Faith in God’s Power

“And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:2-4).

The epistles to the church in Corinth deal with a lot of issues. From division in the church to blatant immorality to misuse of the Lord’s Supper, if there was a problem to be had, this church had it. One big issue the members of this church struggled with was a desire to be better than one another. This manifested itself in claims of following Paul or Apollos or Peter. These were all well-known men of the faith who had, at some point in time, communicated the gospel to the Corinthians. But as Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 1:13, Christ is not divided. His people make up one united body, not a fractured system with different humans at the head.

The driving force behind this division was the belief that following one of these big names would grant a greater degree of prestige. Yet this is not at all the message of the gospel. Indeed, Paul explained, the gospel message has nothing to do with people at all. If it had been about himself, he would have come to the Corinthians with an extraordinary show of power, drawing as much attention to himself as possible. But instead, he came “in weakness and in fear and much trembling” (2:3). He cast all the glory on God, making sure everyone knew he was acting only by the power of the Spirit of God. He understood that the gospel message had nothing to do with him and everything to do with God.

It’s easy to get caught up in a desire to appear strong and as if we have everything put together. But Paul always boasted in his weaknesses, knowing that in them, the power of Christ shone through all the brighter. It was folly for the Corinthians to try to gain prestige for themselves by claiming to follow Paul, because the power had never been with him. Our faith has never been about other people. True faith always rests in God alone.

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