1. And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom
declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you
except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much
trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human
wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the
wisdom of men but in the power of God.
6. However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age,
nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a
mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of
the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man
the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us
through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what
man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in Him? Even so no one
knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the
world, but the Spirit Who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely
given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches
but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural
man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him: nor can
he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all
things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For "who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
1. Paul did not come to Corinth preaching to show his eloquence or his education, he
came to preach Christ and Him crucified. His preaching was not to promote himself, but
to make known the testimony of God, His message of the gospel. That was why Paul
decided the only thing that was important in his preaching was Jesus Christ and Him
crucified. Paul was not a forceful speaker; but rather timid and withdrawn in his
approach, even nervous and shaky as he spoke. His presentation and message were not
characterized by the oratory of men and its subtleties and elements of persuation, but in a
demonstration of the Spirit of God which Jesus had given him, and the power which was
part of that gift of the Spirit, performing signs and wonders and miracles. Paul's
preaching was designed to place the fiath of the hearers in the power of God, not in the
eloquence, education or ability of man.
That is not to say that there is no eloquence or education in the presentation, but it is not
the eloquence nor the education of this world, for that comes to nothing in the whole
scheme of things. The wisdom, eloquence and education is that which has come from
God. It is a wisdom which has been a mystery to the people of this world; but, it is what
God has appointed from the beginning for our benefit. The rulers of this world did not
understand this mystery, or else they would not have crucified Jesus. As Isaiah
prophesied, it did not enter man's mind what God had planned for his salvation in Jesus
Christ. But the fulfillment of God's plan in Jesus Christ has been revealed to the apostles
and prophets of the New Testament through the Holy Spirit; because, even though it
might not have occurred to man what God had in mind, the Spirit knows all the things of
God. No one knows what is in the mind of any man, except that man himself. In the
same way, no one knows what is on the mind of God, except the Spirit of God.
Therefore, Jesus gave the Spirit from God, that the apostles and prophets of the New
Testament might know the things of God. Not int he words of man's wisdom, or words
which originated with man; but, in the words which are taught by the Holy Spirit,
revealing spiritual things by the Spirit.
Paul hear claims inspiration. His message, and the very words of his message (and all of
the apostles) did not originate with himself or with any other man; they originated with the
Spirit of God. The things that he taught, whether by speech or writing, were a
presentation of the very words of God, and should be judged by the words of God.
14. Realize, however, that natural man does not receive the revelation of the Spirit of
God. It is not by man's wisdom and education. It is not by natural means: observation,
telescopes, microscopes, philosophic study, etc. that the message of the Spirit is
obtained. The person who is empirical in his approach considers such things as divine
revelation as foolishness, and ridiculousness. Because he is looking in the wrong place, in
the wrong manner, and the wrong direction, he can not see the revelation of God.
Some have mistakenly taken the position that this means one cannot understand the
gospel, or the word of God until they have had the Holy Spirit act directly upon their
heart. This means that one cannot believe, and therefore come to salvation, until God acts
directly upon their heart with the Holy Spirit. However, Paul is not speaking about the
ability of men to understand his revelation of the mystery of the gospel; but, the reception
of inspiration. The inspired speaker can be understood before one receives the Holy
Spirit. This is born out by the facts of the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and the household
of Cornelius (Acts 10).
The one who has received this inspiration, having the perfect understanding and wisdom
of God, is able to judge rightly all things. However, the judgment of those who are not
inspired upon the revelation of God cannot be correctly made. Those who are the critics
of inspiration just don't know enough to be able to make correct criticisms of the
revelation. They, in essence, are questioning the mind of God, without having any ability
to know the mind of God. Who can instruct God? Who knows more than God? To ask
the questions are to answer them. No one. But, those who speak by inspiration have the
mind of Christ and God.