certification of Paul that the Gospel delivered up in the power of God
is the essential element of the faith and that it should never be moved
from its central position in the Church.
whatever the pressures or distractions that we should never be caught up
in the Galatian error of looking to another Gospel which is, in fact,
INTR: We are certainly familiar with
some of the errors of Corinthians, and we will not rehearse them now but
would rather to look to that which Paul certified to them at the
1. In chapter one the Apostle has expressed concern about
divisions indicating a tendency to be moved away from that which is to
be central with all the Lord's people.
2. His intent is to
communicate the message and the mandate of 1 Corinthians 1:29
would then be careful to subject himself to that same order with regard
to his ministry among them even as an Apostle!
THESIS: A religion without the true
Gospel and the power of God is idolatry at best and blasphemy at its
worst in that the centrality of Christ is abandoned to the ideas of men.
I. That which is to be excluded (v. 1)
1. The objective clearly
stated was the declaration of the testimony of God
1) The ideas of
men may have their place in the realm of worldly activity but not as an
adjunct to the word of God - it His testimony to which we look - To the
law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it
is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20
2) Such is to be
the burden of all who come bearing the message which is the Gospel.
2. There are two things that are used to impress men.”
speech - Remember Herod.
2) Excellent wisdom - Foolishness with God.
3. While Paul's knowledge seemed to be vast, he seemed to question his
own oratory - that may have been after the manner of 1 Timothy 1:15.
II. That which is essential (v. 2)
1. A determination as to
conviction of truth or that which is foundational and therefore
2. An exclusive determination to be sure:
1) To know
here is to be aware as of immediate experience so to be the point of
2) His use of the negative - not to know - is to the exclusion
of all else
3. The all-inclusive Gospel statement:
1) Jesus Christ
and Him crucified is presented in the past tense indicating that He is
2) More especially that all that He did stands in
all of its accomplishments.
3) He is presented in Revelation as the
Lamb as it had been slain.
4) Compare Paul’s statement to the
Galatians; “I am crucified with Christ...”
III. That which is
experienced (vv. 3-4)
1. The personal effect on Paul is noteworthy:
1) In weakness which refers to bodily or mental frailty or feebleness –
again perhaps comparing human ability to that of the Spirit
and trembling – which was certainly not of men but rather at the
monumental task he undertook.
2. The second disclaimer as to his
ability in not using the things to which men often use to obtain
1) It was rather in the demonstration of the Spirit and
2) Both from the testimony of others and personal
experience there is identity to be had with what Paul is saying here;
(Particularly Albert Martin’s Book Preaching in the Spirit) - There is
an operation of the Spirit that cannot be creditably imitated nor
self-initiated in preaching.
3. The narrative and the terms of the
Gospel may be repeated by any, but only the Spirit can account for what
Paul references here.
IV. That which is assured (v. 5)
That which men creates or offers stands or falls in the wisdom of men.
1) Consider: For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom
knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save
them that believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21
2) What a terrible deception to
stand on the spurious ideas of men wherein the will of men, the wisdom
of men and the abilities of men is exalted above that of God!
is rather the Gospel that assures the ability (dunamis) of God to work
in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure - It is that in which
He had both declared and proven by the Cross of Christ that He has a
3. So it is that our faith stands!!!