“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”
Today’s passage is both remarkably instructive and wonderfully encouraging. Here Paul reminded the Corinthian believers of his arrival in their city and his first encounter with them. According to Paul, his message to these people was nothing more or less than clear, straight Gospel truth. This is remarkable because according to the Book of Acts, Paul arrived in Corinth after encountering the philosophers in Athens, Greece (Acts 17-18). When they asked Paul to explain his “new teaching” to them, he did absolutely nothing to make his Christian worldview more palatable or attractive to his Gentile audience. Paul simply and sincerely gave these people basic, Bible truth. In fact, if you compare Paul’s address in Acts 17 to the forty-second chapter of Isaiah, you will see that Paul very nearly quoted verbatim the great Old Testament prophet. The point is, Paul was absolutely unashamed of his faith as he carried out his ministry to the Gentiles. He knew what he was teaching was very counter to the culture but that did not intimidate him nor cause him to “dress up” or “water down” his message. The reaction to his teaching in Athens was mixed; some mocked him, some said they would hear him again, but others repented and found salvation in Christ (Acts 17:32-34).This was a very successful evangelistic and apologetical encounter, however, not because a few people were saved, but because Paul remained faithful to his God and the message entrusted to him. When he left Athens for Corinth, he did so without taking any Greek philosophical “residue” with him. He would not use the so-called wisdom of man (which amounts to foolishness) in his evangelistic efforts. When Paul reached Corinth, he preached nothing more or less than Christ and him crucified. This was pure evangelism, the preaching of the good news. If Paul had only preached Christ, the Corinthians would have been introduced to God’s perfect self-revelation, but they would have remained hopeless. They would have understood something of God’s perfection, but would have lamented that they had fallen so short of it. But Paul not only preached Christ to these people, he preached Christ crucified, which is the ultimate demonstration of God’s love for fallen, guilty man. They believed, and we also, to the saving of our souls, that the crucified Christ has secured our redemption. He has washed us in His blood and clothed us in His own righteousness. Let us walk in the blessedness of eternal, newness of life purchased for us. May this meditation be an encouragement to you today dear saints.