My dad always tells me that I need to use wisdom in every decision I make. I don’t remember ever being given a definition of wisdom, but I realized it is something that is defined more by actions than by words. I recall hearing my dad describe a few men of our church as very wise men of God. I never knew what that meant when I was a kid, but I know as an adult that is one of the greatest compliments you can receive.
- How would you define wisdom? In what ways do you rely on your own wisdom instead of the wisdom and power of God?
READ THE WORD: 1 CORINTHIANS 2:1-5 (ESV)
2:1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
- What did Paul say he did not use to proclaim the testimony of God in verse 1? Instead, how did he come to the Corinthians (vss. 3-4)?
- What was the primary message Paul desired to communicate to the Corinthians (vs. 2)? On what did he want the Corinthians faith to rest (vs. 5)?
- Rather than Paul’s wisdom and strength, whose wisdom and power were on display through Paul?
- If Paul had used lofty speech and words of wisdom, how might it have hindered his message?
- Do your wisdom and ability to speak (or lack of wisdom and speaking ability) serve as hindrances to effectively sharing the gospel? What would it look like for you to rely on the Holy Spirit when you tell people about Jesus?
RESPOND TO GOD
Paul wisely knew that if he came to the Corinthians as a great orator preaching the wisdom of men, the Corinthians might have been so impressed with him that they missed the message of Jesus. And Paul desired above all else that the message of Jesus Christ crucified was what the Corinthians heard. When we are in a situation where we are sharing about Jesus, we often struggle with one of two extremes—either we don’t feel wise enough to share the gospel, or we’re tempted to rely on our own wisdom. Paul reminds us that a clear testimony is a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit and that the faith of those we are sharing with should rest on the power of God.
- Ask God to give you opportunities to share the gospel and to give you his wisdom and power when those opportunities arise.