The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 20 of 181
Index | Zoom
Examples in  I Corinthians.
Man's words  5:
the words of the Holy Ghost (2: 13).
pp. 116 - 120
We have looked at the first pair of antonyms used in I Cor. 1:, the `foolishness' and
the `weakness' of God, as compared and contrasted with the `wisdom' and `strength' of
man. We now consider a group that arises naturally out of the first pair and which caries
the teaching a stage further along the path which the Apostle pursues in this opening
section of I Corinthians, a path that leads ultimately to the judgment seat of Christ, and
the trial of every man's work (I Cor. 3: 14).
The group of antonyms now before us consists of three contrasted subjects:
(3) Man's words 5: Words of the Holy Ghost (2: 13).
(4) Natural 5: Spiritual (2: 14, 15).
(5) Milk 5: Meat (3: 2).
These three antonyms are used to illustrate and enforce the lesson of the opening
chapter, with particular reference to `the Word'. This subject is by no means in the
background of chapter 1:, but in our comment we did not refer to it, as the subject is
developed in the chapter before us. Turning back therefore to I Cor. 1:, we observe that
the Apostle says:
"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of
words (logos) . . . . . For the preaching (logos) of the cross is to them that perish
foolishness" (I Cor. 1: 17-18).
"It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe . . . . . We
preach Christ crucified . . . . . unto the Greeks foolishness" (I Cor. 1: 21, 23).
It is very evident from these references that the contrast between "man's words" and
the "word of the Holy Ghost" is but an expansion of this `word' and `preaching' which
those that perish counted `foolishness'. It becomes more evident that those who perish
will be the `natural' men, and those who are saved the `spiritual' of I Cor. 2: 14, 15.
The third of these antonyms, namely "milk 5: meat", reveals that not only must we divide
the `saved' and the `lost' into two groups, `spiritual' and `natural', but that something
parallel is discoverable between two groups of the saved themselves, for the `babes' who
can only take `milk' are considered as `carnal' not `spiritual' (I Cor. 3: 1) and they `walk
as men' (I Cor. 3: 3). In one sense the whole controversy of I Cor. 1:-4: turns on the
fatal attraction that the things of `man' had over the Corinthians.
"The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than
men" (I Cor. 1: 25).
"Not with enticing words of man's wisdom" (2: 4).
"That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (2: 5).