1 Corinthians 2:4, 5 - Teaching, Preaching, Witnessing and the Miracle of Belief.

1 Corinthians 2:4, 5 - Teaching, Preaching, Witnessing and the 
Miracle of Belief. 

1 Corinthians 2:4, 5 (TNIV)  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. 

1 Corinthians 2:4, 5 (TEV)  and my teaching and message were not 
delivered with skillful words of human wisdom, but with convincing proof 
of the power of God's Spirit. Your faith, then, does not rest on 
human wisdom but on God's power. 

1 Corinthians 2:4, 5 (NLT) And my message and my preaching were 
very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I 
relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would 
trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.  

1 Corinthians 2:4, 5 (CWR)  So I didn't use flowery words or 
persuasiveness of wisdom, but allowed the Holy Spirit to do His mighty work, so 
no one could say it was my influence that did it. That way your 
faith was not anchored in the logic of men but in the power of God! 

CONTEXT: Christ the Wisdom and Power of God: 1 Corinthians 

  Power (1-5). Paul did not imitate the itinerant teachers in 
Corinth who depended on their eloquence and intellectual brilliance. 
Paul's faith was in God, not in himself (Zech. 4:6). He wanted sinners 
to trust in Christ's power. You may think you lack ability to serve 
God, but God can turn your weakness into strength. The gospel still 
works (Rom. 1:16)! 
  Wisdom (6-16). The Jews asked for demonstrations of power and 
the Greeks looked for wisdom, both of which are available in Jesus 
Christ (1:24). A deeper wisdom of God is available for those who are 
mature (Heb. 5:12-14). Allow the Spirit of God to teach you about the 
Son of God from the Word of God, and grow up in Him. 
  Wisdom and power go together. They need each other, and they 
keep the Christian life balanced. [Chapter by Chapter Bible 
Commentary by Warren Wiersbe] 


Not with wise and persuasive words. This does not give preachers 
a license to neglect study and preparation. Paul's letters reveal 
a great deal of knowledge in many areas of learning, and his 
eloquence is apparent in his address before the Areopagus (Ac 17:22-31). 
Paul's point is that unless the Holy Spirit works in a listener's 
heart, the wisdom and eloquence of a preacher are ineffective. [NIV SB 

Demonstration. The proof of the divine origin of the message 
that Paul preached was not to be found in clever argumentation, but 
in the evidence, or "showing forth," of the Holy Spirit. [SDA Bible 

Demonstration. The Greek word is used of producing proofs in an 
argument in court. Paul's preaching was marked by the convincing 
demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit. [NIV SB 2008] 

Your faith. Paul desired that the Corinthians should trust in 
the mighty power of God to change the lives of men. He did not wish 
to lead them to place confidence in any form of human power. In his 
efforts he had avoided the use of philosophical wisdom to convince his 
hearers of the truth of the gospel. He sought to hide himself in Jesus 
in order that the faith of the believers might rest entirely in the 
Saviour. It is not by the will or efforts of man that anyone is led to 
surrender himself to the Lord, but by the convicting power of the Holy 
Spirit.  [SDA Bible Commentary] 

Paul did not want their faith to be placed in clever arguments 
but in the power of God. [Ryrie SB] 

COMMENTARY APPLICATION With Emphasis On Verses 4 And 5.

Proclamation should be simple and transparent. The desired 
result of preaching is repentance and faith. The message is not to be 
obscured with eloquent words and confusing rhetoric. Paul refused to use 
clever language or to manipulate God's Word. He presented the gospel 
with a simple and open statement of truth (2 Co 4:1-6). He depended 
on the Spirit's power to change lives. This dramatic change in the 
heart and life of the individual, which comes when one is saved, does 
not come about by the emotional power of enticing words but by the 
simple, straightforward presentation of the gospel in all its clarity 
and power. Attention must be focused on the Word, not on the 
proclaimer... The wisdom and the power of the gospel that changes people's 
lives comes from above, from God, not from humans. [Disciple SB] 

Confidence is a gift of God's Spirit. Paul's confidence was not 
in his keen intellect or speaking ability but in his knowledge that 
the Holy Spirit was helping and guiding him. Paul is not denying the 
importance of study and preparation for preaching--he had a thorough 
education in the Scriptures. Effective preaching must combine studious 
preparation with reliance on the work of the Holy Spirit. [Life Application 

"I came to you in weakness and fear" 1 Cor. 2:1-5. My son Tim 
gave his first "devotional" the other night. He doesn't enjoy 
speaking, and was a little more than nervous. I suspect most of us feel 
"weakness and fear" when opportunities to minister come. But did you 
realize this puts us right there beside the Apostle Paul? What's most 
important, of course, is to remember that our impact doesn't rest on our 
brilliant or persuasive presentation, but on the Spirit's power. We may 
have Paul's fears. But we also have the Spirit who made his ministry 
so effective. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

The Cure For Glossophobia
  I was a writer, not a speaker. Still, several years ago, I was 
invited to offer a series of lectures based on one of my Bible studies. 
Just the thought terrified me. When I tried to run through the 
material, my hands would tremble, and a nauseating fear would wash over me 
like a bad case of the flu. Yet I was absolutely convinced that the 
pages of notes in my hands were God's message, and I believed the 
women attending would benefit if I could somehow make the words come 
out of my mouth. 
  Afraid of letting God down and convinced I would embarrass 
myself in the effort, I fell to my knees and opened my Bible, seeking a 
word of encouragement. My heart began pounding in my chest as I came 
upon Paul's description of himself in 1 Corinthians. I couldn't 
believe that the most powerful communicator in the early church was 
fearful and weak--just like me. 
  Although I certainly lacked eloquence, I made it through that 
first lecture series. I now speak to women's groups on a regular 
basis. My continual prayer is that each message will be a demonstration 
of the Spirit's power. I've learned, as did the apostle Paul, that 
God's power works best in weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). 
  Mindy Ferguson, founder of Fruitful Word Ministries, Inc., is 
the author of the women's Bible study Walking with God: From Slavery 
to Freedom; Living the Promise Life. [The One Year Bible Live Verse 

  Paul was an intelligent individual. He spoke multiple 
languages, was highly educated, and was a former Pharisee. His intellect 
was formidable-he knew both what to say and when and how to say it. 
But when it came to sharing the message of salvation, he kept it 
plain and simple, relying upon the power of the Holy Spirit rather 
than his skill as an orator.  
  When you share with others about Jesus, what approach do you 
take? Paul set a good example for us all. His message was basic and 
understandable to all who heard him speak. It can be tempting for us to think 
our skillful or impassioned presentation is the reason someone is 
attracted to Jesus. Paul warns us against such pride.  
  This does not mean we should not be prepared when asked about 
certain Scriptures; we must take time to read and study the Bible. But 
when you have the opportunity to share your faith with someone, take 
a moment to pray and ask for guidance, that your words may be 
exactly what the unbeliever needs to hear. And then thank God for 
allowing you to plant a seed in someone's heart. [The One Year Bible for 
New Believers re 1Co. 2:1-5] 

The Miracle of Belief; Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced 
only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, 
nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of 
God. [In His Time; My Utmost For His Highest]