Art Toombs Ministries

Online Bible Commentary

Having Faith in the Power of God

 

1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (NKJV)




 

The writer of 1 Corinthians is the apostle Paul. He wrote this letter to the church at Corinth, Greece during his third missionary journey, while in Ephesus, Asia from 54-56 A.D. The church in Corinth was established by Paul during his second missionary journey when he ministered there for a year and a half during 51-52 A.D. 

Paul begins this passage by recalling his visit to the Corinthians in 51-52 A.D. (v. 1a). He recalls that he did not come with eloquent speech or some kind of wordy cleverness (v. 1b). He was plain spoken and not wishing to impress them as a wordsmith. Instead his purpose was to declare to them the gospel (v. 1c). 

Paul was “determined” to stay on message, not to “know”, recognize, “anything” else as he spoke among the citizens of Corinth (v. 2a). The message he stayed on was that of the message of Jesus Christ and the climax of that message, the crucifixion (v. 2b). 

The message was not Paul’s message. Paul was only a mortal man, and, as such, he had come to them with all his flaws, “in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling” (v. 3). The message was that of Jesus Christ. 

Because of this weakness, fear and trembling Paul’s speech and preaching “were not with persuasive words of human wisdom” (v. 4a). Paul was not physically imposing, nor was he an eloquent speaker (2 Cor. 11:6). However, it was his reliance upon the Holy Spirit that gave his words “power” (v. 4b). 

It was this reliance on the Holy Spirit that made his message even more powerful because he was an example of the message he carried. He was calling on people to put their faith not “in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (v. 5), just as he was doing.

Paul was just an ordinary man who was used by God to accomplish extraordinary things. He was sold out to the Lord and had made himself available to God. 

He devoted everything he had and everything he was to the Lord. He allowed the Holy Spirit to use him and to give him the words to say at the proper time. In the eyes of the world he was nothing special but in the eyes of the Lord he was a giant. 

That too should be our mission. We do not have to be a superior talent to be used by the God. The only ability we need is availability. The Holy Spirit will provide the rest. 

So, we need to have faith in the power of God. Next, we need to be available to take the time to know the Lord through reading and studying His word, the Bible. And we also need to be available to tell His story to a hurting world. Then, we too can be a giant in the eyes of the Lord.