1 Corinthians 2

I said yesterday that it’s not about the method, but the message, as Paul states here (2:1-3). But there is another ingredient as well. Even the proper message falls flat without the power of the Spirit behind it, because we can’t even begin to understand spiritual things without the Spirit revealing them to us: “Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God” (2:12). This means that the world can’t begin to understand the gospel because they don’t have the Spirit (2:14). It’s important for us to realize that God needs to be working for our evangelism to work. It’s useless and destructive to try and force someone to believe when they can’t even begin to understand what we’re talking about. Jesus also reminded us of the importance of the Spirit for evangelism:

John 16:7-11 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment—concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

Beyond that, Paul is also saying here that the truth that he has for the Corinthian church should be readily understood by them. If they have the Spirit then they have the means to understand: “And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people” (2:13). They just have to be willing to receive it.

Aren’t you glad that God helps us to understand both the gospel and His Word? We would literally be lost without His help!

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