Paul spent roughly eighteen months planting and teaching a church in Corinth. The reason it became such an influential church in the area was because of Paul’s verse 2 decision – “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
Paul focused on the message and did not resort to the wisdom of men which can often focus and draw attention to the person speaking resulting in overshadowing the message being spoken. The message of Christ crucified and the meaning of it to us is the most important message received in world history. The important thing was that the Corinthians put their faith in Christ who was crucified rather than in the ability of human messengers.
Weakness and in fear and much trembling are words you wouldn’t normally associate with the apostle Paul. In Philippians Ch.2:12, Paul says – “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,”- words that convey a reverence for a Holy God and the sharing of an awesome message of Salvation. Paul’s position became secondary which I believe is the weakness he refers to, God comes first and foremost, and Paul trembled in the presence of his majesty as God’s messenger.
Wisdom from the Spirit.
In James Ch.3 v 17 it reads – “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” Paul now speaks of this secret and hidden wisdom of God which men cannot understand except for the revealing by the Holy Spirit. The quote in verse 9 is from Isaiah Ch.64 v 4 and reveals how God will show the truth to those who humble themselves and accept God and his Salvation. In verse 14 – “the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him,” – only the Spirit of God can render the message of the cross truly comprehensible to someone. This message of Salvation, “God decreed before the ages” is open to all who humble themselves and love him. What an amazing God who put the restoration plan in place before human history began and gave the gift of his Spirit to reveal it to us!
Verse 16 – But we have the mind of Christ; what a statement from Paul right at the end, and how do you comprehend it? In Romans Ch.12:2 Paul says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Truly a work of the Holy Spirit, so let us freely receive and in doing so understand all God wants to reveal to us.