1 Corinthians 2
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.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
Paul’s “instruction in his letters to the churches of his day is instruction for the church of God to the end of time” (EGW, Letter 332, 1907). Like many churches today, the church in Corinth was facing some challenging issues. The Apostle Paul recognized that the solution was simple: “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (2:2).
Paul reminded the Corinthians that his preaching did not come with “persuasive words of human wisdom” but came through “the demonstration of the Spirit and of power so that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (v. 4).
For the Christian, the cross of Christ changes everything. This transformation is made possible through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. It gives us “power” to live the Christian life.
Andrews Seminary professor Joseph Kidder observes, “The cross is the heart of all fellowship and it is only through the cross that fellowship deepens and matures. But this requires the frequent and painful crucifixion of self in all its forms—self-seeking, self-centeredness, self-righteousness—and the willingness to remain vulnerable in open fellowship with other Christians” (Majesty: Experiencing Authentic Worship, 97).
Michael W. Campbell
Associate Professor of Religion
Southwestern Adventist University
Keene, Texas USA