Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (Jesus Christ and the message of the Cross are the Power of God)
Why did Paul speak in fear and much trembling to the Corinthian church? Why was Paul determined to stay focused on Jesus Christ and Him Crucified? Who and what are defined in the Word as the wisdom of God and the power of God? Why was the mystery of God hidden until revealed in the Church age? Why can you not see, hear or feel these eternal truths in the natural senses? Let us look into the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit show us Jesus Christ and Him crucified -- the hidden wisdom and power of God!
JESUS CHRIST and HIM CRUCIFIED Ė
THE HIDDEN WISDOM and THE POWER OF GOD
"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (I Cor. 2:1,2).
First, Paul Had the Fear of the Lord as He Came to the Church
Paul said, that when he was with them, that he was "in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling" (I Cor. 2:3). Why did Paul come in weakness and in fear to speak to the Church? Paul was so conscious of the critical position that God had placed him in. What Paul declared to the Church, at this point in their walk with the Lord, would have a strong influence on their destiny with God. They would be making many decisions based on what Paul would tell them right then. Paul had an awesome fear and reverence toward God. Perhaps we could learn from Paul in this area of Godly fear. Often, what we say to others, may have a marked effect on their decisions and destiny. We need to always be so conscious of that fact, and walk in fear and in much trembling of the Lord. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" and "wisdom" (Prov. 1:7 & 9:10).
Second, Paul Spoke In Demonstration of the Spirit and of Power of God
Paul went on to say, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of manís wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (I Cor. 2:4). Paul did not come to the Church in his own wisdom. He wasnít about to give the Church anything out of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Paul came on the scene, he came changed by the revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1: 12,16). The Holy Spirit had continued to reveal and renew his mind with a focus on Christ and the cross. And in the fear of the Lord he delivered what he told them by the person of Christ living in him and operating through him. That is the manifestation of the Spirit and of power Ė the revealed Christ doing the Fatherís will in and through us by His power, wisdom, and strength. Christ in us is the expression of the Spirit and of the Power of God.
Third, Paul's Message Focused Us on Jesus Christ and Him Crucified
Why was Paulís message so focused on Jesus Christ, and Him crucified? (I Cor. 2:2). Paul clearly knew that if he focused the Church on anything else, they would be into law or works and not into grace and truth. Paul in fear and trembling knew that if he spoke in the flesh, the Church would stand in the wisdom and power of man, rather than the wisdom and power of God (I Cor. 2:3,5). Thatís why Paul boldly declared, "that your faith would not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (I Cor. 2:5).
Fourth, The Message of the Cross of Christ IS the Power of God
Paul just got through clearly stating, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (I Cor. 1:18). How is the message of the cross the power of God? Paul boldly stated, "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to continually preach the gospel: not in the wisdom of word, lest the cross of Christ should once then be deprived of its outworking force" (I Cor. 1:17, authorís translation). Paul specifically did not want anyone to wrongly focus on any activity or ordinance, even good Christian activities or ordinances, that might take their focus off of the true source power within the message of the cross.
Fifth, The Holy Spirit Uses the Reality of the Cross to Renew Our Minds
By revelation, Paul knew the message of the cross is the power of God. Paul experientially knew the power of Christís finished work on the cross, as intimately taught by the Spirit. Paul knew that the Holy Spirit would also use the reality of the cross to renew their minds and their hearts. He also fully knew that this was the Holy Spiritís primary central focus point of outworking power used to reveal Christ in them. This was the liberating truth and power that the Holy Spirit would use to liberate them from bondage, selfishness, flesh, and works of the law. This was Paulís source of outworking power expressed by Christ in him.
Sixth, Christ IS the Power of God and the Wisdom of God
Paul declared the truth and reality to them, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (I Cor. 1:18). And Paul went further to add the other essential part, "Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God" (I Cor. 1:24). Paul wanted to clearly focus their attention on Christ and the cross as their wisdom and power source. This was the source of truth and answer that they needed. We need this same source and real answer today. We donít need religion, activity, or works of the law. We need the outworking power of the cross to make death a reality to everything that is not of God. We need Christ to be our life, our only life, to allow the reality of the Fatherís will to be done in and through us.
