When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
Paul was schooled as a Pharisee under Gamaliel. From other texts in the New Testament it is clear that he was intelligent, articulate and even arrogant. He had the tools to be a great Pharisee! Conversion to Christ changed everything for Paul. Now he is preaching Jesus who was crucified. To the Corinthians he said that he did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom, but in weakness and fear and much trembling. His preaching was not with persuasive words. He resolved to only know Jesus Christ, crucified. This is not because he didn’t have an enormous reserve of wisdom. He did! He could have used persuasive words, but he didn’t. The Gospel is about the Savior Jesus and the power of God’s Spirit.
As one who speaks for God regularly, am I pursuing eloquence and persuasive words or a demonstration of the Spirit’s power? Am I preaching any wisdom that is not God’s secret wisdom (2:7) that is found in the Gospel? This wisdom is not secret to those who are indwelt and empowered by the Spirit of Jesus (2:10, 16).
Holy Spirit – forgive me for not inviting You more often into my preaching preparation process. This is Your Gospel. Please lead me in each and every step so that Your power will be on display and not my eloquence. I praise You for using what I have taught, even when I didn’t pause to listen to you very well. May Your power be on display in and through my life, is my prayer.