Paul practiced what he preached... or rather, he preached what he wrote.

When I came

Read 1 Corinthians 2 v 1-5

In Paul's time, secular orators would come to Corinth, praise the city, tell of their achievements, and impress with their eloquence.

  • - How was Paul somewhat different (v 1, 3)?!
  • - What did Paul think was most important about his speaking (v 2)?
  • - Why did he not want to seem impressive himself (v 5)?

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APPLY

  • - How should we apply Paul's words here to our attitude to preachers today, do you think?
  • - How do these verses encourage our own efforts to tell people about Jesus?
  • - Imagine you found yourself moving to another community and looking for a new church. What should you look for most of all?

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A message of wisdom

Read verses 6-16

Paul has already said that hte message at the heart of Christianity seems "foolishness" (1 v 18). Yet, at the same time, it is a "message of wisdom" (2 v 6)!

  • - Who recognizes this (v 6)?
  • - Who doesn't? How do we know this (v 8)?
  • - So how can anyone see that trusting in the cross is true wisdom (v 10, 12)?

God's wisdom is a gift. And the ability to understand it is, too. People, including us, are by nature blind to the beauty of God's truth (v 14)--and so we need it to be revealed to us. Remembering this keeps us humble; and it reminds us that to the watching world, Christians will always seem odd.

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APPLY

  • - Do you ever ignore God's wisdom because the world says it is foolish? How?
  • - Do you find yourself listening to the world's wisdom even when you know God has said it is foolish? How?
  • - How do these verses encourage you to live more by God's wisdom, and less by the world's?

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PRAY

Thank God for revealing the message of His Son crucified to you, through the work of His Spirit.

Pray that you would be able to judge everything in line with the Spirit's guidance; and that you would not be too concerned with the judgment of the world (v 16).

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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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