In the Power of God

1Corinthians 2:1-5 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 

‘Excellency’ [Greek: huperoche] pre-eminence.

‘Testimony of God’ [Greek: marturion] Always rendered testimony (except in Mat. 24:14; Acts 4:33; 7:44; Jas. 5:3). In these passages, it is translated as “witness.” It refers to the gospel of Christ which Paul had confirmed to people in all places by the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:18-19, 29; Acts 15:4, 12; 19:11).

‘Determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.’ Paul was determined not to cultivate any other knowledge, or esteem any other doctrine as worthy of notice, save Jesus Christ and the benefits of the cross are: Deliverance from enemies (Luke 1:71, 74; 1Jn.  5:18); the mercy from God (Luke 1:72; Tit. 3:4-5; Eph. 2:4-9); justification by faith (Luke 1:72-73; Gal. 3:6-15); peace with God (Luke 1:74; Rom. 5:1-11; Eph. 2:14-18); holiness and righteousness (Luke 1:75; Eph. 4:24; Tit. 2:11-12); reconciliation to God (Luke 1:77; 2Cor. 5:14-21; Col. 1:20); light and guidance (Luke 1:79; 1Jn 1:7; John 16:7-14).

‘Weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling’ – This weakness could be physical, or an expression of utter dependence on God. If physical, it was no doubt the result of Paul’s stoning, beatings, and other sufferings of 2Corinthians 11:24-27 and Galatians 4:13. The fear and trembling could be a state of mind, dreading lest he should grieve God and bring reproach upon truth (1Cor. 9:27; cp. 2Cor. 7:15; Eph. 6:5). ‘Enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.’ Persuasive doctrines of human wisdom. I used none of the means of great orators to sway people. I preached under the anointing and power of the Spirit and confirmed what I preached with signs following (Rom. 15:18-19, 29; Acts 19:11). I used this method so that your faith might be in the power of God, not in human wisdom (1Cor. 2:4-6).

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