I confess for being an intellectual buffoon. I know too much for my own good and it makes me crazy sometimes. It makes me crazy because it is my flesh trying to comprehend the mysteries of God. We can only understand so much about God, before we have to leave the rest to pure faith.
As I read the first five verses of 1 Corinthians 2, it was a soft rebuke of my often-eloquent manner of speech. I tried to sound intellectual by expressing myself in lofty manners. Yet today, I am going to get down to the Word with no preconceptions, just simple exegesis.
Paul didn't have excellent speech or worldly wisdom. What he was expressing in these five verses was that he preached Christ crucified. It is simple as that. In a world of intellectualism and legalism, we have to take Paul's simple words to heart.
"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God." (1)
If you think about it, eloquence would've flied over many people's heads. It would make the speaker sound arrogant and conceited. If you have known me, you would've recognized that I was very eloquent.
"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (2)
Paul is straightforward here. He is not advocating lofty man's doctrines, but simply of Jesus Himself and His crucifixion for our sins. That is what we are to do in this lost world.
"And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling." (3)
Paul was not this 'macho' man like many pastors, theologians, and scholars are. He was just like you and I. He had weaknesses, faults, and mishaps, yet Christ used Paul to preach His Word.
"And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." (4)
Paul didn't make the Gospel pretty. He didn't include unnecessary sacraments. He didn't make it sound good to those who were reprobate. He wasn't seeker-sensitive, like most churches are today. He simply preached the truth. The truth will split the wheat from the chaff.
"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (5)
Ouch, that one hurts. For those who stand on one man's interpretation of the Bible, this is a revelatory scripture to them. We are to stand on the Word alone, not on man's interpretations of it. We can consider what man has observed about the Word, but we are to make the Word first of all things.
God is beyond my Reformed theology. Christ works in those who are not Reformed, too. Rely on the power of God to guide your faith, not in man's works.