Skip to main content

1 Corinthians 2:4 & meaning...


speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power

1 Corinthians 2:4


1 Corinthians 2 [1.] When I came to you, brothers, I didn’t come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith wouldn’t stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 


  • The Contrast in Communication:

Not in Persuasive Words of Human Wisdom: Paul begins by negating a particular approach to communication. He disassociates his speech and preaching from relying on the persuasive techniques commonly associated with human wisdom.

Demonstration of the Spirit and of Power: The contrasting element lies in the nature of Paul's communication. Instead of relying solely on human eloquence, he emphasizes the tangible demonstration of the Spirit's power as the driving force behind his ministry.

  • The Role of the Holy Spirit:

Demonstration of the Spirit: The phrase "demonstration of the Spirit" underscores the active involvement of the Holy Spirit in Paul's ministry. It implies a visible manifestation of the Spirit's presence and power in the proclamation of the message.

Supernatural Element: The term "demonstration" suggests a vivid and powerful display, indicating that Paul's ministry was marked by a supernatural manifestation that could not be attributed solely to human effort or wisdom.

  • Emphasis on Divine Power:

Not Dependent on Human Wisdom: By explicitly stating that his speech was not in persuasive words of human wisdom, Paul highlights the insufficiency of human intellect or rhetoric alone in conveying the transformative message of the gospel.

In Demonstration of Power: The emphasis on power indicates that the effectiveness of Paul's ministry was rooted in the divine authority and transformative power of the Holy Spirit. It was not merely about eloquent words but about a demonstration of God's active presence and influence.

Practical Application:

Dependency on the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 2:4 challenges believers to recognize the indispensable role of the Holy Spirit in effective ministry. It prompts a reliance on the Spirit's guidance, empowerment, and transformative work in sharing the message of the gospel.

Beyond Human Wisdom: The verse encourages believers to go beyond relying solely on human wisdom or eloquence in communicating the gospel. It invites a reliance on the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit for true impact and transformation.


1 Thessalonians 1:5: "For our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake." This parallel passage echoes the theme of the gospel being accompanied by power and the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." The promise of power through the Holy Spirit in Acts aligns with the concept of Paul's ministry being in demonstration of the Spirit and power.

In conclusion, 1 Corinthians 2:4 provides a glimpse into the nature of Paul's ministry, emphasizing the role of the Holy Spirit and the demonstration of divine power. It challenges us to prioritize the transformative influence of the Spirit over human wisdom in our communication of the gospel.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


Chat    Topics     Index     WorldWideWitness