Preach Christ Crucified

I Corinthians 2:1-16

A pregnant woman asked her boss if she could
have the day off because she wasn’t feeling too
well. He tells her the only way she is leaving work
is if she starts her contractions. So she yells “Can’t,
didn’t, won’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t!”

Today we will continue our study of Paul’s letter to
Corinth by looking at the 2nd chapter. We are going to
break this chapter down into three sections. In the first
few verses Paul explains 2 important truths about his
preaching.

I Corinthians 2:1-5

His Content was Christ Centered

He decided to know nothing among them except Christ
and Him Crucified

He didn’t let politics or social events take over the focus
of his preaching.
He didn’t get sidetracked with the world’s wisdom.
He didn’t try to impress his audience with fancy words.
He kept Christ the center of every sermon.

Robert Murray McCheyne was a minister in
Scotland.
He was only thirty years old when he died, but he
made an enormous spiritual impact on Scotland
that still continues. He said,

“It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likenesses to Jesus…
A man cannot be a faithful minister until he
preaches Christ for Christ’s sake, until he gives up
striving to attract people to himself, and seeks only
to attract them to Christ.”

His Delivery was Spirit Empowered

Paul writes that his speech and his message were not
plausible words of wisdom, but a demonstration of the
Spirit and of power.
He knew the Corinthians valued worldly wisdom and
eloquent speech. Paul’s point is that His message was
from God and when God speaks the power is far greater
than anything man can say.

When criticized for his simple speech, D.L. Moody
responded by saying,

“I have been called to feed
Sheep, and not giraffes. I put the cookies on the
bottom shelf where the children can reach them.”
There is nothing wrong with using expressive
language to describe the glorious truths of the
Word of God. But, the language should never
overshadow the message. (from A Biblical Pattern for Preaching)

Paul closes this section by mentioning the fact that their
faith is not based on man’s wisdom but the power of God.
Now, let’s look at the next few verses

I Corinthians 2:6-9

Paul shares 3 Truths about Wisdom

True Wisdom Comes from God – this is in stark
contrast from the wisdom of the world. That wisdom is
passing away. God’s wisdom is eternal because it comes
from God who is eternal. His wisdom will never pass
away.

God’s Wisdom is a Mystery – the Greek word
musterion refers to that which is hidden until God’s
perfect timing, it is only able to be understood by those
who are filled with the spirit. Contrast this to the mystery
religions of that day which resembled cults because they
were not allowed to share the secrets of their cult with
anyone else.

Believers were Predestined to Receive God’s Wisdom
One commentator explained this verse this way:
God is the originator of Salvation;
Jesus is the Executor of Salvation;
Holy Spirit is the Applier of Salvation;

It was always God’s plan to send Jesus to die on the
cross to forgive us for our sins.

Paul’s quote from Isaiah helps the reader understand that
apart from God there is no way for us to gain His
wisdom. It’s only because of the Holy Spirit that believers
are able to experience God’s wisdom.

4 Ministries of the Holy Spirit

I Corinthians 2:10-16

Searches v.10-11
Knows our thoughts.
Helps us know the thoughts of God.

Indwells Believers v.12
Believers have God living inside of us.
Because of that we are able to understand the gifts God.
has given us: His grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Teaches v.13
The word Spiritual is not used like people use it today.
Paul meant having to do with the Holy Spirit.

The message he brought was from God, about
Jesus revealed by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit teaches us how to understand spiritual
truths and how to recognize others who are filled with the
Holy Spirit.
(have you ever noticed you can spot other believers?)

Matures v.14-16

The natural man sees spiritual things as foolishness.
The Holy Spirit helps believers reach spiritual maturity.
It’s a process, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit.
The natural man can only learn more worldly things.
He doesn’t see value in spiritual matters. It’s folly to him.

V.16 is a very encouraging reminder – we have the mind
of Christ.
What does that mean? It means because the Holy Spirit
lives in us we have the mind of Christ.
He is there to search us, teach us and mature us.

The world will judge us, but that’s not our concern. Our
concern is to allow the mind of Christ to guide us and
make us into exactly who God wants us to be.

How should we respond then to this message?

APPLICATION

Preach Christ – this passage is not just for preachers
and teachers. We are all called to share our faith with
others. The point is that we talk about Christ crucified,
not about how great we are, or smart or influential. The
gospel is about Christ Crucified. We can all take that
message into our spheres of influence

Seek His Wisdom – it’s easy to get caught up seeking
after the wisdom of the world. God’s wisdom is so much
greater and without it we are perishing. How can we seek
His wisdom? Meditate on and memorize His Word. Seek
Him daily through prayer and worship.
He wants you to have His wisdom.