1 Corinthians 1:17 – Wisdom, Eloquence and the Gospel.

Context: Paul observes that the church in Corinth is divided… “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”  He then asks, “Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

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


  1. The cross is powerful on it’s own. – Praise God!
  2. Paul’s mission is to exalt the work of Christ by preaching the gospel.
  3. Paul does not want to try to make himself look good through “wisdom and eloquence.”

Application:  Father, I confess that I have sought to use “wisdom and eloquence” in my preaching.  Forgive me.  Help me to only lift up the cross!  May the gospel truly be central.  “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:31).

How can you lift up the gospel and not yourself today?


1 thought on “1 Corinthians 1:17 – Wisdom, Eloquence and the Gospel.

  1. Yep. Pride in the communication of the gospel is one of the devil’s sneakier traps. I fall in it over and over an over again. Not that there’s anything wrong with eloquence–it’s a gift from God. Paul was a poet of the highest order, and Christ’s pith serves his power. Just have to make sure that’s always the way it’s done–the eloquence serves the Sctipture and not the other way around. Thanks, Sam!

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