“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”
Paul, formerly Saul, wrote 1 and 2 Corinthians along with several other books of the New Testament.
He was a learned man, having been trained as a Pharisee and rabbi, which meant many years of study. As part of this education, he was taught to debate and think logically to defend the Pharisaical point of view.
In the passages above, Paul points out that it wasn’t wisdom or persuasive words that he was called to use, but the Spirit’s power – as a testament to the power of the cross of Christ.
Paul had experienced this power first hand (Acts 9). In a miraculous appearance, Jesus met Saul (who would later be named Paul) on the road to Damascus. He was blinded until a disciple named Ananias, sent by God, came to him and laid his hands on him (Acts 9:17-18).
“Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,”
After this experience, Paul didn’t need fancy words or persuasion to convince people of the power of Christ, he only needed to tell his story and trust that the Spirit of God would do the rest.
Today, think about how you would tell your story in the context of the demonstration of God’s power? What Bible verses are meaningful to you in the telling of that story? Why?
God, thank You for meeting me on the road of my life. Thank You for the many ways in which You demonstrate Your power in my life, many of which I don’t know or see other than through faith. Thank You most of all for Jesus, Your greatest gift to us, in His name, Amen.