1 Corinthians 1:17 – Cross’ Power

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 35:1‐36:23, 1 Corinthians 1:1‐17, Psalms 27:1‐6, Proverbs  20:20‐21

1 Corinthians 1:17 – For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.


  • Context: Paul is urging unity.  It was common for speakers to be entertainers and for people to choose the one they enjoyed the most.  Paul wants it to be clear that the message of Christ is all he desires to present. 
  • Christ did not send Paul to baptize (we do know that he did, see the previous verse, and thought believers baptism was important – Romans 6:3, Col 2:12)
  • Christ sent Paul to preach the gospel
    • Not with words of eloquent wisdom – I believe he is talking about trying to entertain as mentioned above.  The gospel is greater than the world’s wisdom.
    • Lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power – He wants the main thing to stay the main thing.  It is not about him.

Apply: I want to look for opportunities to present the gospel clearly today.  I don’t need to be eloquent, just present the cross.

Do you worry about having “words of eloquent wisdom” when you present the gospel?


2 thoughts on “1 Corinthians 1:17 – Cross’ Power

  1. Because I often do not feel confident in my own ability to articulate clearly in speech, I regularly pray a couple of scriptures found in Proverbs over myself, that my tongue would be as choice silver and my lips would nourish many (Prov. 10:20-21). I need the anointing of the Holy Spirit on my words when I share the Gospel in order to be effective. The Holy Spirit knows how to reach each heart. We cannot do anything without Him.

    • Charon –

      You are right on. We all need the anointing of the Holy Spirit to reach each heart. Thanks for pointing out Prov. 10:20-21. I want to have that kind of tongue.

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