Today we see vividly through this section of Scripture that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not made powerful by man’s intellect or persuasive words but it is sufficiently powerful on its own, as the power of God.
Paul stresses this from the very start of the chapter in highlighting the huge gap between the state of himself (v.3-4) and the actual power demonstrated by the gospel message itself, when he preached to the Corinthians. It’s useful to note that the Corinthians were used to athletic and attractive orators who used many eloquent words and rhetoric that centred mostly on bravado and the entertainment of the crowds.
In contrast Paul writes of himself as preaching in “weakness and in fear and in much trembling” (v.3) and without “persuasive words of wisdom”. All this sounding very much like a CV worth sending to one place alone, the bin.
Paul then strikes the resounding cymbal when explaining that his one message “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” was “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power”. BOOOOM! This word “power” used here in the text is “dunameos” in the Greek and is where we get our English word dynamite from. The gospel is spiritual dynamite! Powerful enough to explode eternal life into human beings; blaze a trail of miraculous signs and wonders – healings of limbs, organs and minds and casting out demons; and burst hope into hopeless circumstances.
The gospel is packed full of divine transformational power. However, the principle here is not that we should never use wise or persuasive reasoning to guide people to the truth of the gospel (See 2 Corinthians 5:11; 10:4-5; Acts 19:8), but rather that we must trust that it is the gospel alone that is powerful enough to bring transformation, and everything else should be underpinned by, and steer to, the gospel message.
Paul goes on to highlight the power of the gospel in describing the futility of the natural human mind to understand spiritual things. Only God via the Spirit can enable man to understand the things freely given by God. And we who have faith in Jesus by way of the gospel have received the Spirit of God who feeds us spiritual thoughts and words and through whom we have the mind of Christ (v.16)!
Today be filled with the joy of knowing the most powerful message in existence – the good news of Jesus Christ. News that is able to join man and God together in unity forevermore. Are there any thoughts that have held you back from believing in the power of the gospel to change lives? Is there anything that stops you from sharing this most powerful news with someone else?
Challenge – Ask Jesus to help you embrace and share the gospel with a non-Christian this summer.