Study Notes

1Corinthians 2:1-16

2:1-10 Not With Persuasion and Superiority

Paul didn't come with this great ability to make moving speeches. Paul's ministry was simply to teach the Word of God simply. That's all. He presented the message, and relied upon the Spirit of God to burn it into men's hearts. That is comforting to me, as one who communicates the gospel. You see, my effectiveness isn't based on being articulate — or having a deep, commanding speaking voice. It doesn't matter that I don't have a master's degree in linguistics and all the major sciences. Because the effectiveness of the message isn't based on me or my ability. For the Lord says, "It's...

Zech. 4:6 ..."Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit."..

You see, I only need to make sure of one thing to make sure that I'm effective. Simply teach the Word of God simply.

Hebr. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The Word is alive — it's like a supernatural virus that enters into you through your ears. And as long as I'm faithful to make sure it gets to your ears, God does what He wants to with it.

Only Jesus Christ And Him Crucified

If you're called to a teaching ministry, whether it is to young children, a home Bible study, or as a pastor — you don't need a library full of commentaries, you don't need a bunch of hilarious jokes, and you don't need a database of colorful illustrations. You really only need one thing: Remember that the main thing is to keep the Main Thing the main thing. Ask yourself, "How does this portion of Scripture relate to Jesus Christ and Him Crucified?" That's what Jesus did with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. That's what the writer of the book of Hebrews did all through his epistle. That's what Matthew did all through his gospel.

God's Wisdom In A Mystery

Now, as Paul continues, he says, "Oh, it's not bad to be wise, so long as it's God's wisdom, not man's wisdom." God's wisdom is different than man's wisdom, and is sometimes completely contrary to it. God's wisdom is so different than man's, how can you be wise? You gain man's wisdom by going to school, experiencing life, learning from other men. But how can you gain God's wisdom instead of man's wisdom? The Bible says over and over,

Prov. 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Fear the Lord and know His Word. That's the only recipe for true wisdom there is.

2:11-16 Spiritually Appraised

I can hear someone say something and think that I understand their feelings or their motives. But in reality, the person who said it is the only one who really knows. It's the same way with God. You can read His Word and say, "Oh, I get it." But unless He Himself is putting the understanding into your mind, you really don't have a clue. You see, when we're born again, God, the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell inside of us. Without the Holy Spirit, you can have a Master's Degree in Theology and a Doctorate of Divinity, but you won't understand God's heart and thinking.

"The deaf man cannot enjoy the symphony, the blind man cannot enjoy the beauty of the sunset. Why? Because he lacks the faculties by which these things are appreciated. So, in the same logic, the natural man cannot receive or know the things of the Spirit, because he lacks the faculty by which these things are known. He lacks the Spirit. And lacking the Spirit, it's impossible for him to know the things of the Spirit." (Smith)

Now on the good side of that, if the Spirit of God does dwell in you, all of these things are available for the understanding.

John 14:26 ."..The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."

As you desire to learn the Word, He can open it up to you in an understanding that you never thought was possible. Instead of trying to use a carnal mind to understand spiritual words, you have the mind of Christ — a spiritual mind to understand spiritual words.

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