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Not with excellency of speech ; that rhetorical refinement, or those subtle philosophical discussions which were admired by the Greeks.
The testimony of God ; concerning Jesus Christ and the way of salvation through him.
Not to know ; to demean myself among you as one that knew nothing else; in other words, to make the doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ , and him crucified , my only theme. Christ crucified as the atonement for sin, is the great central truth of the gospel. Other truths, in order to be rightly apprehended and have their due effect, must be seen in connection with, and in the light of this. Hence the great prominence which Paul gave to it in his preaching, and which all ministers should give to it in theirs; hence also the prominent place which this truth should hold in the contemplations of all who would grow in grace, or gain an interest in the blessings of salvation. Galatians 6:14 ; Philippians 3:7-9 .
In weakness-fear-trembling ; he knew that he had many enemies. He felt deeply his insufficiency, and was fearful that he should fail of success. God, however, who knew his difficulties, had compassion on him, and encouraged him to go forward. Acts 18:6 ; Acts 18:9-10 ; 2 Corinthians 10:10 .
Enticing words of man’s wisdom ; such as were used by heathen orators to gain applause.
In demonstration of the Spirit and of power ; it consisted in that demonstration of the truth which had for its foundation the accompanying Spirit and power of God.
Not stand in the wisdom of men ; not rest on human, but on divine testimony; and be produced not by human, but by divine power. The more deeply ministers of the gospel feel their own insufficiency, and their dependence on God for success, the more likely it is that their preaching will be attended by the power of the Holy Ghost, and thus rendered effectual to the salvation of men. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 .
Wisdom ; that which is truly wise in the estimation of God and those who are like him.
Them that are perfect ; who have maturity of knowledge and spiritual discernment, and are thus prepared to receive the deeper revelations of the gospel.
Not the wisdom of this world ; that which worldly men call wisdom.
That come to naught ; who perish themselves, with all their vain schemes which they oppose to the wisdom and power of the gospel.
We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery ; in speaking the wisdom of God we proclaim a mystery. The word mystery is used here, as often elsewhere in the New Testament, to denote something beyond the power of human wisdom to discover.
Even the hidden wisdom ; that which had long been to a great extent unknown, but was now revealed in the gospel.
Ordained before the world ; purposed from eternity to reveal.
Unto our glory ; that it might raise us who receive it to glory. The apostle refers both to the spiritual glory which the gospel bestows upon men here, and the eternal heavenly glory in which it ends, the former being an earnest and pledge of the latter.
All persons, however great their advantages, who are not taught by the Holy Spirit, are exceedingly ignorant of divine things. Truths are plainly revealed of which they have no just conception, because they love darkness rather than light, their deeds being evil. In their ignorance they may commit crimes which will bring interminable evils upon themselves and others.
As it is written ; Isaiah 64:4 .
The things which God hath prepared ; it is in these things, which include all the blessings the gospel bestows on men here, and the "exceeding and eternal weight of glory" hereafter, that the glory consists spoken of in verse 1 Corinthians 2:7 .
Unto us ; the apostles and their fellow-disciples, who were taught of the Holy Spirit.
Searcheth ; fully understands, and therefore can reveal to us.
The things of a man ; his unrevealed thoughts.
Even so ; as the unrevealed thoughts of a man are not known except to himself, so the unrevealed things of God are not known except to the Spirit of God; and he alone can reveal them. To the apostles he did reveal them, and through them they were revealed to others.
Not the spirit of the world ; which could instruct us only in the things of this world, and make us, like itself, earthly in all our views and feelings.
Might known ; by his revelation.
The things that are freely given to us of God ; those, namely, mentioned in verse 1 Corinthians 2:9 . As the Holy Spirit is fully acquainted with the mind and will of God, and is able to communicate all needed light to men, he must be divine.
In the words-which the Holy Ghost teacheth ; the Spirit taught them not only what was to be communicated, but how to communicate it-not in preaching only, but in writing. As the Holy Ghost taught the writers of the Bible what truths to communicate and in what words to communicate them, it may safely be relied on as an exact expression of the will of God, and a perfect rule of faith and practice.
The natural man ; the same as he who is after the flesh, and minds the things of the flesh, Romans 8:5 ; the man who is unenlightened by the Holy Spirit, who does not love the truth, and is the willing slave of sin.
Receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God ; does not rightly apprehend or appreciate them.
They are foolishness ; they appear foolish.
Neither can he know them ; he needs to be renewed and enlightened by the Holy Spirit. As without spiritual discernment no man will rightly apprehend or suitably treat the things which God has revealed, and as the author of this discernment is the Holy Spirit, all should seek his teaching; and not only attend to the words in which he communicates divine truth, but ask him to show them his meaning, cause it to make the right impression, and be the means of spiritual life to their souls. Psalms 119:18 ; John 6:63 .
He that is spiritual ; he that is born of the Spirit, and therefore minds the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5 .
Judgeth all things ; discerneth aright all spiritual things, loves their excellence, and judges correctly concerning them.
He himself is judged of no man ; they who are not enlightened by the Holy Ghost, do not judge correctly concerning him. He acts from principles with which they are unacquainted.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord ; no one but he who has been taught by the Spirit of the Lord. The natural man therefore, who has not been thus taught, cannot judge us who are spiritual, and have the mind of Christ ; that is, know it, having been taught of God.
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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent