his people; and this is the name whereby he shall be called, “The Lord our Righteousness.” “Surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousness.” Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, &c.
Thirdly, Of God, is Christ our sanctification; by, through, and of him, the saints are set apart unto salvation, consecrated to God, to holiness and eternal life.
Fourthly, Of God, Christ is our redemption. Certainly our minister did not redeem us from sin, guilt, condemnation, wrath and perdition; they paid no ransom price for us, neither was the right of redemption in them. Christ the near kinsman, by virtue of pre-existing relationship, held the legal right to redeem his people from the curse and dominion of the law, to redeem unto God by his own blood, and having redeemed us with a price, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,” &c. The New School are welcome to all the wisdom they can find, in their teachers, preachers, or the professors in their universities; for it is foolishness with God; but if the children of God lack wisdom they look for it in Christ, and ask it of him who giveth liberally and upbraideth not. They are welcome to all their own, and all the righteousness they can derive from their preachers; it is too defective, ragged and filthy, for the bride, the Lamb’s wife. We covet not their consecration through the services of their clergy. Christ our Priest having by his own blood ascended into heaven, where he ever liveth to make intercession for us. We give not one longing look after that redemption which is supposed to be by such corruptible things as silver and gold, or works, or efforts of men or of angels.
New Vernon, N.Y.,
March 1, 1844
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 408 – 410