June 26, 2009: 1 Corinthians 2


  • (1-2) How often we think evangelism and ministry has to be eloquent and well-formed logic according to the world’s wisdom! And yet, Paul knew even two thousand years ago, that the gospel itself wasn’t “logical” as the world defined it. So he didn’t worry about fancy speeches or well-formulated arguments. He taught and lived the gospel. We would undoubtedly do well to stop worrying about our tracts and plans and training, etc., and start doing the same.
  • (3-5) Again, Paul didn’t worry about looking good or demonstrating his own strength or prowess. He highlighted God’s power in the cross and, on occasion, in a miracle or two.  But these miracles were never designed to overwhelm the gospel; rather, to prove it. Our faith must be based on what Jesus did on the cross, rather than some little miracle He did the other day. Because if it’s based on the latter, we’ll always be looking for some new miracle.
  • (6-7) Only after people are saved can they begin to grasp the real wisdom behind the gospel message. And so, for those who are already saved and growing in faith, a message of wisdom becomes appropriate. After all, our faith is not entirely senseless!
  • (8-10) Oh, how these words could be uttered in the great halls or our day! Our rulers and leaders – even those eager to claim spiritual authority and Christian heritage – have deemed themselves so smart, and yet by their own actions, they prove themselves utterly incapable of comprehending – or implementing – the gospel message.
  • (10-11) If we claim to have the Spirit – which is inherent in our claim of faith – then we must be being exposed to the inner thoughts and desires of God. After all, the Spirit is God. That Spirit naturally knows God and would reveal Him to us.
  • (12) From the moment that we are saved, we are to begin knowing God better. Ultimately, we should know Him better than the world around us because we are being indwelt by His spirit, not the world’s. This is not to say that we withdraw from and become utterly ignorant of the world. Rather, it means that we should have that “insider’s knowledge” of God, while our understanding of the world is ultimately only that of an outsider observing.
  • (13) It is normal and right for Christians to develop their own vocabulary laced with spiritual words to express spiritual truths. But that’s for use among Christians. That’s the point. Paul related to the world in the only way that they would understand the gospel: he told them the simple message and showed them the power in his own life.  Only after they took the bait and believed did they start in to the new vocabulary.
  • (14-16) We cannot expect the world to understand the gospel or live by its precepts and principles. They just don’t get it. But the man (or woman) who believes is a new, spiritual creature in Jesus that can begin to understand and apply them, even to the point where they can start making decisions on their own about them because they know the mind of the Lord and can thus move and act in accordance with His will.


There are few people today who have not recognized the chasm which is forming between the church and the world. On an almost daily basis, the news speaks of Christians, evangelicals, fundamentalists, etc., as some alien species. And every week, our churches gather to describe hunker down and call the rest of the world the same. This chasm, though, is not just forming. Rather, it has been present since the very beginning of the church, even the beginning of time. There are, quite simply, fundamental differences between the people of God and everyone else, and those differences start with the fact that God’s people are given insight into God’s person, His character and plan, His reasoning and will. We know God, firsthand. The world, on the other hand, does not. So I really think there are a few things that we need to realize as a result.

  1. Believers mustn’t be surprised when the world embraces something sinful. Sure, it may look absolutely atrocious to us, but they don’t look at things the same way or with the same understanding.
  2. Believers mustn’t expect the world to be transformed by our “Christianese.” They won’t understand.
  3. Believers mustn’t rely on political or other earthly processes to Christianize our culture. This is not to excuse us from the public arena (i.e., we must still get involved), but it is to say that we should not expect them to be our primary – or even only – channels for world transformation. Politics and other worldly processes remain products of a sin-broken culture. We must work for personal, spiritual transformations.
  4. Believers mustn’t expect to be able to argue someone into heaven. How often do we think a simple tract or a better plan of salvation will mean more effective evangelism! So we go to evangelism training and read evangelism books and on and on. There is no way to connect the world’s logic to the gospel logic except through our actions. We must demonstrate that, as absurd as the gospel sounds to them, it is real; it has power in our lives; and they need to have the same.

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