1 Corinthians 2:2
For I decided to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Sermons
Are Christians Narrow?C. F. Deems, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:2
Christ Crucified: the Theme of St. Paul's PreachingW. Moodie, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:2
Method of PreachingJ. Clason.1 Corinthians 2:2
None But Christ CrucifiedJ.R. Thomson 1 Corinthians 2:2
Nothing But ChristJ. Lyth1 Corinthians 2:2
One Great IdeaJohn Bate.1 Corinthians 2:2
Paul's DeterminationJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:2
Paul's One ThemeJ. C. Williamson.1 Corinthians 2:2
Paul's ResolveJ. Summerfield, A.M.1 Corinthians 2:2
Paul's ThemeJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:2
Preaching ChristD. Scott, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:2
Preaching Christ and Him CrucifiedH. W. Beecher.1 Corinthians 2:2
Preaching Christ and Him CrucifiedA. D. Davidson.1 Corinthians 2:2
St. Paul's DeterminationH. Melvill, B.D.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Apostle's ThemeAlexander Maclaren1 Corinthians 2:2
The Centre of the GospelA. Saphir, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Christian Ministry. Maurice.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Demonstration of the SpiritBp. Stillingfleet.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Determination of PaulW. Owen.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Determination of PaulJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Great Subject of Evangelical PreachingJ. Sherman.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Great ThemeD. Fraser 1 Corinthians 2:2
The Knowledge of Christ CrucifiedBp. Hacket.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Knowledge of Christ CrucifiedJ. J. S. Bird, B.A.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Knowledge of Jesus Christ the Best KnowledgeG. Whitfield, M. A.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Man of One SubjectC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Preaching of Christ CrucifiedW. R. Taylor, A. M.1 Corinthians 2:2
The Right Subject in Preaching1 Corinthians 2:2
The Subject of the Pauline MinistryR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 2:2
A Faithful Picture of a True Gospel PreacherD. Thomas, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Brilliant, But not Saving, SermonsC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Conditions of Successful PreachingJ. Lyth.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Faith, not Intellect1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Gospel PreachingC. Hodge.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
How St. Paul Preached the GospelC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Paul a Model PreacherJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Paul the Model PreacherH. Bremner 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Pauline PreachingE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Preaching -- Fruit and FlowersC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Rhetorical PreachingJ. Halsey.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
The Christian PreacherJ. Lyth, D. D.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
The Divine Testimony, and the Apostle's Responsibility InThe Study1 Corinthians 2:1-5
The Messenger Like the MessagePrincipal Edwards.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
The Right Kind of Preaching1 Corinthians 2:1-5
The Spirit of Successful Preaching1 Corinthians 2:1-5
The Spirit or Tone in Which St. Paul PreachedF. W. Robertson, M. A.1 Corinthians 2:1-5
What is personal is here, as throughout these Epistles to the Corinthians, remarkably combined with what is doctrinal. These are the utterances of a noble minded and tender hearted man, writing to fellow men in whom he takes the deepest personal interest. Hence he writes of himself, and he writes of his correspondents; and to his mind both have the highest interest through their common relation to the Word of life. These Epistles are a window into the heart of the writer, and they are a mirror of the thoughts and conduct of the readers. How naturally, when thinking of present successes and discouragements, Paul reverts in memory to his first visit to Corinth! He has the comfort of a good conscience as he calls to mind the purpose and the method of that ministry. Human philosophy and eloquence may have been wanting; but he rejoices to remember that from his lips the Corinthians had received the testimony of God and the doctrine of Christ crucified.

I. THE ONE GREAT THEME OF THE APOSTOLIC AND OF ALL CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.

1. A Divine Person is exhibited. Christian preaching sets forth, not rabbinical learning, not Hellenic wisdom, not a code of morals, not a system of doctrine, not a ritual of ceremony, but a Person, even Jesus Christ.

2. An historical fact is related, even the crucifixion of him who is proclaimed. Everything relating to Christ's ministry was worthy of remembrance, of repetition, of meditation; but one aspect of that ministry was regarded, and still is regarded, as of supreme interest - the Cross, as preceded by the Incarnation, and as followed by the Resurrection. In his earliest Epistle Paul had written, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross;" in one of his latest he taught that the incarnate Redeemer became obedient unto "the death of the cross."

3. Religious teaching of highest moment was based upon this fact regarding this Person. Thus sin was condemned, redemption was secured, a new motive to holiness was provided; for the cross of Christ was the power of God and the wisdom of God.

II. REASONS FOR EXCLUSIVE DEVOTION IN THE MINISTRY OF RELIGION TO THIS ONE GREAT THEME.

1. A personal and experimental reason on the part of the preacher. Paul had a personal experience of the excellence and power of the doctrine of the cross. The knowledge which he prized he communicated, the blessings he had received and enjoyed he could offer to others. So must it be with every true preacher.

