Wisdom Wednesday: Wisdom as the Power of God

Wisdom as the Power of God

Submitted by Debbie’s Dad

I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God

. (I Cor. 3-5; NASB 95)

Paul wanted the church to know that their faith rested in the genuine wisdom of God—revealed in the simple gospel message of salvation, not in eloquent speech. In the second chapter of his first letter, he points out:

  • He was determined to be genuine, fearful of public speaking, and not using persuasive, intellectual speech. (vv. 1-4.)
  • We wanted to speak so the Spirit of God would make the gospel message clear so their faith would be based on the power of God. (vv. 4-5..)

Yet, Paul said, he spoke in a form of true wisdom. He distinguished the “wisdom of God” from the “wisdom of this age”:

  • Wisdom of this age is the wisdom of men that passes away—this is the wisdom that failed to even recognize the Messiah when he appeared. (v.6,8.)
  • Something previously hid wisdom of God’s as a mystery (the gospel of salvation through God’s Son; and the believer’s predestined redemption to be glorified with him Him). This wisdom was revealed to the Corinthians by God’s Spirit. (vv. 8-9.) This wisdom comes through spiritual words (Scripture) and is guided by the Spirit of God.


Paul then cites Isaiah (64:4; 65:17) to support his claim; the prophet asserted that there were unrevealed plans of God for those who believed and loved God:

“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,

And which have not entered the heart of man,

All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”


Next, Paul distinguishes two categories of people related to these kinds of wisdom:

  • Natural man is the unbeliever who relies on the “spirit of the world” and does not accept the things of God’s Spirit (Scripture), cannot understand them, and considers them to be foolish. (vv. 12, 14)
  • Spiritual man is the believer who has received the Spirit of God; the Spirit understands the mind of God (v. 11, 12) and enables the spiritual man to know God’s things, teaching God’s wisdom. (v. 13)

Paul closes by citing Isaiah again (Isa. 4:13): WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? And reminds the believers that they have the mind of Christ – by the Spirit the believer can appreciate spiritual things and know Him. (v. 16). This is the power of God.

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