26
Oct
07

Preaching to Preachers

Monday and Tuesday of this week were incredible days of opportunity and ministry for me. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the pastors of the Idaho/Utah Baptist Convention. One of the great joys about preaching to preachers is that you can get right to the point of your message without much explanation. Additionally, it is good preaching to preachers because most of them are rooting for you, encouraging you with an “amen” or “preach it.”

Last Monday I preached from 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, where Paul said:

1 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 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5

As with everything else Paul recorded under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, this passage preaches itself.

I pointed out three insights from the text.

First, Paul tells us WHAT he came to them preaching.

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:2

Imagine the wealth of material a preacher can preach from just from this one statement. Jesus speaks of the HUMANITY of the Son of God. Christ addresses the OFFICE of the Son of God. Him crucified refers to the REDEMPTIVE WORK of God’s Son. You know I had a ball preaching that part of the message.

Next, Paul tells us HOW he came to them preaching.

Paul said first, how he DID NOT come preaching:

1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom… 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom…
1 Corinthians 2:1, 4

Paul followed that description by telling us how he DID come preaching:

3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power…
1 Corinthians 2:3

Paul did not try to impress his audience with his own oratory skill or knowledge. In Corinth that was the measure of a man’s message. Did he walk with bravado? Did he speak persuasively? No. Could he? Sure. Paul could have very easily impressed his audience with his eloquence, but he decided not to so they would be impressed with God, not with him.

Finally, Paul tells us WHY he came to them preaching.

Paul said,

5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:5

Paul wanted their faith to rest in the power of God because if it rested in Paul, then their conversions would not have been genuine or real. Besides, Paul knew that his audience only had two kinds of people present—those who were perishing and those who were being saved.

Note what he said in 1 Corinthians 1:18:

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Thus, that is why Paul preached Jesus Christ and him crucified. Paul knew the people in his audience were either perishing or being saved. The Gospel of Jesus Christ applies to both audiences. For those who are perishing the gospel leads to salvation. For those who are being saved the gospel leads to sanctification. The gospel is for both the lost and the saved.

I thoroughly enjoyed preaching this message. Perhaps the Lord will afford me the opportunity to preach it someday at CrossPoint.

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