[Editor's note: Beyond Sunday is a Monday refresher to carry you through the week.]
Focus Verse of the Week
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 men's wisdom, but on God's power. (1 Corinthian 2:4-5)
And my speech, and my preaching
As he determined, so he acted. The subject matter of his ministry was not any of the liberal arts and sciences, or the philosophy and dry morality of the Gentiles, but salvation by a crucified Christ. His style, his diction, his language followed this in his preaching,
was not with enticing words of man's wisdom;
with technical words, words of art, contrived by human wisdom to captivate the affections. Nor did Paul come with bare probable arguments only, a show of reason to persuade the mind to an assent, when nothing solid and substantial is advanced, only a run of words artfully put together, without any strength of argument in them. This is a method used by the false teachers, and which the apostle here strikes at and tacitly condemns.
but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power;
partly by making use of solid proofs out of the writings of the Old Testament, indited by the Spirit of God, and which amounted to a demonstration of the truths he delivered. He also conveyed this partly by signs, and wonders, and miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, those extraordinary instances of divine power, which greatly confirmed the doctrines he preached. Besides all these, the Spirit of God wonderfully assisted him in his work, both as to words and matter; directing him, what to say, and in what form, in words, not which human wisdom taught, but which the Holy Ghost taught. The Holy Spirit accompanied his ministry with his power, to the conversion, comfort, edification, and salvation of many.
That your faith should not stand
"Or be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God". The Spirit of God directed Paul, and he under the Spirit's influence chose, and by his assistance pursued this way of preaching. He pursued it with this view, and for this reason, that faith in Christ and in the doctrines of his Gospel, which comes by hearing, might not be attributed to the force of human eloquence and oratory. Thus faith would not stand upon so sandy a foundation that it might be puffed away by a superior flow and force of words. Rather that it might be ascribed, as it ought to be, to almighty power, stand in it, be supported by it, and at last be finished and fulfilled with it.
(Adapted from John Gill's Exposition of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 2:4.)
A Thought to Keep
Where does the power to change a heart of stone to flesh come from? From our words and witness or the Holy Spirit?