1 Corinthians Chapter 2

September 29, 2011

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 1 Corinthians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

or you can watch it below:

In 1 Corinthians Paul deals with a series of problems that existed in the young church in Corinth.

The issues include the following:
• Division in the church(1 Cor. 1-4).
• Discipline(1 Cor. 5-6).
• Marriage and divorce(1 Cor. 7).
• Doctrinal disputes(1 Cor. 8-10).
• Misunderstanding of spiritual gifts(1 Cor. 12-14).

As the end of Chapter 1 of 1 Corinthians we saw that it was not on man’s terms and initiative but on God’s that man found what he needed in life, which was the power of God and the wisdom of God. In the preaching of the radical message, which is Christ crucified, God calls people by opening their eyes of faith to believe the gospel.

In the wisdom of God, salvation was accomplished at the Cross, which the worldly wise cannot see, but which can be seen by simple believers.

Paul will continue with this theme in Chapter 2.

1 Corinthians 2:1-16 (NIV)
1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. 6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”– 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Paul presents his ministry in a very humble manner. He says that preaching was unimpressive from a human point of view, in contrast to the traveling teachers of the day, who were known as the Sophists.

“Although there were many differences among the Sophists in terms of their specific teachings, it is safe to say that there was a common philosophy which many Sophists shared and which permeated their teachings. The most prominent element in this philosophy was skepticism (`a doubting state of mind’). The skepticism of the Sophists took various forms: phenomenalism, the belief that we can only know ideas present in our mind, but not the objects of perception outside our mind (so that it is useless to make a definitive statement about anything outside our own mind); empiricism, the doctrine that experience, particularly of the senses, is our only source of knowledge; and above all, relativism, the theory that truth has no independent absolute existence, but is dependent upon the individual and the particular situation in which one finds oneself.”

Paul is not worried about this, he presents this as part of his preaching. He did not want people to be in awe of his eloquence or persuasive words, he wanted them to know that the simple message of Christ crucified was the only means of salvation. Paul wanted people to put their faith in God’s power, not in men’s wisdom.

1 Corinthians 2:6

Paul is not saying that God rejects wisdom of any sort. He is saying that there is a wisdom that is taught by the Spirit of God which is what believers need to grasp.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8

This message that Paul preached was God’s secret wisdom, which can be known only by the revelation of God.

Matthew 11:25 (NIV)
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

At the heart of this message or wisdom is the plan of salvation.

1 Corinthians 2:8-11

The blessings of salvation involved Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They were prepared by the Father, carried out by the Son, and applied by the Spirit.

Ephesians 1:3-14 (NIV)
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.

The way that people know this is by the Spirit, who reveals the deep things of God about salvation.

1 Corinthians 2:11-16

Paul illustrates this point further by saying that nobody can fully understand the thoughts of anyone else. That makes the work of the Spirit even more necessary as He reveals the thoughts of God to believers.

The message of salvation that Paul preached did not originate in the thoughts and minds of men, but it originated in God and was taught by the Spirit.

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