Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:1-10
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human 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 with great fear and 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 human 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 declare God’s wisdom, a mystery 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:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Theme- Love Believes All Things
- Look carefully at verses 3 & 4 where Paul talks about coming to the Corinthians with “weakness” and lacking “wisdom” what do you think that means and how does it relate to faith?
- How does Paul’s approach in preaching to the Corinthians witness to his faith in God?
- What are some things you believe are true about God and how do you live that out in the world despite the difficulties?
- What events in the world around you test your faith, and cause you to be uncomfortable?
- How do you reinforce you faith when it is tested and how can you help others when their faith is tested?
V2 is somewhat complicated but conveys the message that Paul had only planned about speaking of the importance of Jesus’ crucifixion with the Corinthians indicating he put his faith in that message and its ability to transform them.
Paul coming to them in “weakness” indicates that he felt exposed and that he was not trusting in his abilities to convince the Corinthians of his message, rather if they were convinced it was because of the God’s power.
At first glance it seems that Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2 do not have much to do with the concept of “love believes all things” (1 Cor 13:7). In this passage Paul is recounting how he brought the message of Jesus to the Corinthians. What we see in this passage is Paul coming to the Corinthian church and his only plan is to proclaim the message of Jesus crucified. We must understand that when Paul says “crucified” he is referring to Jesus’ life death and resurrection, not simply the crucifixion story. Paul had resolved to be plain with the Corinthians, he was not going to craft a fine elegant message or try to over match them with his rhetoric. There are two ways we can understand Paul’s purpose. The first is to understand it as I think is common in working class areas, that Paul wanted to be playing for a playing people rather than confusing them with his intellect and scholarly abilities. There is some truth to this idea, after all, Paul does say that he preaches wisdom to those who are mature, I think another reason Paul resolved to speak on Jesus crucified is that is where his faith was focused.
In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul says love believes all things or perhaps better “love never loses faith”. That means that when you love someone do you have faith in their words and actions. it is easy to understand that a person’s actions are often in line with what they believe, the more a person trusts in something the Easier it is for that person to act. The more a person trusts the bungee cord attached to their body the easier it is to jump off the bridge. What Paul is saying in 1 Corinthians Is that when one loves another person one is able to trust that person. When we consider this in our interpersonal relationships we understand that there is an expectation of trust within our closest relationships that is bread from love. such trust does not simply result from repeated trustworthy behavior but also from the fact that we believe our loved ones care about us and want what’s best for us.
Paul’s love for God showed itself in Paul’s willingness to show his weakness to the Corinthians, he did this fully expecting that God’s power would work through them. Paul trusted that God would work in their lives so long as Paul was faithful to the simple message of Jesus life death and resurrection. I believe there are times when we operate under the impression That our ministry and mission rise and fall on our abilities. But the truth is We are overemphasizing our roles and responsibilities and failing to trust God. We do not have to be great or powerful, we do not have to have the right words to say or be able to even to defend the faith with intellectual rigor, rather we are called to serve and speak on God’s behalf. If we do this and truly believe that God is going to work in the world, then it does not matter so much how weak or powerful we are simply that we obey God’s instructions to present the gospel message and trust that God will change people’s lives.
Paul keen to the Corinthian church out of love for God, and resolved to not rely on his own abilities, he saw that if his message was to succeed it would be because God gave his ministry success not because he was great. How are love for God and for others should result in this same level of trust, we should be able to trust that God will stand by the promises of scripture. Yet too often we want to rely on our own abilities, seemingly unable to wrap our heads around the idea that God’s power will protect us in every situation we face.