“Why did God choose you?” 

Jamie Dew, the newly inaugurated ninth president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, posed this question during The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s chapel service, Feb. 6. Dew noted that people tend to respond to that question with a list of their supposed qualifications, but he urged them to consider that, biblically speaking, the opposite is true. 

“God has chosen the nothings and the nobodies of this world,” said Dew. “… If you don’t come from much, if you don’t bring much to the table, I would suggest to you that you’re probably the person God’s looking for.”

Dew preached 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, wherein Paul writes that “God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” Dew listed several biblical examples of this, including Peter, whom Dew characterized as “an ignorant fisherman—as blue-collar as it gets”; Matthew the tax collector, “completely despised by the Jewish people”; and Mary Magdalene, chosen by God at a time when “females were not counted very highly in the culture at all.”

“God prefers the humble,” Dew said. “God favors the humble. He calls the humble.”

Dew noted that one of the reasons God does this is to humble the proud. This passage of Scripture, therefore, has at least two applications, Dew said. 

“For some, our insufficiencies, our inadequacies, our limitations, and all of those things result in paralysis,” Dew explained. “And to you, the humble, I say: believe God and be obedient.”

“To the proud,” he continued, “be warned: God hates pride, and He always brings it low.”

Dew concluded with verses 29-31, explaining that God chooses the humble and humbles the proud “so that all honor and glory will go to Him and not to us.”

“Boasting is not in the gifts God has given me,” Dew said. “My boasting is not in the success that comes with my labor. My boasting is in nothing from me. Our boasting is in nothing of our flesh. 

“Our boasting is in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself—that He loves us, that He died for us, that He has given us life, and that one day, we will rest in His presence.”

Appealing to all Southern Baptists, Dew noted that God has blessed and used His people in mighty ways, but this is not to the glory of the people; rather, it is to the glory of God. 

“May it be true of us that we, the people of God known as Southern Baptists, would never be a people who glory in our own flesh, but we glory in the power of the cross, in the name of Jesus, in the beauty of His work, and in the advancement of His Kingdom,” Dew said. 

“Why did God pick you?” he concluded. “Maybe it’s not because you’re particularly good at this or that. Maybe it is because you’re broken. Maybe it is because you’re weak. Maybe He’s doing that to confound the wise; to bring to nothing the things that are. 

“And He’s doing it so that when it’s all said and done … it won’t be our names that we say in that day; it will be the name of Jesus Christ, so that all honor and glory will go to Him.”