“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)
This should stand as a warning to all of us. It should give cause for pause and reflection as to why we “like” a particular minister or preacher.
Paul is making it very clear that he is not some great orator. He is not winning people over to Christ with persuasive talk or with, “man’s wisdom”. The Apostle is making it clear that it is the power of God’s word and the Holy Spirit that is influencing his audiences.
Why is he drawing such a distinction? Because Paul doesn’t want anyone to think that the influences of God’s word has anything to do with the power and abilities of man. Some of the greatest soul winners have been men of low education and poor speaking skills. The power lies in God and His Holy Spirit. Man is just a vessel, a conduit that God uses.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Now there are preachers out there that look good and sound good that hold sway over great numbers of people. But check to see where God and God’s word is in their sermons. Do you feel good during the sermon but feel empty inside afterwards? Then maybe this is someone lacking of God. Sermons should always uplift and edify the spirit. They should excite the Holy Spirit inside of you and not just the fleshy self of the carnal man. Listen to the content of the sermon. Usually the less of God there is the more the “I” is revealed. The, “enticing words of man’s wisdom” will always focus on and be centered on self. Be careful of these preachers for the definition of sin is selfishness.
Listen to the words of the devil and notice how often the word “I” is used.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:12-14).
Listen to the sermon of your favorite preacher. Does he use the word, “I” a lot? Do things seem to center around himself, his dreams, his prophecies and his wisdom? Be very careful for this is exactly what the Apostle Paul was warning against.
Paul was a frail, sickly man who had no particular skills in public teaching and preaching. In fact he told the Corinthians that, “I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” (1 Corinthians 2:3). Paul rested solely and souly on the power of God’s word and the Holy Spirit. We can do the same exact thing as Paul. We have the same abilities if not greater than Him to preach and teach the word of God. All we have to do is simply do it!