1 Corinthians 2: 1 – 16


  1. Paul’s Mission Vs 1 – 5


  1. I didn’t come with lofty words
    1. Before Paul came to Corinth, he visited Greece
      1. See Acts 17: 16 – 33
      2. He tried to persuade the Greeks to come to Jesus through clever arguments
      3. He was laughed out of there so he was not going to try that approach again.
    2. He was now coming to Corinth trusting only the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives.
  2. We can get in the way of the gospel being understood.
    1. EXAMPLE:  little girl was listening to a guest speaker who was shorter than their minister.  She was able to see the stained glass window of Jesus because of the height of the speaker.  She asked her mother, “Where is the man who usually stands so we can’t see Jesus?”
    2. Know = accept as truth and share it.
    3. EXAMPLE:  in Wausau a preacher who had doctorates wrote many articles which did not line up with biblical truth.  Whenever someone disagreed with her the response was “How many degrees do you have?”
  3. Weakness = no real way to know what he means here.
    1. Greek word could mean sickness
    2. Could mean economic weakness causing his to have to work to make a living.
    3. He was cast out of Thessalonica, released from jail in Philippi, and laughed out of Athens so this could be the cause of his weakness.
    4. Whatever the cause of his weakness, he admitted that he was in need of the Holy Spirit
  4. Paul is not against persuasive speech
    1. He tried to persuade King Agrippa in Acts 26
    2. Holy Spirit was what he was relying on to draw people to Jesus and the cross.
    3. This Spirit is the one who does not transport us from this world, but empowers us to live in it.
      1. Power it is talking about is not a miracle here, it is the power of a changed life.
      2. EXAMPLE:  man asked if I saw demon change a face of a person.  The face I love see changed is the face of a life that accepts Jesus.
    4. KEY POINT: Message is the crucified Christ.  If we are drawing them with something else, we are drawing them to something beside the cross.


2. The Gospel is Genuine Wisdom. Vs 6 – 10


  1. Paul is speaking to mature believers.
    1. A baby will put anything in its mouth.
    2. The gospel has to change us so we can lead.
  2. Mystery is divine revelation that we can now understand.
  3. Powers did not understand this mystery.
    1. This may mean demonic forces that did not know what was happening when they killed Jesus
    2. This may mean the Pharisees and Romans who did not understand.
    3. Either way they thought they killed Jesus and were finished with him
  4. Incredible verse of who we are in Jesus. Vs 9
    1. This is not talking about heaven
    2. This is talking about Old Testament people who could not understand the awesome power of what the cross accomplished.
    4. As we die to self, we understand who God really is.  Vs 10


3. The Revealing Spirit Vs 11 – 16


  1. Those closest to us do not really know us.
    1. I truly only know my innermost thoughts.
    2. So the Spirit of God knows Jesus
  2. The spirit teaches things that the natural man cannot understand
    1. To gain you must lose
    2. To live you must die
    3. To get you must give.
  3. Natural man here is one who is materialistic.
    1. One who lives just for what he can see.
    2. One whose goal is to make money
    3. One who lives for pleasure.
  4. The cross must change this thought process.  Our response to the cross reveals what kind of person I am.
  5. Misquoted verse Vs 15
    1. Not saying spiritual person cannot be corrected.
      1. The rest of Corinthians is a rebuke of correction
      2. Not saying spiritual people get deeper truths and continue to come out with new teachings.
      3. Some take it as meaning they are more spiritual than others and reject all authority that might change them
      4. Remember the deep truths are the cross (See 1 Corinthians 1: 17, 18)
      5. We have the mind of Christ (anointed one not Jesus)
      6. We preach the cross of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 1: 17)