Paul Preached Christ Crucified:
(Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
The Corinthian believers were obsessed with wisdom and eloquent speech. Paul reminds them that what they need is unity in Spirit and divine wisdom. When Paul first came to Corinth, he did not preach with lofty speech or wisdom but Christ crucified. His preaching was anything but impressive or eloquent (2 Corinthians 10:10). But the Holy Spirit had made a powerful impression on the Corinthians. Paul was capable of preaching impressive messages with philosophical skill. But he preached in weakness. He decided to preach Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. It was a plain and simple presentation of the gospel. This approach disappointed many Corinthians. Paul was determined that Jesus must increase and he must decrease. His ministry was the demonstration of the Spirit and of the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:4). The Christian life begins with the gospel and continues to provide power for Christian living (Romans 1:16-17). Wherever the gospel was preached, the souls were saved. The eloquence, logic arguments and polished oratory cannot save souls. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. It is the gift of God and can’t be earned by good deeds (Ephesians 2:8-10). Christ came to save sinners. The heartbeat of the gospel is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The simplicity of the gospel helps people to understand their need of salvation. The essential elements of the gospel are the "The truth about God, the truth about man, the truth about Christ and human responsibility. People need to know that God loves them even though men are sinners and separated from God. Christ died on the cross to save sinners. Jesus paid the penalty of their sin. His resurrection on the third day is proof that he is the perfect Son of God. Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). Only those who admit that they are sinners qualify for God's salvation. We begin Christian life with the gospel and the same gospel is what provides power for living. Although the gospel message is simple, it is incredibly powerful.
The Source of Divine Wisdom:
(Read 1 Corinthians 2: 6-11)
What Paul proclaimed in Corinth was the true wisdom of God. The matured believers understand and appreciate this wisdom. The gospel is foolishness from the world's perspective (1 Corinthians 1:18). From God’s perspective the gospel contains the hidden wisdom of God. It was hidden from eternity (1 Corinthians 2:7). This divine wisdom is now revealed in the gospel (1 Corinthians 2:10-12; Romans 16:25-26). The natural man cannot understand divine wisdom. If the rulers of this world understood the wisdom of God revealed in the gospel, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Human wisdom is based on intellectual speculations. The gospel reveals the crucified Christ as the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8). Paul quotes Isaiah 64:4 to show that the wisdom of God is not of human origin. Now it is revealed unto the apostles by the Holy Spirit and recorded in the Bible for our understanding. It requires divine illumination to understand divine wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:11). The Corinthians rather than accepting the gospel as God's wisdom, they tried to understand it in their natural wisdom. The gospel should be preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shows God's deep spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The Natural man's wisdom versus Spiritual Wisdom:
(Read 1 Corinthians 2:12-16)
The natural man can’t understand the gospel because it is to be spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). God has given us his Spirit so we can know the wonderful things he has freely given us. The difference between natural man and spiritual man is that spiritual man understands the gospel. The spiritual man believes the truth revealed in the Bible. Their object of faith is Jesus Christ. The spiritual man understands spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:15). These days Christians are tempted to alter the message of the gospel to make it more acceptable to unbelievers. It is a misguided approach that weakens the message of the gospel. Gospel should never be presented as a user friendly message. The gospel is the exclusive message of salvation (John 14:6). Someone has said “If there is no confrontation, there will be no transformation”. If the gospel does not confront our conscience, Christ cannot transform our lives. The reason for rejecting the gospel is the same throughout history. It is not an intellectual problem but a moral problem. Without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, spiritual things do not make any sense. The gospel is costly because it demands submission to Christ. The believers understand spiritual things because they have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). "The mind of Christ" is a reference to the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). "We have the mind of Christ". The term “We” includes the apostle Paul and all true believers. Pray that God would enlighten your heart to understand the gospel. Those who thirst and hunger for truth will be satisfied. Are you satisfied with Christ?