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The Scriptorium

Whom to Know

Jesus, of course. 1 Corinthians 2.1, 2

1 Corinthians 2 (1)

Pray Psalm 132.13-18.
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place:
“This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her poor with bread.
I will also clothe her priests with salvation,
And her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
There I will make the horn of David grow;
I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
But upon Himself His crown shall flourish.”

Sing Psalm 132.13-18.
(Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
God dwells among us, and He will forever, to meet our needs and clothe us with His grace.
He has to us sent Jesus Christ, our Savior—Beloved, eternal light and resting place.
His foes are banished from His Presence ever, but we shall reign with Him before His face.

Read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 2.1, 2.

1. What did Paul not use in his ministry in Corinth?

2. What did he determine to know?

Paul here invited the Corinthians to remember his own example when he was among them for a year and a half (v. 1). All his preaching and teaching was of Christ. Even though the unbelieving world mocked and scorned the idea that one so ignominiously put to death could be a person of any consequence, Paul preached Jesus, and especially the crucifixion.

For the crucifixion demonstrates the power of submission to God, humility and long-suffering, faith and love, seeking nothing of one’s own but only the welfare of God’s people and the glory of the Father. Jesus Christ, the crucified One, is the treasury of all wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2.2, 3). No sophisticated philosophizing, rhetorical oratory, exegetical expostulation, or scientific certitude can surpass or encompass the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Paul kept all his ministry focused on Jesus, for he knew that only by seeing Jesus and clinging to Him could the believers in Corinth know true fellowship with God and one another. And only in Jesus would they acquire the knowledge and wisdom to be the Body of Christ in the world.

Submission to God, humility, long suffering, faith and love, seeking the good of others: This is what Jesus did, and this is how Paul lived and proclaimed Jesus among the Corinthians. But they did not sustain this focus and the strong ties of love and fellowship it engenders. They acted like children rather than mature believers (1 Cor. 3.1). The world was too much with them, and they rallied around “the wisdom of men” (v. 5) rather than Jesus and the wisdom and knowledge He embodies and proclaims.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162.
Merry Christmas!

In 1 Corinthians 2.1 Paul speaks of the message that was not given with excellence of speech or of wisdom; it was fully the testimony of God. The word testimony can also be translated mystery. And indeed, the love of God toward us is beyond understanding. “God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend” (Job 37.5).

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Eph. 3.20, 21).

A Child was born on Christmas Day
Born to save the world
But long before the world began
He knew His death was sure
The pain and strife secured

Mystery, how He came to be a Man
But greater still how His death was in His plan
God predestined that His Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His hands

The Christmas trees
They glow so bright
With presents all around
But Christmas brought a tree of life
With blood that sacrificed
The greatest gift of life

I am just a man and
Can’t begin to comprehend
When You look into this traitor’s eyes
What do You see that justifies the Lamb

God predestined that His
Son would die
And He still created man
Oh, what love is this
That His death was in His plan
Mystery, mystery
Selah, “Mystery”

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
nor have entered into the heart of man
the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
(1 Cor. 2.9; Is. 64.4; 65.17)

For reflection
1. Why is it so hard for us to keep our eyes on Jesus? To be eternally enthralled at the mystery of His incarnation, death, life, resurrection, ascension, and reign? What distracts us?

2. How would you counsel a new believer to keep seeking Jesus more and more each day? Why should they do that?

3. Today, what will you do to increase in the knowledge of Jesus and the mystery of His salvation?

In adding the word crucified, he does not mean that he preached nothing respecting Christ except the cross; but that, with all the abasement of the cross, he nevertheless preached Christ. It is as though he had said: “The ignominy of the cross will not prevent me from looking up to him from whom salvation comes, or make me ashamed to regard all my wisdom as comprehended in him ― in him, I say, whom proud men despise and reject on account of the reproach of the cross.”  
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2.1, 2

Pray Psalm 132.8-12.
Use this time of prayer to strengthen your fellowship with Jesus. Call on Him to be  present with you, in you, and through you. Plead with Him to increase in you and to bring more of His righteousness into your soul and life. Commit your day to Jesus, Who is with you always.

Sing Psalm 132.8-12.
(Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
Arise, O LORD, come to Your resting place; Your holy Presence meet with us in might.
Clothe us with righteousness in Jesus’ grace, and we will shout to Your divine delight!
For David’s sake, turn not away Your face, but look upon us in Your holy light.

Remember, LORD, the oath You swore to David; do not turn back, do not deny Your Word:
“One of your sons, with your throne I will favor, if he shall keep My cov’nant evermore,
and walk within My testimonies ever, thus he shall ever rule by Israel’s LORD.”

T. M. and Susie Moore

The Church in Corinth was in need of revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today is in need of revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter, available free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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