1 Corinthians 2: Let They Faith Rest On the Power of God

4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

Paul’s Preaching.  Paul simply presented Jesus, without using oratorical skills.  In Paul’s day, many were highly trained in the art of persuasion.   But Paul simply relied only on the simple truth, to show that God’s wisdom and power can be trusted.

1 … When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit

Human beings have no way to deduce or discover God’s thinking.  But his very thoughts have been communicated to us in the words of Scripture by the Spirit.

9 … “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. …

Application of Divine Wisdom.  The Holy Spirit, living in the believer, serves as interpreter of the written Word.  This enables us to make judgments about all things on the basis of God’s wisdom.  Both the written Word and the Spirit are needed to operate by God’s wisdom.  But through these two gifts from God, we have access to the very mind of Christ!

12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Wisdom, New Testament

In the language of the NT as well as our own tongue, “wisdom” does not speak of knowledge, but of interpretation and application.  Knowing “what the Bible says” is not as important as putting our knowledge into practice in daily life!

1 Corinthians 1 identifies and illustrates two kinds of wisdom  “Foolish” wisdom looks at the facts and reaches the wrong conclusions.  By this foolish wisdom, Jesus’ death was a tragedy, or an injustice, or a politically expedient act — and nothing more.  But God looks at the cross in a very different way.  He sees it as a sacrificial offering by which we who believe are given “righteousness, holiness, and redemption.”  For you and me, wisdom involves accepting God’s interpretation of things and acting on that interpretation.

But how do we know God’s interpretation?  This is what Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 2 in his talk of “God’s secret wisdom.”  God has given us in the words of Scripture not only historical facts but also God’s own thoughts and interpretation of the facts.  The Bible is not just a book about “what” Christians are to believe.  It is a book that helps us see the way God looks at and interprets all the issues of our lives.

God has given us more than the Word.  He has also given us the Holy Spirit, who will help us understand and apply the written Word.  Because the Spirit is in us and the Word with us, we can know God’s viewpoint on any situation in which we find ourselves.  In the Bible and the Spirit we have access to the very mind of Christ, to give us guidance for daily living.

What a privilege when we face a difficult situation, to know that we can look into the Bible, and ask God’s Spirit to give us the wisdom we need to find God’s way.

The boy in the movie Sixth Sense said, “I see dead people.”  To the people who have spiritual discernment must be seeing what the boy in the movie saw.  “I see dead people, the walking dead without understanding being controlled by the evil ones.”  I do.  It’s the scariest movie I’ve ever seen.  That’s why I like to read the book of spoiler alert every morning.

6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

And now I know that the job of an interpreter is not a trivial one.  I learned today that the Holy Spirit, God himself, is an interpreter for us to understand the words written in the Bible!  As an interpreter, I know what it means to people I serve not to know the language and thus meaning of what the other person is saying.  I understand their need to totally rely on the interpreter to find out what the other person is saying.  So, let’s not be amazed by people’s lack of understanding when they read the Bible.  If they are not in-filled with the Holy Spirit, they may read what it says but may not know the meaning of the words according to God.