2. A more general reason - the adaptation of the gospel to the wants of all mankind. For Christ crucified is

(1) the highest revelation of the Divine attributes of righteousness and mercy;

(2) the most convincing testimony and condemnation of the world's sinfulness and guilt;

(3) the Divine provision for the pardon of the transgressors; and

(4) the most effectual motive to Christian obedience and service. The same doctrine is also

(5) the mighty bond of Christian societies; and therefore

(6) the one hope of the regeneration of humanity.

APPLICATION.

1. Here is a model and an inspiration for those who teach and preach Jesus Christ.

2. Here is a representation of the one only hope of sinful men; what they may seek in vain elsewhere they will find here reconciliation with God, and the power of a new and endless life. - T.







I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
I. PAUL'S THEME.

1. Christ.

2. Him crucified.

II. HIS DETERMINATION.

1. To know nothing else.

2. Spite of ridicule and reproach.

III. HIS MOTIVE. This was —

1. His duty.

2. His delight.

3. His glory.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Paul was emphatically a man of one idea. He went forth not to baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17); not to preach self (2 Corinthians 4:5); not to teach philosophy (1 Corinthians 1:23); not to practise tricks of rhetoric (1 Corinthians 2:4); but everywhere in synagogues, market-places, judgment halls, prison, crowded cities, his one theme was "Christ and Him crucified." In the synagogues at Antioch and Thessalonica, what does he preach? — Acts 13:38; Acts 17:3. On Mars Hill, what? — Acts 17:31. Before Felix and Agrippa, what? Acts 24:25; Acts 26:23. In the prison at Rome, what? — Acts 28:31. And now in writing to the Corinthian Church, what? Why does Paul give such prominence to this theme? Because —

I. IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THEME. Philosophy would have reached only the cultured. A plea for the oppressed would have reached only the patriotic, but the Cross commands universal attention, for it touches a universal want. It means —

1. Remission of sins. Sin is the source of all ills. Christ is "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world."

2. An immortality of glory.

II. IT IS THE GRANDEST THEME.

1. Grand is the starry world above, but grander is the Cross.

2. It gives grandeur to the life. If it be grand to die for one's country, grander is it to die for the salvation of men. If it be grand to minister to a mind diseased, grander is it to minister to a soul diseased. The Cross made Paul's life grand, and Luther's, Whitfield's, and Wesley's.

III. OF THE CENTRAL POSITION OF THE THEME IN THE GOSPEL.

(J. C. Williamson.)

I. THE DETERMINATION OF THE APOSTLE.

1. "Jesus" signifies a Saviour. The kind errand upon which He comes is included in this name — to save from the guilt of sin, by imputing the merit of His sacrifice, and from the dominion of sin, by imparting His Spirit.

2. Christ signifies the Anointed One (Psalm 45:7). As kings and priests and prophets were anointed, so He was especially anointed of God as the King, the Priest, and the Prophet of His Church.

3. A special emphasis must be laid upon the words, Him crucified. "Jesus Christ" they, know in heaven; "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified," sinners are to be acquainted with upon the earth.

4. Paul determines to "know" this. To know sometimes meant —(1) Respect and love. "I beseech you to know them which labour among you in the Lord.(2) To make it known to others. And this the apostle did.(3) The word here signifies especially that he so resolved to preach among them "Christ crucified," as if he knew nothing so much as — nothing in comparison with — "Christ, and Him crucified." And read his sermons and epistles, and see how he carried out this blessed determination.

II. SOME REASONS FOR THIS DETERMINATION.

1. It was a subject which God approved. He calls it "the testimony of God," because to His crucified Son God has given wonderful testimony in the Scriptures.

2. It was the subject calculated to convert sinners. And why? Because the Spirit, as the glorifier of Christ, will not apply any other subject but this.

3. It was fitted to comfort the sorrowful. We have in it everything adequate to our present and eternal necessities.

4. It was adapted to promote holiness. If I wish you to manifest His obedience in all your conduct, how is it to be obtained? "The love of Christ constraineth us." If I want to press upon your attention holy love to Christ, it proceeds from the same source. If I want to excite you to holy liberality, where can I point you but here? "Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor," &c.

5. It agrees with the theme of heaven.

(J. Sherman.)

Paul was a very determined man, and whatever he undertook he carried out with all his heart. "This one thing I do" was always his motto. He had once been a great opposer of Christ; it was not therefore to be wondered at that he should now bring all his faculties to bear upon the preaching of Christ crucified.

I. WHAT WAS THIS SUBJECT TO WHICH PAUL DETERMINED TO SHUT HIMSELF UP while preaching to the Church at Corinth?

1. He first preached —(1) His great Master's person — Jesus Christ.

(a)He held Him up as a real man, no phantom, but one who was crucified, &c.

(b)He had no hesitation about His Godhead. He preached Jesus as the wisdom and power of God.(2) His work, especially His death. "Horrible!" said the Jew; "Folly!" said the Greek. But Paul did not, therefore, put these things into the background and begin with the life of Christ and the excellency of His example, and thus tempt them onward to His divinity and atonement.

