1 Corinthians 2:1…
The Christian faith is meant to be lived in and under the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
There is to be nothing natural about it.
Before moving on to continue his corrective instruction to the church at Corinth, Paul pauses to provide some much-needed Holy Spirit foundation for moving in the direction of the correction he is going to return to in chapters 3 and following…
He would use himself as an example.
“I came to you,” Paul would say, “not in excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.”
In other words, Paul intentionally set himself in complete dependence upon the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit when he came to Corinth. He employed no words of persuasion, no intellectual stimulation, no props, no fanciful stories or applications, no “felt-need” appeals to the emotion – but only, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
He abandoned all his natural gifts in exchange for the power of God.
This can be a fearful thing, as our natural abilities are often what we hide behind when we speak to people – especially publicly. To stand before a crowd is one of the most fearful experiences known to man, (often rating higher than the fear of death in surveys about what men fear most.)
Paul had great natural gifts. Unlike most, he WAS mighty in intellect, and he was VERY knowledgeable in his understanding and application of God’s Word. He had been studying God’s Word all his life, and he had been personally trained under some of the best Bible scholars the world had ever known.
But in coming to Corinth, he intentionally set all of himself aside and spoke a simple message in all probability to a people who were full of themselves, (given what we know historically about the reputation of the ancient city of Corinth.)
And it had been VERY effective. In his 18 months of simply teaching the Word of God to the city at Corinth, a church had been planted, and it was flourishing in the simplicity that freely allows the power of God to move. But since Paul left them, they had returned to mixing the natural with the supernatural, and this will never work in God’s kingdom. Never.