Updated: Jul 18, 2021
“When I came to you, brothers, announcing the testimony of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom. For I didn’t think it was a good idea to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness, in fear, and much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a powerful demonstration by the Spirit so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/1co.2.1-5.hcsb )
In the first five verses of chapter two, Paul points out that he doesn’t come with brilliance speech or wisdom. Paul isn’t saying that his speech or message is void of wisdom since he just told us in 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 that “Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom.” What Paul is referring to here is that he doesn’t come with the wisdom of the age. There was wisdom among the Greeks that they prided themselves on achieving. The Greeks would find joy in listening to those that they perceived as being wise. It is this type of wisdom, that Paul says he did not use when coming to teach them the gospel of Christ.
Many churches, pastors, and Christians can easily fall into this trap of seeking out the speakers they see as wise and entertaining. The worship team can become like rock stars and the pastor like a celebrity. It is a trap that every pastor and church has to be careful of, that it doesn’t all just become a show that is performed each Sunday. There has to be a balance between engaging content and solid biblical worship and teaching. This balance is usually lost with many popular “mainstream mega-churches.” Where it becomes more about the people on the stage than it does about the worship of God.
Paul goes on to talk about wisdom that he speaks among mature believers. The reason that Paul speaks this wisdom to the mature and not to others is that it is important that they first get the foundation right. They have to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified before they will be able to understand the wisdom of God. This hidden wisdom does not exclude the gospel of Jesus, because the gospel of Jesus is part of this hidden wisdom.
“However, we do speak a wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, a wisdom God predestined before the ages for our glory.”
1 Corinthians 2:6-7 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/1co.2.6-7.hcsb )
Paul says that this wisdom was predestined before the ages of glory. Jesus being born of a virgin, being sinless, being crucified, and rising to life again to bring salvation by grace through faith has always been God’s predestined plan. God didn’t think up salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ because Adam and Eve sinned; or because the Jews failed under the law. God doesn't have a plan C. God’s plan doesn’t fail and doesn’t change.
“Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
1 Corinthians 2:10-11 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/1co.2.10-11.hcsb )
In the verses proceeding these verses, Paul says that the unbelievers and rulers knew or understand this wisdom because if they had they would not have crucified Jesus. This still stands today that no unbeliever can understand the wisdom of God because they dismiss the gospel of Jesus. It is only the spiritual that can understand them. Those that have been made alive from their spiritual death by the Holy Spirit, and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are the only ones that came to understand the wisdom of God. Even then we still do not completely understand everything about God or the wisdom of God. This is why we must always be students of the Word of God and continually growing in the wisdom of God.
Paul says that it is the Holy Spirit that searches the depths of the mind of God and reveals it to us. There are two important points here that we must always remember. The first is that the wisdom that is revealed to us by the Spirit will never contradict the written word of God The second is that we are promised by God that if we are lacking in wisdom we can ask God who will give us more wisdom (James 1:5).
May the Holy Spirit teach us more and more of the deep wisdom of God and protect us from falling into the trap of seeking the wisdom of the world.