Seventh, Paul Spoke the Hidden Wisdom of God Being Now Revealed to Us
Paul says, "we speak wisdom among those who are mature" (I Cor. 2:6). It is not worldly or natural wisdom; nor even, is it religious wisdom. The princes of this world, or the religious leaders, operated in that kind of wisdom. However, God is bringing that kind of wisdom to nought (I Cor. 2:6). That wisdom and knowledge is out of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Paul goes on to bring the contrast. He says, "we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory" (I Cor. 2:7). This manifold wisdom of God is now being revealed to the church (Eph. 3:10).
Eighth, Mystery is Truth Hidden from Men by God until His Appointed Time
In Paulís epistles, mystery is like something that is covered over and hidden from men by God until His appointed time. God didnít reveal it in the day of Jesus of Nazareth, or the rulers would not have crucified the Lord (I Cor. 2:8). If the princes or religious leaders had known or if it had been revealed to them that Christ was going to be placed on the inside of every believer to be their life, they would have tried to thwart the plan of God. The wisdom from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would have said to them, "If heís going to be in us, and if he is Godís chosen one to please Him, we donít want to kill him." However, the Holy Spirit is now uncovering or revealing this mystery, the hidden wisdom of Jesus Christ and Him crucified to the church today (I Cor. 2:2,7; Eph. 3:10).
Ninth, Revelation Has Been Prepared by God for Those that Love Him
This mystery has to be revealed by the Holy Spirit. Revelation comes to us, in the timing and the will of the Father. We are imperfect receivers of the revelation sent by the Father in His timing, by our focusing on the wrong things and seeking other things with the wrong ways. Paul clearly lets us know that we can not find revelation according to our natural senses out of the knowledge of good and evil. You cannot see it using third dimension natural mind and understanding. You cannot search to hear God on your own. You cannot even conceive of His revelation with all your wisdom and knowledge in the depths of a heart full of selfishness Revelation strictly comes by the Father's way, means, and timing. Revelation has been prepared for those that love Him (I Cor. 2:9,10).
Tenth, Only The Spirit of God Knows the Things of God for Our Mind
With God all things are possible. You fill your heart continually with a love to know and find God. This improves our reception to hear the Holy Spirit speak the things of God to us. God has prepared revelation for those that continually love Him. It is the Holy Spirit that knows all the deep things of God and reveals them to us (I Cor. 2:9,10). The spirit of man within our heart and temporal mind can only know the things of man out of the knowledge of good and evil (I Cor. 2:9, 11). The Spirit of God only knows the things of God (I Cor. 2:11). The Holy Spirit is given to us that we might freely know the things of God. The Holy Spirit comes to fill that continual love within our heart by spiritually renewing our mind and by teaching and revealing Christ and the cross (I Cor. 2:13-15). Revelation is a mind renewal performed by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 12:1,2). The Holy Spirit is revealing Christ, so we will yield to the mind of Christ that we have (I Cor. 2:16).
Eleventh, The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus Christ and Him Crucified in You
There is a lot of teaching that is out there in every form of media today. There is a lot of conflict in messages and teaching. There is a lot of misunderstanding and commingling of law and grace (Gal. 3:19-26), and of the gospel of circumcision and the gospel of uncircumcision (Gal. 2:7-15; Gal. 5:6). We need to keep in mind the simple truth that the Holy Spiritís primary ministry is to teach and reveal Christ and the things of Christ (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15). Revelation by the Holy Spirit will focus on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, so that we will stand in the wisdom and power of God and not man (I Cor. 2:2,5).
Twelfth, Jesus Christ and Him Crucified is the Hidden Wisdom of God
"Always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body" (II Cor. 4:10). In Godís eternal plan He always brings life out of death (John 12:24). In II Cor.4:10, notice that it is not my dying there. That death was already completed in Christ on the cross, when the old man was put to death. However, I walk daily in the expression of that finished work, out of the renewed mind of Christ in me. Then it is I, yet not I, but Christ (Gal. 2:20) expressing that dying in my body today. Out of my body, the Christ-life also flows forth and is manifested. Truly, it is Jesus Christ and Him crucified, who is the hidden wisdom and the power of God as the outworking force manifested through us to others doing the Fatherís will daily. Christ in us as us is the genuine life expression through us. For Christ is our life Ė our only life to be expressed as new creation sons (I Jn. 5:11-12; Gal. 2:20; II Cor. 5:17).