January 08, 20243 – Monday
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NKJV
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 NIV
1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
I had thought to write about verses 6-10 today, but realized the verses above were needed for context. And they have so much to say in themselves alone we will look at them today and 6-10 tomorrow. First note, in verse one, many versions have mystery instead of testimony. If interested in the discussion of why one is favored over the other go here and look at note c.
What we have here is Paul describing how he spent 18 months among the Corinthians telling them about Jesus the Christ. He was not dependent upon his great educational background or his training that had led him to be a very zealous Pharisee. Instead as he says in verse two above, (NKJV) I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified or (NIV) I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. He was going to teach on Jesus Christ and His crucifixion and nothing else. Paul already told us in 1:22 that (NIV) 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom. Paul would provide neither signs the Jews demanded nor the kind of wisdom the Greeks were looking for.
The gospel of Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection would be sufficient. But even with that Paul says, 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. This is how I often felt when I would be preaching. I knew the scripture and much background behind the scripture, but what did God want me to say and how did He want me to say it. It was not to be about me and what I knew, but about what He wanted me to share and how He wanted me to share it. Paul was telling the story of the risen Jesus, a story he had opposed and persecuted others for before a personal meeting with Jesus in a vision on his way to Damascus to persecute believers there. He had been wrong before, horribly wrong and he wanted to get this right exactly as Jesus wanted.
The next two verses make this clear, 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Make no mistake, Paul was not going to take credit for his message. The credit was all going to the Spirit’ s power and the power of God. Look how he concludes; your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. He has already addressed this indirectly in 1:12-13, 12 Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? Later in 3:4-7 he addresses this much more directly, 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
Bottom Line: Where is your faith? In men or in God? We know where it should be.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Please keep our faith in You even as men lead us toward You. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God