Introduction to 1 Corinthians Chapter 2
The apostle, in this chapter, pursues the same argument as before, that the Gospel needed not the wisdom and art of men: this he illustrates by his own example; and then he extols the Gospel above all the wisdom of men; and observes how it comes to be made known to men, even by the Spirit of God: hence it follows, that it is to be taught in his words, and not in the words of men; and that it can be only known and judged of by the spiritual, and not by the natural man. He instances in himself, and in his own ministry, when at Corinth, where he preached the Gospel in a plain and simple manner, without using the ornaments of speech, and human wisdom, 1 Corinthians 2:1 his reason was, because he had determined with himself to preach not himself, but a crucified Christ, 1 Corinthians 2:2. His manner of behaviour is more largely declared, 1 Corinthians 2:3 that he was so far from being elated with his human literature, and priding himself with that, and making use of it in an ostentatious way, that he was attended with much weakness, fear, and trembling; and his discourses were not adorned with the flowers of rhetoric, but were delivered with the power, evidence, and demonstration of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:4. And his end and view in this method of preaching were, that the faith of his hearers should not be ascribed to human wisdom, but to a divine power, 1 Corinthians 2:5 but lest the Gospel should be thought meanly and contemptibly of, because of the plain dress in which it appeared, the apostle affirms it to be the highest wisdom, as those who had the most perfect knowledge of it could attest; a wisdom superior to the wisdom of this world, or of its princes, since that comes to nothing, 1 Corinthians 2:6 the excellency of which he expresses by various epithets, as the wisdom of God, mysterious wisdom, hidden wisdom, ancient wisdom, ordained before the world began, for the glory of the saints, 1 Corinthians 2:7 a wisdom unknown to the princes of the world, who otherwise would not have been concerned in the crucifixion of Christ, 1 Corinthians 2:8 and that this far exceeds the capacity of men, and could never have been found out by them, he proves, 1 Corinthians 2:9 by a testimony out of Isa 64:4 and then proceeds to show how it comes to be known by any of the sons of men, that it is by the revelation of the Spirit of God, 1 Corinthians 2:10 which is illustrated by the nature of the spirit of man within him, which only knows the things of a man; so in like manner only the Spirit of God knows the things of God, and can make them known to others, 1 Corinthians 2:11. And in this way he observes, that he and others became acquainted with these things; namely, by receiving not the spirit of the world, which at most could only have taught them the wisdom of the world, but the Spirit of God, whereby they knew their interest in the blessings of free grace, published in the Gospel, 1 Corinthians 2:12. And seeing the Gospel is made known by the Spirit of God, it should be delivered, not in the words of man's wisdom, but in the words of the Holy Spirit, as the apostle affirms he and other ministers did deliver it, returning to his former argument, 1 Corinthians 2:13. And also it follows from hence, that the things of the Gospel, which the Spirit reveals, cannot be known and received by the natural man, who has no discerning of them, and so no value for them, 1 Corinthians 2:14 and can only be discerned, judged, and approved of by spiritual men, 1 Corinthians 2:15 and who are not to be judged by natural and carnal men, because they have not the mind of Christ, and so cannot instruct them; but spiritual men have it, such as the apostle and others, 1 Corinthians 2:16.