September 20, 2018
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
In yesterday’s devotion, we were reminded of two kinds of wisdom: heavenly and earthly. According to James, “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness. Then it is peace-loving and courteous. It allows discussion and is willing to yield to others; it is full of mercy and good deeds. It is wholehearted and straightforward and sincere” (3:17).
In our lesson today, the Apostle Paul—who had a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ on the Road to Damascus—was sharing his story with others in Corinth about Jesus. Greek culture valued earthly wisdom, so those listening to Paul wanted to argue point by point with the purpose of pridefully proving him wrong. Paul let these folks know he did not base his words on earthly wisdom and rhetoric; rather, his words of wisdom were heavenly empowered by the Spirit of truth who raised Jesus Christ from the dead. No argument could refute Paul’s experience with Christ; it happened (truth) and it changed Paul’s whole mindset and direction for life. Earthly wisdom had nothing to do with it and deserves no credit according to Paul. Heavenly wisdom is imparted through faith in Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Telling about Christ and the Cross
1 Friends, when I came and told you the mystery [testimony] that God had shared with us, I didn’t use big words or try to sound wise. 2 In fact, while I was with you, I made up my mind to speak only about Jesus Christ, who had been nailed to a cross.
3 At first, I was weak and trembling with fear. 4 When I talked with you or preached, I didn’t try to prove anything by sounding wise. I simply let God’s Spirit show his power. 5 That way you would have faith because of God’s power and not because of human wisdom.
Prayer: Lord, when you open the window of heaven and send me to share Christ’s love with others, please help me keep my ears open to hear heavenly wisdom. Make my words pure, gentle, courteous, and sincere. In Jesus’ name. Amen.