God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:28,29
Making Something Out of Nothing
What do you do when life hands you a bunch of lemons? You make lemonade.
That common saying is supposed to teach us that when our plans or expectations sour, we should make the best of what we have. Just add a little sugar, and everything will turn out fine.
Is that what God did with our broken and sinful world? Did he simply squeeze the lemons that we sinners are by nature, add a little divine sugar, and make it all better? Not really, because sinners are not just sour lemons. They are rotten ones that should be thrown out altogether. No amount of sugar or any other additive could ever solve the problem.
So what did God do instead? He made something altogether new out of nothing. He powerfully spoke a new reality into existence. Just as he did when he first created the things of this world by declaring them to be, God has now spoken his powerful Word over a sinful world, declaring each one of us to be perfect in his sight. We were nothing, but by his creative Word, he made something out of nothing.
That was no accident or afterthought. It was all according to plan. As our Bible reading for today says, “God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.” In other words, it wasn’t as if God carefully picked through the lemon pile to select the very best ones to make the most of an otherwise lost cause. No, he bought up the whole worthless lot. And what was the purchase price? Not gold or silver, but the holy, precious blood and the innocent sufferings and death of his Son, Jesus.
And then God did something amazing. For Jesus’ sake, he declared us sinners perfectly sweet and sinless, as only he could. He made something out of nothing.
Heavenly Father, give me confidence that, though I am sinful, you have declared me innocent for Jesus’ sake. Amen.