In the last chapter, we saw a call to boast in Jesus Christ, who “became to us wisdom from God,” (1 Corinthians 1: 30) because those who are in Christ Jesus are weak and foolish people. Our united boasting is in God alone because He gifted us with what we could not earn or gain for ourselves. We must remember that Paul is addressing the issue of divisions within the church in his opening chapter of this letter, and that this problem is one of wisdom. Paul rightly exhorts the church in Corinth with a call to turn away from humanly wisdom and charisma and into the wisdom of God, so that none can boast. In chapter 2, Paul continues this argument by elaborating on this wisdom that is only revealed by the Spirit of God.
PROCLAIMING CHRIST CRUCIFIED (v. 1-5)
“…but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2: 4 – 5)
In this set of verses, Paul is recollecting the first time he came to the Corinthians (Acts 18). We should take note of how Paul describes himself from verse 1 to the first half of verse 4. He says that he did not proclaim the testimony of God in “lofty speech or wisdom,” and even depicts himself as weak and foolish. Why does Paul say this? Refer back to what Paul said about the Jews and Greeks in chapter 1; he said that the Greeks sought wisdom and Jews looked for signs (1 Corinthians 1: 22). Paul recognized that Greeks idolized philosophical complexity, layered thoughts, and lofty words, and therefore, this message of Christ crucified was too simple and degraded for them. Jews also could not make sense of the cross, for it was not something they would associate with the promised Savior or King. Paul knew all of this. He did not come to the people in wise speech of his own or some incredible worldly wisdom, but he came to them in demonstration of the Spirit of God and of power (v. 5). Paul understood that it is all about the power of God, and that no amount of human wisdom, charisma, or signs could bring people to the Gospel.
WISDOM FROM THE SPIRIT (v. 6- 16)
“these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” (1 Corinthians 2: 10)
Paul continues here by building his argument that the wisdom of God that God’s people have from the Spirit is from God alone, and cannot be attributed to human reason or rationale. In verse 6, he refers to this wisdom as not “of this age,” where even the most elite of that time could not fathom, for if they did, they would not have crucified the Lord Jesus Christ (v. 8 ). It is amazing that the people of God who are weak and foolish have wisdom to impart from God Himself to the rest of this world. We have to note, however, that this wisdom was unattainable – no eyes could see it, no ears could hear it, and no heart could ever recognize it, but it was revealed to us by the Spirit of God (v. 10). Therefore, we must remember that we had no part in knowing this mystery, for we could not reason ourselves into believing the spiritual things when we were not spiritual people before God called us into His family. The Gospel is a spiritually discerned wisdom that we can comprehend by the Spirit in us, for those without the Spirit cannot accept it or understand it (v. 14).
HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST
“‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2: 16)
With the Gospel revealed to us by the Spirit, we have the mind of Christ. We not only have the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we have access to understand His instructions and heart by the Spirit. We must not rely on our human mind and rationale, for our lives are to be a demonstration of God and His power, not ours. Therefore, we rest our faith in God, His power, and in the Spirit. We preach Christ crucified, boasting in Him, whose mind we put on daily, pointing others to follow our King by the Spirit’s guidance.