1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:1-5
Here the Apostle Paul is simply saying that he would rather not speak a single word if what he spoke did not bring about a revelation of the crucified Christ (or a revelation of the cross of Christ). That is not anywhere near what many of us do.
Many Christians underestimate the power of the flesh in many areas of their lives, and this is very dangerous. As a matter of fact, today many believers, and especially pastors, are very much under the influence of sin in one or more areas of their lives. To be even clearer, I will say in all confidence that today sin is having a field day in the church. I know of many church leaders who are completely defeated by the flesh in their lives. Some are living in adultery, others are slaves to power and influence (pride), and others have been enslaved by the love of money and a material lifestyle.
But today, instead of preaching the singular gospel that would set men free from the power of these things, men are bringing to church gospels which have no power. They are speaking and preaching “power”, but it is not the power that Paul talked and preached.
The “power” that Paul is talking about is not the ‘power’ that many charismatics glorify today, the ‘falling under the power’ phenomenon. Whether one falls under the power or not is completely immaterial, for it is not talked of in the Bible. Indeed, whether “falling under the power” is there or not in the Bible, it is certainly not the power that Paul is talking about here. Paul is talking of a completely different power, the power to change a man on the inside. And he is saying that that power can only be found in one place – at the cross, where we learn to crucify the flesh and its lusts.
“Man’s wisdom” talks of playing with people’s psychology and preying on their emotions. In my country, for example, there is this gospel artist who sings songs about people’s travails in this worldly life. He sings things like, “God look upon your child who has no job; O, Lord, do something! Lord, look at this girl who has been praying for a partner for a long time; we say enough is enough, and right now I prophesy a partner in her life in Jesus Name!”, and many such sentiments. He has a soulful voice and his tapes fill every house in the country.
Of course, there are countless people who have the problems that this man is soulfully enumerating and they will readily identify with such soul-wringing words, words which are expertly applied.
In the Western world, I see tons of worldly wisdom dished out in church. Such wisdom appeals to the Western-schooled intelligence of pragmatism and rationalism. You will hear, for example, teachings about positive thinking, capacity-building, the power of the human mind, and such-like things. Man is taught to become something. The human mind, which is the flesh, loves – actually craves – after these things.
But the Bible teaches that we are nothing, and we should not seek to be anything in this world.
It is a challenge to bring the true gospel to God’s people. Many people compromise and bring a worldly gospel to church. But we need to be strong like the Apostle Paul was and lose our pride and self-preservation and preach no other gospel apart from Jesus Christ, and Him crucified!
If we are not bringing this gospel to church, then we need to keep silent, for then we can bring no other gospel apart from that which comes from human wisdom. And this gospel has no power to deal with sin.
[Below: Anna the model. Whenever Anna comes into my room she simply sits on the stool like the perfect model and then she begins to talk!]