When I came to you, brothers, I didn’t come and tell you about God’s secret with rhetorical language or wisdom. For while I was with you I resolved to know nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified. It was in weakness, fear, and great trembling that I came to you. My message and my preaching were not accompanied by clever words of wisdom, but by a display of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on God’s power.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Paul has followed on from what he said in the verses before this. He has made the previous comments related to human weakness and foolishness and has exposed some of his own inadequacies or struggles. He was well trained in Jewish learning, mentored by Gamaliel from the school of learning to Athens or Alexandria. He knew Grecian literature, could quote the Greek poets, as he does Aratus, Act_17:28, Epimenides (Tit_1:12), and Menander (1Cor_15:33). He could have adorned his discourses with the rhetoric and eloquence of the Grecians. Yet he chose none of which appealed to human wisdom and culture. He did not impress them with how eloquently he could speak and what he knew, his education. He simply stuck to the essence of the Gospel. He made the heart of the Gospel plain and clear. He would have made people uncomfortable as he told forth the mystery of God’s gospel. The historical fact of Christ’s crucifixion would normally have been put less forcefully to the seekers after human wisdom in the Corinthian church, to avoid offending learned heathens and Jews. I don’t think Paul would have fitted well in a new Emerging Church.
Instead he stuck to the heart of the gospel. Nothing but Jesus, who He was and why He came down to our level. Why He had to die a crucified death? Do you think it would have included comment about the human sin condition and the need for a Saviour? Of course it would have. That’s the heart of the Gospel. Not just clever words for Paul but also hoping God will back up the words with a demonstration of His power in the supernatural manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit and more. Will the God, who raises the dead, show up to authenticate His word?
Why was Paul in weakness, fear and trembling when he spoke to the Corinthians? It is interesting that both Paul (1 Cor 2:3) and the Corinthians (2 Cor 7:15) were in fear and trembling?
You have a think about it before tomorrow.
Why would Paul with all his wisdom and experience be in fear and trembling before the Corinthians, a motley crew of high and low, rich and poor, educated and uneducated? We can understand why the crowd of philosophers and debaters on Mars Hill might appear daunting. But the Corinthian church? Come on.
Why were the Corinthians in fear and trembling? It is rather ironic that both Paul and the Corinthians are in fear and trembling. Time for you to ponder on that one.
Don’t believe in miracles…rely on them.Anon
God doesn’t want just to give us strength; He wants to be our strength!Joyce Meyer
It’s good to learn from your mistakes. But it’s better to learn from others’ mistakes.Kenny Goh