1 Corinthians 2

This devotional is written by Sam Gilbert.

1 Corinthians 2

Listen to the reading on Sound Cloud
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power.

God's wisdom revealed by the Spirit
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God's wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

'What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived'
 - the things God has prepared for those who love him -

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

'Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?'

But we have the mind of Christ.


Listen to the reflection on Sound Cloud
Corinth was probably a bit like London is today. Noisy, busy, a mêlée of cross-cultural fertilisation. The kind of place where you walk between business pitches in artisanal coffee shops, even while dressed in activewear, a yoga mat tucked under your arm.
And okay, maybe that image isn’t exactly you, but maybe you are looking for that one killer app, that one thing that will finally make your life make sense. Maybe you’ve vowed to read better quality news and analysis, to learn a language, to express thanks at least once-a-day.
These are all noble ideas. And they will help you in the endless quest for self-improvement. But Paul’s resolution is simply to know Jesus Christ and the power of the cross (v2).
So, you say, “Right, top of the list, I’m going to read the bible in 365 days. I’m going to read EWM twice through daily and memorise the next Bethel album.”
But Paul says, “not so simple, actually it’s a mystery” (my paraphrase, v9).
Now you feel cheated. Paul is either Steve Jobs at his most revolutionary, or a politician whose promises evaporate after a referendum. How can you tell which?
The answer’s in the text. Just go straight to the source. God reveals himself to us by his Spirit (v10), not necessarily through books or activities. It’s baby steps, and it’s impossible to predict where he’ll take us next. Anything else is a waste of time, and probably false.
So why don’t you ask God how you can know him even more? Ask him how he wants you to learn. Maybe he’ll suggest you read more theology books, maybe he’ll suggest you get out more and pray for strangers. Whatever it is, it’ll turn out to be beautifully simple and complex, all at once.

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