“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel- not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” 1 Corinthians 1:17
“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. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
It feels like I’m in some kind of biblical renaissance these days. When I open my mobile Bible (cell phone), I always seem to come across something that makes a connection that I have missed until just now. I absolutely love it.
Today’s passages of reading really hit me where I live. As one who preaches, sometimes I can get caught up in trying to make my own words sound good, but Paul is such a great example. Here is a man, much more learned that I am, who is unafraid to say that for all of his scholarly learning, when he came to the Corinthian church to talk about Jesus, he didn’t want to sound wise or eloquent. He didn’t want to use the big words that he knew. He threw away all of his theological training, and merely let the power of God do the communicating. Paul, someone who needed to trembling, was joyous in his weakness when presenting the gospel, so that Christ might have center stage.
This doesn’t only speak to preachers, or those who proclaim the word in any capacity. This speaks to us all. The late rock star Prince had a song with lyrics that said, “You don’t have to be rich to be my girl.” In the same avenue, Paul is telling all of us that we don’t have to be brilliant to tell someone about Jesus! The gospel does not need our wisdom or eloquence. The gospel does not need our interjections. The gospel does not need our theological opinions and exegetical interpretations.
The Gospel is good enough on its own!
The Power of God does everything that needs to be done!
The only thing required are people with enough weakness and trembling in them, to be able to allow God’s power to move through them and speak what He speaks to us. I regard preaching with such a humility. I still feel trembling on the inside of me when I preach the word of God, because it is such an honor to be used by Him. I can only imagine how Paul felt as he went to community after community to proclaim the Good News!
He literally decreased so that he might give God all of the room.
He didn’t rely on what he knew, but only on what God spoke.
How blessed of a reminder is that?
It brings such a peace to my heart, even as it is such a powerful revelation of the Omnipotence of God.
If it’s good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for me! And you!
So go and tell someone today about the glorious Gospel of Christ. Let His power flow!
Be blessed today!