“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. “
2 Corinthians 2:1-3
Paul emphasizes here, at the beginning of Chapter 2 that he did not come to them with the typical trappings of a man armed with the latest in human wisdom. Instead, he came broken and humble. Paul understood his own limitations, inadequacies and inner fears, but rather than focus on his weakness; Paul chose to focus only on the message of the cross and depend only on the Spirit’s power.
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”
2 Corinthians 2:4-5
God chose Jesus’ death on the cross as the message to demonstrate His power and wisdom to the world. Paul was convinced that the message of the cross was in and of itself powerful to save the lost, which is why he wrote in Romans 1:16:
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”
This is as true today as when Paul penned it! There is tremendous power in the Gospel message. It is the simple message of Christ’s sacrificial death, burial and resurrection that can bring people into a right relationship with God; if they will receive it by faith.
As believers, we are going to encounter people smarter and more eloquent than we are. We will encounter instructors, professors, students, co-workers, neighbors, friends and family who will try and convince us that the “cross” is foolish. That the message is foolish, the method is foolish and the messengers are foolish!
In an effort to try and combat these perceived shortcomings, too often, we attempt to construct fine sounding arguments and create superior messages that will sway those we are trying to reach.
However, in the end, God chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise and the weak things of this world to shame the strong. The message of the cross is all we need! When the message is preached the power of God to save is released; but we must do our part and share the good news with others.
Pastor Scott Burr