“1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.”
The kingdom of God is not built by persuasive, wise men of great words, nor is it possible to be built by such things. No one can argue or persuade anyone to follow Jesus. I’ve talked my head off, did my best to present good information, logic, and good points to no avail. It wasn’t that I was trying to do the work of the Lord on my own, but I did not realize the truth. God is the one that saves, not men. It doesn’t matter how wise or how great of an orator a man is, nor does human effort. It is true that God has chosen to use men to spread the Good News of Jesus, but we can’t cause the Gospel of Jesus to fail, nor can we with our best efforts make it successful. It is God’s work that makes the difference. We are just a tool in the hand of God. It is His ability, skill, and plan that makes the Word successful.
“2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.”
Making Christ, His cross, and His resurrection known is the calling that God has given us in the work of Evangelism. I know I have felt like Paul many times. I am weak. When I have approached people to share Christ, it has been scarey at times. I am sure I trembled as well. At first, Evangelism was difficult. Over time as I have learned and experienced more and more while sharing Christ, it has become easier.
The best thing I learned is that there is nothing I can do to cause God’s truth to fail. My job is to be obedient to share it. That is where our success is based. If no one ever followed Jesus through a life time of sharing Him with others, I would still be successful because God called us to preach the truth. Obedience is the key. Salvation is His work, and He is the one that changes the heart and draws men to Himself.
“4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
The key to the success of the Gospel is found here in verse four. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that the Word takes root in the heart of those who hear it. Plus, the Apostles were blessed to be used by God to demonstrate His power in a variety of ways. They saw people healed, the blind given their site, and the lame standing up on strong legs and feet in the name of Jesus Christ. The miracles were no greater than the miracle of God changing the hearts of those who heard and saw these things. Every time a sinner repents and believes on Jesus, we witness a miracle and the power of God in that life.