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]
EXCELLENT MINI-VIDEO ON THIS PASSAGE: