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Scribe? where is the Philosopher? These all seem great knowers, and deep scholars in their kind: but hath not God made the wisdom of this world mere foolishness, in respect of divine mysteries?
I. 21. For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to sare them that believe.
For, since that the world, by their natural wisdom, did not, nor could, nor would know God, in that way of divine wisdom, wherein he vouchsafed to declare himself; it pleased God, by this preaching of the Gospel, which the world calls Foolishness, to save them that believe.
I. 22, 23, 24. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
For the Jews look to be convinced by signs from heaven, that they may believe; and the Grecians look to be convinced and won with human reason and philosophical demonstrations, that they may believe; But we care not to satisfy either of them in their own ways; but rather we preach Christ Crucified unto them: which is a stumblingblock to the Jews, who expect a magnificent and temporal Redeemer of Israel; and unto the learned Grecians, no other than foolishness, who cannot conceive how He that is God could die, or how he that did die could redeem us; But unto them, which are truly and effectually called, by the inward voice of the Spirit, whether they be Jews or Greeks, the power
of God to save us, and the wisdom of God to inform us.
I. 25. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Because that Gospel of God, which the world misnames Foolishness, is wiser than all the deepest philosophy of men; and that plain word of his, which the world thinks to be weak and forceless, is stronger than the powerfullest arguments of men: and thus it is in a generality; whatsoever, in and from God, seems to savour of the least wisdom and reason, or of the most weakness, far surpasseth all the wisdom and strength of men.
I. 26. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many, c.
Ye see, my brethren the condition of Christianity; how that now, in this entrance of the Gospel, not many that are worldly wise and deep learned, not many mighty &c. are called.
I. 27. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world
to confound the wise ; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; &c.
But God hath chosen plain, simple, unlettered Fishermen, to confound the great wise Philosophers of the world ; and God hath chosen mean, weak, and silly agents, to confound the powerful and mighty potentates of the earth. So verse 28.
I. 28. Yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are :
And hath chosen us, that had no being at all, in grace, and seemed to be but as nothing in worldly respects, even us hath he chosen to humble and bring down those that make the most glorious appearance in the world:
I. 29. That no flesh should glory in his presence.
That no man whosoever, being no better than base and contemptible flesh, should arrogate ought to himself, or boast of his parts or privileges, in the presence of God.
I. 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
But ye are not mere flesh and blood; neither have reason to stand upon these carnal privileges, since ye are admitted into a happy communion with God through Christ Jesus : who, of God his father is made unto us Wisdom, in that, by him we receive true knowledge and illumination; is made unto us Righteousness, in that, both his righteousness is made ours, and we are for his righteousness graciously acquitted and accepted; is made unto us Sanctification, in that, by his Spirit, we are renewed and purged from our sins; is made unto us Redemption, in that, by his precious blood we are ransomed from the hands of our spiritual enemies.
I. 31. That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Thus is Christ made All to us; that, according as it is written, He, that glorieth, might not glory at all in himself, but might glory in the Lord.
II. 1. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
And as for me, brethren, I, when I came unto you to preach the Gospel of God, did not come to you with flourishes of vain eloquence, nor with the persuasions of human wisdom and learning; as I see the false teachers do, to insinuate themselves the better into your minds.
II. 2. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
For, howsoever I were able to know and discourse with the
best of them, as having been trained up at the feet of a learned master; yet I resolved to let go all that secular skill, and so to bear myself amongst you, as if I knew nothing else in the world but Christ and him crucified.
II. 3. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
And I was amongst you in much meekness and humility; in manifold infirmities; in much awe of that great and weighty charge, which I sustained ; in much fear of those many and spiteful machinations of mine enemies against me.
II. 4. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
And my speech, both in my private exhortations and in my public preachings, was not curiously plausible, as if I would win with words of human eloquence and wit; but in plain and powerful expressions of God's Spirit, speaking in me, and working in you by me.
II. 5. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
That so your faith might not rest and depend upon, or appear to be wrought by, the force of man's persuasion or wisdom, but by the mighty power of God's Spirit.
