1 Corinthians 2

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Read 1 Corinthians 2

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. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

Go Deeper

Paul opens this chapter in both a humbling and powerful way. He was resolved to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. In other words, we never outgrow or graduate from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why would Paul say such a thing? The church in Corinth was dealing with a very common struggle: worshiping creation over the Creator. They had come to an understanding of what Jesus did for them and then began to drift from it. They had begun to prioritize the teacher over the One whom the teaching was about. It was not an outright rejection of Christ as much as it was a subtle mis-prioritization that led to a blinding idol. 

Although Paul was well equipped in ways deemed of importance (Philippians 3), he came in weakness and depended on God’s Spirit and His power. This would have seemed counterintuitive to what the church wanted, yet it was (and still is) best. The idea went against the grain of culture and Paul was used to it. He was not coming to gain a following. In every church that Paul wrote back to, he constantly called them into deeper dependence on God. The secret to Christianity is not in becoming “strong” and doing it on your own. Candidly, it is the opposite. It is in becoming weak that God’s power is displayed. Paul’s plea for this church is that it would never outgrow Jesus Christ and Him crucified, but rather that they would live from that reality daily.

How do we get to the place where Paul found himself? It is simple and profound: the Spirit of God unlocks the things of God to us. Paul ends this chapter by distinguishing between worldly and godly wisdom–and they are not the same. The Spirit of God is our Teacher. The only way one will remain in the place of dependence is through moment by moment of dependence. When we pray, give, teach, evangelize, lead, listen, etc., we are to be people who are in constant communication with God’s Spirit. May we preach Jesus and Him crucified to ourselves daily.

  1. What blinding idols in your life do you need to call out?
  2. How could you depend on God’s Spirit more today?
  3. Paul came in weakness and was strengthened by God. In what ways are you relying on your strength instead of God?
Pray This

“Father, would you mercifully expose our blinding idols and the areas of our walk with You where we are depending on our strength instead of Your Spirit? We trust in Your kindness and discipline but help our unbelief. Amen.”

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4 thoughts on “1 Corinthians 2”

  1. Humility! It seems to be the trait God is calling me to over and over again. After a particularly difficult year in teaching last year, I seriously considered not returning. Yet through agonizing in prayer, I realized God had not released me from this calling. He made it clear I was to return with humility as my watchword. What has transpired this year, is watching God take my weakness and feeble efforts and display his power and strength to me. I have experienced the Holy Spirit both as my guide and comfort. In many ways it’s been harder, yet so much of a richer and sweeter experience as I get to share Jesus with 80 kids. I’ve learned that God welcomes our weakness, trembling and stumbling so we can learn to lean into his wisdom and power.

  2. Humility is a key word for me also. Not I but You, God. Over and over this past year has been more and more of BUT GOD. He has shown me it is not myself I need to rely on but Him. I need to stop telling God what I want so that He can work freely in my life to His will.

    God this is my prayer, (1 Cor 2 1-5) And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I come to you, the people in my worldly circle, that I do 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 am with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I come to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching are not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your and my faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power!!!.
    God let this be in my life not my will but Yours to Your glory and honor. God let me proclaim You!! God help me with humility. No more people pleasing but I desire to please only You in Jesus name amen.

  3. Approaching God in humility is crucial! Peter is evidence of that in his letters. We are called to shine God’s love to a dark world and make Him our priority. As we continue sharing our faith, this is an element that we should all bring to these encounters. “No longer I, but Christ in me”. This chapter is a great reminder for serving others and my work with Re:generation at HCC.

  4. Diane Frances Rogers

    Living a life of humility is peace. Pride is a stumbling block for sure in my experience and I confess it to my Father, that I may have more the mind of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. I pray, Lord give me hope and courage to press on in this life. In Jesus name, Amen!

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