“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #31
“And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:20-23).
In the previous verse, Paul had quoted from the book of Job. Here he quotes from Psalm 94:11, and to the same effect. God knows that the thoughts of the world’s wise men are vain. God knows that their thoughts are futile. The context of that psalm has to do with the insolence of how proud men rule—and this would include how they rule the bastions of higher learning. God will recompense the proud (Ps. 94:2), even if they have been glorying in their wickedness for a long time (Ps. 94:3). A throne of iniquity cannot have fellowship with God (Ps. 94:20), and we may by extension apply this to endowed chairs.
When Paul says that we ought not therefore to glory in men, he is talking about men’s ways of reckoning wisdom, whenever God in His judgment leaves them to their own devices. Worldliness is an attitude, and not a function of materiality. The material world was made by God. Worldliness was crafted in the hearts of men.
We should then note how Paul’s reasoning works, and we can best do this by working up from his conclusion. Christ belongs to God. We belong to Christ. And absolutely everything in the world belongs to us. This means that absolutely everything, through man, through Christ, belongs to God. Paul is careful to push this into all the corners. What belongs to the believers, who are the inheritance of Christ, who is the inheritance of God? Apostles and Bible teachers belong to the saints. The world belongs to them (after they have thrown away the vanity of wise men). Life and death belong to them. We would also include things right now, and things to come. Everything is yours, Paul says. Why would someone who stands to inherit that kind of wealth envy the pretensions of the scholars of this world? A king on a balcony of his palace does not look down on the street below in order to envy the crow that struts in the gutter.