Read; I Corinthians 2:1-16
My speech and my preaching was… in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (I Corinthians 2:4).
An Exploration For Meaning
Most commentators dealing with this second chapter of I Corinthians have little to say about the nature and work of the Spirit. But eight times in sixteen verses Paul makes specific mention of these truths. One contemporary scholar writes: “The word ‘spirit’ in the Bible is not easily defined, meaning at times little more than ‘influence,’ but at other times being used in a way which indicates the full, distinct, third Person of the Holy Trinity. Verse 11 might be used as the starting point of an investigation in the matter” (The New Bible Commentary). Each time Paul here used the term Spirit, the translators of the Revised Standard Version have capitalized the word. In their judgment the Apostle was talking about the Holy Spirit. Let us push this investigation.
If we have here significant truth about the work of the Spirit of God, why is the teaching not set forth in more direct and definitive fashion? In answer let us remember that elsewhere in the Bible we do have such direct and definitive teaching. Let us remember also that the gift of the Spirit was widely experienced and highly valued in the New Testament Church. When talking to persons who know well our basic assumptions and practices we allude to those assumptions without detailed explanation of them. Would it not then be natural here for the Apostle to write in this way? His primary purpose was to remind the Corinthians of his ministry among them. He tells them that his work was standard Early Church ministry with full recognition of the Holy Spirit and entire dependence upon His power at work through the messenger.
Let us be grateful for this light that filters through the treetops as well as for the brilliance of a noonday sun that shines on our way. Samuel Chadwick reminds us, “The Second Blessing is not in a text; it is in the whole Bible.”