Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO 1 CORINTHIANS 2\\

The apostle, in this chapter, pursues the same argument as before,
that the Gospel needed not the wisdom and art of men: this he
illustrates by his own example; and then he extols the Gospel above
all the wisdom of men; and observes how it comes to be made known to
men, even by the Spirit of God: hence it follows, that it is to be
taught in his words, and not in the words of men; and that it can be
only known and judged of by the spiritual, and not by the natural
man. He instances in himself, and in his own ministry, when at
Corinth, where he preached the Gospel in a plain and simple manner,
without using the ornaments of speech, and human wisdom, \\#1Co 2:1\\
his reason was, because he had determined with himself to preach not
himself, but a crucified Christ, \\#1Co 2:2\\. His manner of
behaviour is more largely declared, \\#1Co 2:3\\ that he was so far
from being elated with his human literature, and priding himself with
that, and making use of it in an ostentatious way, that he was
attended with much weakness, fear, and trembling; and his discourses
were not adorned with the flowers of rhetoric, but were delivered
with the power, evidence, and demonstration of the Spirit, \\#1Co 2:4\\.
And his end and view in this method of preaching were, that the faith
of his hearers should not be ascribed to human wisdom, but to a
divine power, \\#1Co 2:5\\ but lest the Gospel should be thought
meanly and contemptibly of, because of the plain dress in which it
appeared, the apostle affirms it to be the highest wisdom, as those
who had the most perfect knowledge of it could attest; a wisdom
superior to the wisdom of this world, or of its princes, since that
comes to nothing, \\#1Co 2:6\\ the excellency of which he expresses
by various epithets, as the wisdom of God, mysterious wisdom, hidden
wisdom, ancient wisdom, ordained before the world began, for the
glory of the saints, \\#1Co 2:7\\ a wisdom unknown to the princes of
the world, who otherwise would not have been concerned in the
crucifixion of Christ, \\#1Co 2:8\\ and that this far exceeds the
capacity of men, and could never have been found out by them, he
proves, \\#1Co 2:9\\ by a testimony out of \\#Isa 64:4\\ and then
proceeds to show how it comes to be known by any of the sons of men,
that it is by the revelation of the Spirit of God, \\#1Co 2:10\\
which is illustrated by the nature of the spirit of man within him,
which only knows the things of a man; so in like manner only the
Spirit of God knows the things of God, and can make them known to
others, \\#1Co 2:11\\. And in this way he observes, that he and
others became acquainted with these things; namely, by receiving not
the spirit of the world, which at most could only have taught them
the wisdom of the world, but the Spirit of God, whereby they knew
their interest in the blessings of free grace, published in the
Gospel, \\#1Co 2:12\\. And seeing the Gospel is made known by the
Spirit of God, it should be delivered, not in the words of man's
wisdom, but in the words of the Holy Spirit, as the apostle affirms
he and other ministers did deliver it, returning to his former
argument, \\#1Co 2:13\\. And also it follows from hence, that the
things of the Gospel, which the Spirit reveals, cannot be known and
received by the natural man, who has no discerning of them, and so no
value for them, \\#1Co 2:14\\ and can only be discerned, judged, and
approved of by spiritual men, \\#1Co 2:15\\ and who are not to be
judged by natural and carnal men, because they have not the mind of
Christ, and so cannot instruct them; but spiritual men have it, such
as the apostle and others, \\#1Co 2:16\\.

apostle gives of himself is occasioned, either by what he had said
in the latter part of the preceding chapter, concerning the choice
God has made of the foolish, weak, base, and despicable things of
the world, and of his calling them by his grace both to fellowship
with the saints in common, and therefore he accommodated his
ministry unto them, and in particular to the ministry of the word,
of which he himself was a like instance and an example; or else by
what he had declared in \\#1Co 1:17\\ of the same chapter, that he was
sent to preach the Gospel,

\\not with wisdom of words\\; which he here reassumes, and affirms
agreeably, that when he first came to Corinth, he

\\came not with excellency of speech, or of wisdom\\; for though he was
not only versed in Jewish learning, being brought up at the feet of
Gamaliel; but had also a good share of Grecian literature, and was
capable, upon proper occasions, to cite the Greek poets, as he does
Aratus, \\#Ac 17:28\\ and Menander, \\#Tit 1:12,13\\ and so could, had he
thought fit, have adorned his discourses with pompous language, with
the flowers of rhetoric, and the eloquence of the Grecians; yet he
chose not such a high and florid style, and which savoured so much
of human wisdom and art; for the subject he treated of required no
such dress, nor any great swelling words of vanity, or a bombast
style to set it off, and gain the applause and assent of men: for
what he delivered were plain matters of fact, attested by God
himself,

\\declaring unto you the testimony of God\\; that is, the Gospel, which
bears a testimony to the love, grace, and mercy of God, his kindness
and good will to the sons of men, in giving and sending his
only begotten Son to be the Saviour and Redeemer of them; and in
which God bears a testimony of his Son, of his sonship, deity,
mediation, incarnation, obedience, sufferings, and death, of his
resurrection, ascension to heaven, session at his right hand,
intercession for his people, and his second coming to judgment, and
of eternal life and salvation by him. All which being matter of
fact, and depending upon the witness of God, which is greater than
that of men, needed no art nor oratory of men to recommend it: it
was enough in plain words, and easy language, to declare it, with
the evidence by which it was supported. The Alexandrian copy, and
some others, read, "the mystery" of God: and so the Syriac version
\^ahlad azr\^, "the mystery of God" one of Stephens's copies reads, "the
mystery of Christ"; and the Vulgate Latin version, "the testimony of
Christ".
05252