God Prepared for Us

Without Lofty Speech
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 ESV

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, 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.”

In most churches today, it would seem, at least here in America, Paul would probably not be welcome. He wouldn’t even be invited as a guest speaker. Why? Well, for one, the vast majority of today’s church appears to be following a man-made gospel which tickles itching ears, and Paul would definitely not “fit the bill” (be suitable) for that purpose.

And, many of them are looking for pastors who are dynamic speakers who are fun, entertaining, charming, and humorous, who make people laugh, and who don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable about their lifestyles. And, this seems obvious by the number of people who appear to be deserting the smaller conservative church congregations to flock after the Mega Church movement, many of them looking for programs for their children.

But, Paul wasn’t charming. He wasn’t winsome. He probably didn’t have a dynamic personality. He might have even been boring, at times, by human estimation, and long-winded, too. He didn’t dance around subjects. He didn’t play games with people’s minds. He was not manipulative. But, he was a “straight shooter” (an honest and forthright person). And, they aren’t very popular these days. Too many people just want to be entertained.

But, Paul wasn’t concerned about numbers. He wasn’t looking to see how many followers or friends or “likes” he received each day on his blog or on Facebook. He didn’t write for the crowds. He didn’t try to appeal to human flesh in order to draw in large crowds to hear him speak, either. He spoke in the power of the Holy Spirit, and he let God take care of the numbers. He spoke the messages God gave him to preach whether people liked what he had to say or not. For, he was serving God, not men (or women).

Too many preachers, pastors, Bible teachers and bloggers, too, want to please their audience. They want to say what people want to hear. So, they gear what they say around their audience and what they think people want to hear, and so they don’t let the Holy Spirit speak through them, some of them out of fear of being rejected and losing friends, followers, and “likes.” For, if they yield to the Holy Spirit, and they let God speak through them, they fear God may lead them to say something that will get them rejected.

But, we can’t write, teach, preach or speak for the approval of humans. If we are followers of Jesus Christ, and if we are his servants, then we need to let him give us the words to say, and we need to leave the results to him. We have to say what he gives us to say because it may make a difference in someone else’s life with regard to whether they go to heaven or to hell.

Wisdom of God or World?
1 Corinthians 2:6-9 ESV

“Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“’What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him.’”

Paul and the other apostles took seriously their calling of God. It was not unlike the calling of the prophets of old, for they were God’s voice to the people. They were the New Testament being written. They spoke God’s God-breathed words when they were speaking to the people under the power of the Holy Spirit. So, they spoke what God wanted them to say to the people and what the people needed to hear, not necessarily what they wanted to hear.

So, what they taught was not this “feel-good” gospel we hear so much of today. The grace they taught was not a free ride to heaven absent of true repentance and obedience to Christ, either. They were not trying to make people feel good about themselves while they continued in their sinful practices. They taught, not only Christ crucified, but they taught us dead to sin and living to God, too, as necessary for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 2 Co. 5:15, 21).

And, that is definitely not the wisdom of this age which is all about self, self-improvement, self-gratification, self-pleasure, and being self-indulgent. It is not the wisdom of this age which is all about making people feel good in their sins and not upsetting anyone, and everyone staying in their “own lane,” so as not to offend anyone with the truth of the gospel.

The wisdom of this age is about tolerance of all people and all walks of life and all different beliefs and religions, too. It is about uniting the people of this world as one voice, breaking down all barriers which divide us as the people of the world. And, that includes breaking down that barrier which says Christian or non-Christian (saved or not saved), too. And, this is leading up to the rule of the beast and the one-world religion, too.

And, what we teach should also be the wisdom that the apostles and Jesus taught. We should be telling people that faith in Jesus Christ is not just a profession of faith or a prayer we prayed or some acknowledgment of Christ. For, we must all die with Christ to sin, and we must all live with Christ to his righteousness if we want to have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17).

God’s Wisdom

God’s wisdom says that if we want to come after Christ, we must deny self and daily take up our cross and follow (obey) Christ. It says that we must leave our lives of sin behind us, and our idols, and that we must now follow our Lord in obedience to his commands. We must say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and we must life self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Lu. 9:23-26; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).

For, if we live to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if we live to the Spirit, we will have eternal life with God (Rom. 2:6-8; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8).

For, those who love God walk in obedience to him. They are not perfect people. None of us are. But they are walking (in practice, in conduct) according to the Spirit of God, and not according to their sinful flesh. And, they know what God’s word teaches them (us), that we must walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands if we want to have eternal life with God (Jn. 8:51; Jn. 14:23-24; Rom. 6:16; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; 1 Jn. 3:24; 2 Jn. 1:6).

And, what he has prepared for us who love (who obey) him is forgiveness of sins, deliverance from our slavery to sin, and empowerment of the Spirit of God to walk righteously before our God. He has works of the Spirit he has prepared for us to do, too, which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Tit. 2:14; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:12-13; 2 Tim. 2:21; Jas. 2:17).

He has spiritual gifts for us and assignments within the body of Christ that he intends for us to use and to do for his purposes and glory and in his power and strength and wisdom, too. And, these are to be used for the building up of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ and to unity in the Spirit, so that we will grow up into Christ (Rom. 12; 1 Co. 12; Eph. 4-5).

And, he has a place prepared in heaven for us, too, for when we die.

I’ll Live On

Lyrics and Music by Thomas Laney

’Tis a sweet and glorious tho’t that comes to me,
I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on;
Jesus saved my soul from death, and now I’m free,
I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on.

When my body’s slumb’ring in the cold, cold clay,
I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on;
There to sleep in Jesus till the judgment day,
I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on.

When the world’s on fire and darkness veils the sun,
I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on;
Men will cry and to the rocks and mountains run,
I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on.

In the glory-land, with Jesus on the throne,
I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on;
Thru eternal ages singing, home, sweet home,
I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on.

I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on.
Thru eternity I’ll live on;
I’ll live on, yes, I’ll live on,
Thru eternity I’ll live on.

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7 thoughts on “God Prepared for Us

  1. Very powerful message here. It sure is easy to get caught up in the numbers. I am certainly guilty of concerning myself with how many read or respond to my writings. I need to pay all attention to “what” I’m writing and leave everything else to God.
    “so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen! When the Lord called me to this ministry in 2004, my assignment was just to write down what he teaches me from his word and to put it on the internet so that “a herald may run with it.” I am not responsible for anything beyond that, not for who reads it or how many or where it goes. I just write what he gives me and I put it out there in obedience to the Lord and I let him run with it. Beyond that, I do want to make certain I respond to people who respond to what is written as the Lord leads there, as well.

      Like

    • You are welcome, Vickie. I am learning a lot of songs I did not know before. We found this guy Michael Eldridge on YouTube who sings the hymns in 4 part harmony by himself, and so we have been listening to his songs, some of which we had never heard before. I love the old hymns, and I love the harmonies, and I am enjoying the richness of the words to these hymns, too. So encouraging!

      Liked by 1 person

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