FRIDAY, MARCH 2
SCRIPTURE: 1 CORINTHIANS 2
The Church in Corinth was messed up. They were at odds with each other. They had their own ways of doing things. They had become engaged in some arguments and ideas that were hurting the church. The people had their favorite leaders (1 Cor. 1:12-17). Before we start looking down on these folks, let’s remind ourselves how easily it is for us to do this. We all have our favorites. It may be your favorite Bible teacher, a worship leader, a Sunday school teacher, or it may be how much you love the LIFE pastor more than everyone else. Okay, quit laughing! But we do this ourselves, don’t we?
In verses 1-5, Paul points out that when he first went to Corinth that he didn’t use impressive words and wisdom to speak to them. He simply told them of the Good News or Gospel. Two things jump out to me when I read this. First, we do not have to have all the answers to share the hope of Jesus. We do not have to be the smartest or best speaker. We must simply speak Jesus and point people to Him. This is Paul’s focus in verse 4. Second, it is really easy for us to lose sight of the main thing. The people in Corinth were surrounded by distractions just as we are today. When we lose sight of God and become entangled in the world and its ways of thinking, we lose sight of Jesus and can get caught up in silly arguments as it appears the Corinthian church.
In verses 6-16, Paul speaks of the wisdom of the world (or man) and the wisdom of God. These two are at war. I am sure that you have experienced this or seen this firsthand. How many times have you heard people making fun of the Bible or Christ-followers? Our faith and the wisdom of God do not make sense to the world. Skip ahead to verse 14. The “natural” man or “people who are not spiritual” in Greek literally means “one who is governed only by his environment, by his natural or animal instincts, by his sinful nature.” We are not capable of understanding God apart from the Spirit! This helps explains the struggle. Even for a Christ follower, we struggle with God’s ways because we are in this world. This is what the Corinthians were struggling with.
From a worldly point of view, Jesus doesn’t make sense. Jesus was born of a virgin. He performed miracles that didn’t make sense or can be explained by man. He never sinned. He rose from the dead! Man has come up with so many explanations trying to prove that Jesus didn’t do these things. Read verses 7-8. The wisdom of God appears as a mystery or is hidden to the wisdom of man. Wondering what that mystery is? It is God’s plan of salvation. God sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for man’s sins.
This baffles our minds, because we cannot fathom that love and grace that God offers without the Holy Spirit. Paul wanted to remind the church of this. The people had heard of this mystery and believed in the power of Jesus. Yet now, they find themselves struggling because their focus and thinking had been impacted by the wisdom of man and this world. Paul was trying to readjust their focus and way of thinking back to the LORD God.
Verse 9 comes from two passages in Isaiah, a book in the Old Testament. Isaiah 64:4 and Isaiah 65:17. Simply put, we do not have a clue what God has in store for those who live life God’s way.
Don’t lose focus! We have to keep our eyes on Jesus. It is really easy to focus on others or what they think is right. The people in the Corinthian church had lost this focus. Maybe you have also. Paul is calling the church and us to remember what the LORD God has done and to live by the Spirit. For we are called to live by the Spirit and to have to mind of Christ (verse 16).
How are we to do this? Live by the Spirit for we have the mind of Christ. Need to do this better? Get His Word into your heart and life and start living it out.