II. 6. Houbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect : yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought :
Yet, let no man think it is out of our disability, that we speak not in these high strains of wisdom, which others so much wonder at: for both we can and do speak deep points of wisdom and divine knowledge, amongst them that are attained to a meet perfection of skill to conceive it; yet not points of carnal and secular wisdom, such as the world admires, and the great men of this world, who vanish and come to nothing, are wont to affect :
II. 7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
But we speak divine wisdom, even the deep mysteries of the Gospel of God, which he hath hid from the eyes of the world; even that, which concerns the Salvation of man, hy his Son Jesus Christ manifested in the flesh: which Gospel of his was ordained by him before the world was, as the means to bring us to his glory:
II. 8. Which none of the princes of this world knew : for had they known it, &c.
Which none of the great rulers of this world, Herod, Pilate, the High Priests, and the other Governors of Judea knew; for had they known it, &c.
II. 9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But herein also hath God made good that of the prophet Isaiah; The
eye hath not seen, &c. the things that God hath prepared for them that love him; and therefore these spiritual blessings, of remission of sins and salvation by Christ, are things far beyond the reach and apprehension of the eyes, and ears, and hearts of the men of this world.
II. 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit : for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.
But God hath vouchsafed to reveal them unto us by his Spirit; having, by the power thereof, illuminated our minds, to see these great things of God; for the Spirit of God alone is he, that doth fully know, and is able to reveal them unto us: He only knoweth all things, and particularly the deepest mysteries of God's eternal counsel, and proceedings with men.
II. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
For, as it is with men, so it is with God also: what man knoweth a man's secret thoughts, but only himself, and his own soul or spirit? even so, the secret counsels and mysteries of God can none know, but the Spirit of God only.
II. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Now, this Spirit of God is that, which we have received : we, that are his regenerate children, are partakers, not of that spirit wherewith worldly men are led and carried, but of that good Spirit which is of God; that we might, by his illumination and grace, know and apprehend the great, spiritual, and heavenly blessings of forgiveness and salvation, that are freely given to us of God.
II. 13. Comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Fitting spiritual things with plain and simple spiritual expressions; and not uttering spiritual things, in a carnal and affected fashion.
II. 14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But the man, that is merely natural and unregenerate, receiveth not these divine mysteries of the Spirit of God : for they seem to be mere foolishness unto him, who is nothing but flesh and blood; neither indeed can he, while he continues in that condition, know or conceive them, because they are to be discerned by spiritual eyes, which he hath not.
II. 15. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
But he, that is renewed by the Spirit of God, knoweth, and apprehendeth, and rightly judgeth of all these spiritual things; yet he himself is judged of no carnal man, so as that his knowledge in these divine matters can be controlled or censured by him.
II. 16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
For the counsel and will of God is hid from carnal minds; so as the prophet might well ask, Who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But as for us, we, that be his renewed and faithful ones, we have the will of Christ clearly revealed unto us.
III. 1. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
And I, brethren, howsoever I may be taxed and despised by some, as if I only spake unto you plain and vulgar things, must tell you that I purposely did so, that I might frame my speech to your apprehension: for I could not speak unto you, as to men already regenerate, but as to carnal men; novices in Christianity; babes in Christ.
III. 2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat.
I did therefore, as was meet, feed you accordingly with the milk the first principles of religion, not with the strong meat of harder and higher doctrines.
III. 3. For ye are yet carnal : for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not yet carnal, and walk as men ?
For, howsoever ye may be well conceited of yourselves, the truth is, ye are yet carnal: whereof you shall be clearly convinced by your effects; for, while there are among you envyings, and strifes, and factious divisions, are ye not carnal? and carry yourselves, not as Christians, but as men?
III. 4. For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos. See chap. i. verse 12.
III. 6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
I have been the first that laid the grounds of religion amongst you, and planted the Church at Corinth: Apollos came after me, and seconded my holy endeavours with you; but it was God, that gave success to both our labours, and wrought upon your hearts an increase of grace thereby.
III. 8. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one : and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
Now he, that first planteth, and he, that afterwards watereth,