2 1 He setteth down a platform of his preaching, 4 which was base in respect of man’s wisdom, 7, 13 but noble in respect of the spiritual power and efficacy. 14 And so concludeth that flesh and blood cannot rightly judge thereof.
1 And [a]I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of words, or of wisdom, showing unto you the [b]testimony of God.
2 For I [c]esteemed not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was among you in [d]weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 Neither stood my word, and my preaching in the enticing speech of man’s wisdom, [e]but in plain [f]evidence of the Spirit and of power.
5 [g]That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
6 [h]And we speak wisdom among them that are [i]perfect: not the wisdom of this world, neither of the [j]princes of this world, which come to nought.
7 [k]But we speak the wisdom of God in a [l]mystery, even the hid wisdom, [m]which God had determined before the world, unto our glory.
8 [n]Which none of the princes of this world hath known: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the [o]Lord of glory.
9 [p]But as it is written, The things which eye hath not seen, neither ear hath heard, neither came into [q]man’s heart, are, which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 [r]But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the spirit [s]searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 [t]For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the [u]spirit of a man, which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have receiveth not the [v]spirit of the world, but the Spirit, which is of God, [w]that we might [x]know the things that are given to us of God.
13 [y]Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the holy Ghost teacheth, [z]comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
14 [aa]But the [ab]natural man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are [ac]spiritually discerned.
15 [ad]But he that is spiritual, [ae]discerneth all things: yet [af]he himself is judged of [ag]no man.
16 [ah]For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he might [ai]instruct him? But we have the [aj]mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:1He returneth to 1 Cor. 1:17, that is to say, to his own example: confessing that he used not amongst them either excellency of words, or enticing speech of man’s wisdom, but with great simplicity of speech, both knew and preached Jesus Christ crucified, humble and abject, as touching the flesh.
1 Corinthians 2:2I purposed not to profess any other knowledge, but the knowledge of Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:3He setteth weakness, against excellency of words, and therefore joineth with it fear and trembling, which are the companions of true modesty, not such fear and trembling as terrify the conscience, but such as are contrary to vanity and pride.
1 Corinthians 2:4He turneth that now to the commendation of his ministry, which he had granted to his adversaries: for his virtue and power which they knew well enough, was so much the more excellent, because it had no worldly help joined with it.
1 Corinthians 2:4By plain evidence he meaneth such a proof, as is made by certain and necessary reasons.
1 Corinthians 2:5And he telleth the Corinthians, that he did it for their great profit, because they might thereby know manifestly, that the Gospel was from heaven. Therefore he privately rebuketh them, because that in seeking vain ostentation, they willingly deprived themselves of the greatest help of their faith.
1 Corinthians 2:6Another argument taken of the nature of the thing, that is, of the Gospel, which is true wisdom, but known to them only which are desirous of perfection: and is unsavory to them which otherwise excel in the world, but yet vainly and frailly.
1 Corinthians 2:6Those are called perfect here, not which had gotten perfection already, but such as tend to it, as Phil. 3:15, so that perfect, is set against weak.
1 Corinthians 2:7He taketh away an objection: if it be so hard, when and how is it known? God, saith he, determined with himself from the beginning, that which his purpose was to bring forth at this time out of his secrets for the salvation of men.
1 Corinthians 2:8He taketh away another objection: why then, how cometh it to pass, that this wisdom was so rejected of men of highest authority, that they crucified Christ himself? Paul answereth: because they knew not Christ such as he was.
1 Corinthians 2:8That mighty God, full of true majesty and glory: Now this place hath in it a most evident proof of the divinity of Christ, and of his joining of the two natures in one, which hath this in it, that that which is proper to the manhood alone, is vouched of the Godhead joined with the manhood: which kind of speech is called of the old fathers, a making common of things belonging to someone, with other to whom they do not belong.
1 Corinthians 2:9Another objection: But how could it be that those witty men could not perceive this wisdom? Paul answereth: Because we preach those things which pass all man’s understanding.
1 Corinthians 2:9Man cannot so much as think of them, much less conceive them with his senses.
1 Corinthians 2:10A question: if it surmount the capacity of men, how can it be understood of any man, or how can you declare and preach it? by a peculiar lightening by God’s Spirit, wherewith whosoever is inspired, he can enter even to the very secrets of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10There is nothing so secret and hidden in God, but the Spirit of God peereth into it.
1 Corinthians 2:11He setteth that forth by a similitude, which he spake of the inspiration of the Spirit. As the force of man’s wit searcheth out things pertaining to man, so doth our mind by that power of the holy Ghost, understand heavenly things.
1 Corinthians 2:12The Spirit which we have received, doth not teach us things of this world, but lifteth us up to God, and this place teacheth us against the Papists, what faith is, from whence it cometh, and what force it is of.
1 Corinthians 2:12That which he spake generally, he restraineth now to those things which God hath opened unto us of our salvation in Christ: lest that any man should separate the Spirit from the preaching of the word and Christ: or should think that those fantastical men are governed by the Spirit of God, which wandering besides the word, thrust upon us their vain imaginations for the secrets of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12This word (know) is taken here in his proper sense, for true knowledge, which the Spirit of God worketh in us.
1 Corinthians 2:13Now he returneth to his purpose, and concludeth the argument which he began verse 6, and it is thus: the words must be applied to the matter, and the matter must be set forth with words which are meet and convenient for it: now this wisdom is spiritual and not of man, and therefore it must be delivered by a spiritual kind of teaching, and not by enticing words of man’s eloquence, that the simple, and yet wonderful majesty of the holy Ghost may therein appear.
1 Corinthians 2:13Applying the words unto the matter, to wit, that as we teach spiritual things, so [must] our kind of teaching be spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:14Again he preventeth an offence or stumbling block: how cometh it to pass that so few allow these things? This is not to be marveled at, sayeth the Apostle, seeing that men in their natural powers (as they termed them) are not endued with that faculty, whereby spiritual things are discerned (which faculty cometh another way) and therefore they accompt spiritual wisdom as folly: and it is as if he should say, It is no marvel that blind men cannot judge of colors, seeing that they lack the light of their eyes, and therefore light is to them as darkness.
1 Corinthians 2:14The man that hath no further light of understanding than that which he brought with him, even from his mother’s womb, as Jude defineth it, Jude 19.
1 Corinthians 2:15The wisdom of the flesh, saith Paul, determined nothing certainly, no not in its own affairs, much less can it discern strange, that is, spiritual things. But the Spirit of God, wherewith spiritual men are endued, can be deceived by no means, and therefore be reproved of no man.
1 Corinthians 2:15Of no man: for when the Prophets are judged of the Prophets, it is the Spirit that judges, and not the man.
1 Corinthians 2:16A reason of the former saying: for he is called spiritual, which hath learned that by the virtue of the Spirit, which Christ hath taught us. Now if that which we have learned of that Master, could be reproved of any man, he must needs be wiser than God: whereupon it followeth, that they are not only foolish, but also wicked, which think that they can devise something that is either more perfect, or that they can teach the wisdom of God a better way than they knew or taught, which undoubtedly, were endued with God’s Spirit.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
Bible Gateway Plus
Enrich your faith and grow in spiritual maturity with the incredible Bible study and devotional books listed below. Try it for 30 days FREE. Cancel at any time.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
You've successfully created your account! For the ultimate Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading Bible Gateway Plus to get the most out of your new account. For just a few dollars each month, a Bible Gateway Plus upgrade gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.