Friday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 (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. 6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
When Paul came to Corinth he resolved to present only Jesus Christ and His vicarious death and resurrection. He makes Christ the sole subject of his teaching and preaching while he is with them. He does not use vain oratory devised to entertain and impress audiences, but neither does he neglect study and preparation. Though Paul says he does not come with lofty speech or wisdom, Paul’s letters reveal a great deal of knowledge in many areas of learning. His eloquence is apparent in his address before the Areopagus in Athens. Paul’s point is that, unless the Holy Spirit works in a listener’s heart, the wisdom and eloquence of a teacher are ineffective. Paul’s confidence as a preacher did not rest on intellectual and oratorical ability, as did that of the Greek orators (entertainers). Paul’s preaching was marked by the convincing demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit.
The secret, or mystery, was once hidden but is now known because God has revealed it to His people in Christ, and thus to unbelievers it is still hidden. God’s wisdom found in Christ Jesus will cause every believer to share eventually in Christ’s glory. This points to the truth of what it means for every Christian to confess Christ before men by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are called to simply confess with the greatest knowledge and mastery of Scripture possible, and leave the conversion of sinners to the Means of Grace and the power of the Holy Spirit.