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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's FIRST letter to the Corinthians

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 FRAMEWORKS: 1 Corinthians 2

In this ‘Framework' we use our usual text PLUS comment style to enable you, as simply as possible, to catch the sense of his writing.

FRAMEWORKS: 1 Corinthians 2: Weakness and Wisdom in the Spirit


v.1-5 Paul's example of weakness when he came
v.6-10 God's Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit
v.11-16 Living by the Spirit means a different approach to life


[Chapter Synopsis: Flowing on from the previous chapter, Paul continues on from the ‘gospel of weakness' to remind them how he had come to them in weakness and yet with the power of the Spirit. This ‘foolish wisdom' from God, decided in heaven even before Creation, has now been revealed by the Holy Spirit so that we are now people whose knowledge, understanding etc. is that which comes to us by the Spirit, different from what the world knows and which cannot be received by the unbelieving world until the Spirit brings conviction and salvation and when there is a response to that conviction.]




v.1-5 Paul's example of weakness when he came


v.1 (they might remember that this is how Paul had come to them) And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. [Some manuscripts ‘proclaimed to you God's mystery']

v.2  (for his starting and finishing place has been the Cross) For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

v.3  (he had come feeling very weak in himself ) I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.

v.4,5 (and it hadn't been with clever words but simply the power of the Spirit through him that had convicted them) 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 human wisdom, but on God's power.


[Passage Synopsis: What he said about weakness in the first chapter was born out in the way he had come to them, relying utterly on the Spirit.]



v.6-10 God's Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit


v.6  (it is a ‘wise' message but not seen as that by the world) We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

v.7  (no, this wisdom is a mystery planned from before the beginning of the world) No, we declare God's wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

v.8 (the religious and secular leaders didn't understand this otherwise they wouldn't have crucified Christ) None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

v.9,10 (but Isaiah had prophesied it would remain a mystery until the redeemed would ‘see' it) However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” [Isa 64:4] —  the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.


[Passage Synopsis: The amazing thing, Paul writes, is that this mystery of the way God's wisdom would appear in and through Christ, had been decided on by the godhead before the beginning of the world, and is only now being understood as it is revealed in salvation of people.]



v.11-16 Living by the Spirit means a different approach to life


v.11 (it is only the Spirit of God who conveys these plans of God, this wisdom of God) For who knows a person's thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

v.12 (it's only through God's Holy Spirit that these things come to us) What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

v.13 (so what we teach is not human wisdom but wisdom the Spirit has brought) This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[Or Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual ]

v.14 (those who don't have the Spirit can't understand this) The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

v.15,16 (those who have the Spirit have a different source for decision making – God Himself.) The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord  so as to instruct him?” [Isa 40:13]


[Passage Synopsis: The life we now life is one that is Spirit-enabled, that gives us understanding which cannot be received by unbelievers.]



Continue to Chapter 3