Paul was an unusual election/calling


Puritan Board Sophomore
Matt. 9:13 "For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

1 Cor. 1:26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

Paul was all 3 of these things. Paul admits this (Phil. 3:4-6). 1 Corinthians shows that the men God chooses to call are unusual according to worldly standards. But isn't Paul's calling unusual according to heavenly standards?


Puritan Board Sophomore
Paul says, "Not many of you." He does not say "Not any of you."
I know. I said it was unusual, not impossible. In the grand scheme of patriarchs, prophets, and apostles who were small, last borns, speech problems, fishermen, tax collectors, etc., Paul stands out as highly educated, righteous, most likely wealthy, and a social elite. It kind of goes against the grain of who God calls.

I had this thought when studying 1 Corinthians last year (reading ch. 1 above) and now while I'm studying Matthew. It's more or less a random thought I wanted to share to see if anyone else had thought about it. I wonder if it has to do with the life Paul was led into after his conversion (Acts 9:16).


Puritan Board Freshman
The ancient Roman world was one where 90% of the populace lived at/near/beneath subsistent levels, roughly 5-7% lived with moderate excess while 2-3% were of the powerful class. Accordingly, the majority of the church would reflect those socio-economic dynamics. However, some historians assess that more than 10-15% of the early church was the more powerful 5%, which if true, is sociologically and theologically striking.