Proclaiming Christ Crucified
2 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Wisdom from the Spirit
6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 2:1–13). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Teaching
Our wisdom comes from God. How do we teach it in our families? There are several different ideas about this.
One extreme is that we cannot teach God because He is too mysterious and only God can reveal Himself. Many families follow this idea today, claiming they are letting their fellow family members find their own path. Sadly, many of these people find that where they do not sow good seed, only weeds and thorns grow. This is faith lived in front of others and hoping they catch it.
Others take a different extreme and try to control their family members, restricting their choices, making decisions for them, and often trying to manipulate them emotionally or mentally to believe certain things. We do this a lot with children and youth often do this to one another. Sometimes altars are filled with people because of peer pressure or family pressure instead of real, life-changing decisions. Many decisions are made one day, only to be reversed the next day when the pressure is let off. Either way, those choices are not made for God, but for friends and family. This is faith demanded from others. That kind of faith doesn’t stick.
There is a third alternative. Faith that invites others to live with it. Paul told the Corinthians that God is too big to simply tell others about, we must show Him to them. We do that by living a life of witness, showing others where we see God at work in and around us. We do that by making choices for God and showing others the way God enables us to live that way. We do that through humble faith.
God’s Spirit searches everything and knows the depths of all minds, including God’s. While many interpret that to mean that God’s Spirit can give us mind-reading abilities, it also means that God’s Spirit can reveal our own mind and heart to others as well. Paul shows by example throughout his letters a witness that does not simply call out the faults in others and God’s response to them, but shares his own faults and the way God’s Spirit shapes and directs him as well.
Sharing our own testimony of our personal experience with God has a more powerful effect on others because it is not directed at them, but it invites them to respond to it. It is faith that says, “This is what I believe and why, and if you want to be with me, this is how we can live together”. It doesn’t impose rules, it sets boundaries of relationship and invites them in to join you in your relationship with God.
Reflection: Who have you shared a testimony of your experience of God with lately? Have you shared your testimony with your children or your parents? If not, what is holding you back?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
All Anger Bible Children Community Culture Disciplines Fear Fresh Expressions Funerals Generations Grace Hurt Injury Jesus Law Leadership Longevity Ministry Models Perseverance Politics Preaching Reactions Scripture Time Truth Values VBS