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.”
The Wisdom of Men
There are two kinds of messages in this world – God’s, and the world’s. We either are listening to the wisdom of God, or we are listening to the counsel of men (or women) and their fleshly or worldly wisdom. And we are either following the Lord Jesus with our lives, or we are following the flesh.
The majority of people, it would appear, are following the flesh and human wisdom, and they are not following Jesus Christ and the wisdom of his word. Even many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are not his true followers, for they are still living by the flesh, and not by the Spirit.
So, what is it that these preachers are teaching who are using lofty, smooth, or charming speech? Mainly they are teaching a gospel of salvation which is created in the minds of humans which is a half-truth gospel, and thus it is a lie. It appeals to human flesh for it makes no requirements for death to sin.
The adherents of this half-truth gospel, thus, feel as though they can continue living in sin without guilt, for they are convinced that their sins are forgiven, and that heaven is guaranteed them when they die, regardless of how they live or how they treat Jesus from now until then.
For, the messages they are listening to, and which they are accepting, manipulate and adulterate the Scriptures. They remove many Scriptures from their context, and they teach them out of context, and they distort them to give a message which is not true to Scripture (in context).
But it sounds good to their ears, so they believe what they are hearing without actually checking it out for themselves to be certain of its truth. It appeases their flesh, requires no genuine repentance, or obedience to Christ, or submission to the Lordship of Christ. “Easy believism,” it is sometimes called. Others call it “the cheap grace gospel.”
Jesus Christ and Him Crucified
Paul said he decided to know nothing other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Now, this did not mean that he only taught that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins so that we can be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God. Paul taught the “whole counsel of God.”
He taught what it means to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. And he taught the fulness of the message of the cross, not only that Jesus died to take away the sins of the world, but why he died, what he died for, and the fulness of what that means for us who believe in him.
For, Jesus Christ didn’t come into this world and die on that cross merely to forgive us our sins so we could go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who died for us.
When we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God, and we are given new lives in Christ Jesus for the glory of God, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
We are delivered from our slavery (addiction, bondage) to sin so that we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. Now we walk (in conduct, in practice) not according to the flesh, but according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God, living holy and godly lives, pleasing to our Lord.
The Power of God
Paul also taught in the power and wisdom of the Spirit of God. He relied on the leading of the Holy Spirit to lead him to all truth and to give him the words to say. He wasn’t getting his messages from other men, nor from books written by other men (not God-breathed).
He didn’t go through “church planters training” classes nor did he attend Bible college or seminary where he learned how to interpret and how to preach the Scriptures. And these days it is also where they learn to market the church just like any other business to the flesh of humans.
The Holy Spirit was his teacher and trainer who taught him the Scriptures, and who taught him the New Covenant, and who gave him the words to write in what is now our New Testament. And the Holy Spirit is to be the one who teaches us the Word of God, too, and who gives us the words to say.
We, too, need to be teaching “the whole counsel of God” and not a half-truth gospel based off Scriptures which are removed from their context and twisted to say something the Scriptures don’t teach. We need to be teaching the fulness of the gospel and of what it means to believe in Jesus Christ.
But, first of all, we need to be living the gospel (the gospel of Jesus, not of man). We must be those who have died with Christ to sin, who are dying with him daily to sin, and who are living to him and to his righteousness, who are walking not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Our lives must be surrendered to Jesus Christ, and he is to be our Lord (owner-master). We are to be those who are following him in obedience, not just to his commands (to his instructions), but daily we must listen to him speaking to us directing us where to go, and what to say, and what to do.
For, Jesus died for us so that we would be God’s possession and so that we would honor God with our lives – that we would live to please him in all that we do and say because we love him, and because we are so thankful for what he did for us in dying so that we could be set free of our sins.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.