Sunday, October 27, 2019
“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:3,4 KJV).
Brethren, we may be unfairly judged of other Christians and/or the world, but the final verdict will come of the Lord.
First Corinthians chapter 2 began: “ And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
Considering their culture, the Corinthians were accustomed to skilled orators (speakers) entering their city and employing impressive, persuasive, “scholarly” language to gain new disciples. Philosophers debated countless ideas, each promoting their unique system. When Paul showed up, he was different. He did not use man’s intellect to convince the Corinthians of anything. Instead, he was empowered by the Holy Spirit to impart Divine wisdom to these souls. They believed the Gospel of Grace and were saved unto eternal life, but had not fully renounced their past spiritual beliefs. Such heathen philosophy then influenced them to conclude Paul’s message was nothing extraordinary.
Using man’s wisdom as their guide, the Corinthian saints determined Paul was really not speaking for Jesus Christ. How could Paul be a true spiritual leader, a “Christian?” He did not sound like the typical religious leader, he did not look like one, he did not behave like one. Though highly educated, he had not employed polished, complex, theological language to amaze and flatter his audience. Paul did not want the Corinthians to depend on his words anyway. He wanted them to rest in the words of God.
In reality, it was they—not Paul—who had the problem….