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God’s Power Through His Means: 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

September 17, 2021 Preacher: Bob DeWaay Series: 1 Corinthians

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

Title:   1 Corinthians 2:3-5 “God’s Power Through His Means”

By Bob DeWaay

When Paul arrived in Corinth, which is described in Acts 18, Paul had been exhorted by the Lord in a vision to not be afraid. So the “weakness and fear” of 1 Corinthians 2:3 should be understood in that context. We cite OT passages where Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah received encouragement to be bold with their messages. Human inadequacies must not silence those who proclaim the gospel. God’s power does not depend on the rhetorical cleverness of the preacher but the clarity of the gospel message. The power, of which Paul speaks, is the power of the Holy Spirit, through the cross, to redeem lost sinners. Paul did not produce miracles or signs, but preached Christ. In our applications, we discuss this “weakness” as described in some passages in 2 Corinthians. That “clay pots” (2 Corinthians 4:7) held extraordinary power which is rather shocking.  But that was God’s purpose and God’s doing.

Another example of apparent weakness is described in2 Corinthians 12:7- 9 which is about the “thorn in the flesh” given to Paul. Many people want to know the identity of the thorn which is not described in the text. What is revealed is purpose of God giving the thorn—to keep Paul from exalting himself.  Pride is the great danger, not weakness! The last point of application is that Paul did not fail at Athens as many have claimed. Since Paul spoke in Athens before going to Corinth, some have claimed that Paul failed and so changed to “doing” signs and wonders. This claim is false and has harmed many people. Repentance for forgiveness of sins is the theme throughout Acts.