July 18th 1 Corinthians 2 The Power of the Holy Spirit
1: And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2: For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3: And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4: And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
6: Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
Paul had been educated in the oratory of the Greek philosophers. He had learnt all the tricks and tactics of the speech makers. He had learnt logic and the very best of the wisdom of men. However when he arrived at Corinth he laid aside all oratory and human wisdom and he preached simply in the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul had been flogged at Philippi. He had been persecuted at Thessalonica. He had been chased out of Berea and he had been laughed at, at Athens. So what will he do at Corinth? He made up his mind to say nothing but Christ crucified. If he was going to face the mob again and maybe seal his testimony in his blood, then at least it would be for the Gospel. He says, l was with you in weakness and fear and in much trembling. - I’m not surprised. And he says my manner of speaking and my preaching was not with the flattering and clever words of men, that entice unwary men, but it was in demonstration of the Spirit and of Power. Pauls preaching was powerful. Not because Paul was in it, but because God was in it. And the Holy Spirit took up this battered and frightened man of God and demonstrated his almighty power in the simple preaching of the Gospel. It was what we call today revival. Men were struck by it and they came face to face with God in the message of Christ crucified. Only those who have experienced God speak to them, can imagine the all pervading presence of God and the overpowering conviction of the Holy Spirit. They were struck dumb and they wept under the terrible conviction of sin and yet they wept themselves right on into the joy of sins forgiven, when they saw Christ crucified. They rejoiced that God had stepped into human history and made provision for their salvation. They believed the Good News and they marvelled at the Grace of God. Paul goes on to say that when giving Bible teaching we do teach very wonderful and the deep things of God, yet these things are not the clever things of this world which amount to nothing in the end, but we speak about the wisdom of God which was a mystery - which was hidden in God before the world began, but now God has revealed which is to the glory of God seem now in our lives. The princes of this world knew nothing of this. If they had known it they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory.
- How does Paul describe the manner in which he came to Corinth in the beginning?
- Why did he approach them in this particular way?
- What is the mystery that he reveals to believers whenever he teaches?