2. Very impolitic this must have seemed.(1) Wise men would have remarked upon the hopefulness of the Israelites, if handled with discretion, and their advice would have been, "We do not say, renounce your sentiments, Paul, but disguise them for a little while." The apostle yielded to no such policy, he would not win either Jew or Gentile by keeping back the truth, for he knew that such converts are worthless.(2) Another would say, "But if you do this you will arouse opposition. Do not provoke the contempt of all thinking men. Argue with them, and show them that you too are a philosopher. Be all things to all men. By these means you will make many friends, and by degrees bring them to accept the gospel." But the apostle puts down his foot with, "I have determined."

3. He resolved that his subject should so engross attention that he would not even speak it with excellency of speech or man's wisdom. He would hide the Cross neither with flowers of rhetoric nor with clouds of philosophy. Some preach Christ as the painter who, in depicting a sea fight, showed nothing but smoke.

II. ALTHOUGH PAUL THUS CONCENTRATED HIS ENERGIES UPON ONE POINT, IT WAS QUITE SUFFICIENT FOR HIS PURPOSE. If the apostle had aimed at pleasing an intelligent audience, or had designed to set himself up as a profound teacher, he would naturally have looked out for something a little more new and dazzling. A select Church of culture would have assured him that such preaching would only attract the servants and the old women; but Paul would not have been disconcerted by such observations, for he loved the souls of the poorest and feeblest: and, besides, he knew that what had exercised power over his own educated mind was likely to have power over other intelligent people.

1. Paul desired to arouse sinners to a sense of sin, and what has ever accomplished this so perfectly as the doctrine that sin was laid upon Christ and caused His death?

2. But he wanted also to awaken the hope that forgiveness might be given consistently with justice. Need a sinner ever doubt when he has once seen Jesus crucified?

3. He longed to lead men to actual faith in Christ. Now, faith cometh by hearing, bus the hearing must be upon the subject concerning which the faith is to deal.

4. He wanted men to forsake their sins, and what should lead them to hate evil so much as seeing the sufferings of Jesus on account of it?

5. He longed to train up a Church of consecrated men, zealous for good works; and what more is necessary to promote sanctification than Christ, who hath redeemed us and so made us for ever His servants? I say that Paul had in Christ crucified a subject equal to his object; a subject that would meet the case of every man; a subject for to-day, to-morrow, and for ever.

III. THE APOSTLE'S CONFINING HIMSELF TO THIS SUBJECT COULD NOT POSSIBLY DO HARM. A man of one thought only is generally described as riding a hobby: well this was Paul's hobby, but it was a sort of hobby which a man may ride without any injury to himself or his neighbour.

1. But Christ crucified is the only subject of which this can be said.(1) A class of ministers preach doctrine only, the effect of which is generally to breed narrowness, exclusiveness, and bigotry.(2) Others preach experience only.(a) Some of them take the lower scale of experience, and say that nobody can be a child of God except he groans daily, being burdened. This teaching brings up a race of men who show their humility by sitting in judgment upon all who cannot groan as deeply as themselves.(b) Another class preach experience always upon the high key. For them there are no nights; they sing through perpetual summer days. They have conquered sin, and they have ignored themselves. So they say, or we might have fancied that they had a very vivid idea of themselves and their attainments. Certainly their conventions and preachings largely consist of very wonderful declarations of their own admirable condition.(3) Another class preach the precepts and little else, and the teaching becomes very legal; and after a while the true gospel which has the power to make us keep the precept gets flung into the background, and the precept is not kept after all. Do, do, do, generally ends in nothing being done.(4) Others make the second advent the end-all and be-all of their ministry, and in many cases sheer fanaticism has been the result.

2. But keeping to this doctrine cannot do hurt, because —(1) It contains all that is vital within itself. Within its limit, you have all the essentials for this life and for the life to come; you have the root out of which may grow branch, flower, and fruit of holy thought, word, and deed. This is a subject which does not arouse one part of the man and send the other part to sleep; it does not kindle his imagination and leave his judgment uninstructed, nor feed his intellect and starve his heart. As in milk there are all the ingredients necessary for sustaining life, so in Christ crucified there is everything that is wanted to nurture the soul.(2) It will never produce animosities, as those nice points do which some are so fond of dealing with. "I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Christ," comes from not keeping to Jesus crucified; but was there ever yet a sect created by the preaching of Christ crucified?

IV. BECAUSE OF ALL THIS WE SHOULD ALL OF US MAKE THIS THE MAIN SUBJECT OF OUR THOUGHTS, PREACHING, AND EFFORTS.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Nothing but Christ —

1. Could satisfy the preacher.

2. Save the hearer.

3. Please God.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Paul had been trained up in all the learning that was common among the Jews, and it would seem from some casual expressions in his writings, in much also that was common among the Greeks; he might, therefore, have taken his hearers upon their own favourite grounds; he might have treated them in a way suited to the prevailing taste, he might have touched lightly upon those parts of the Christian system against which their prejudices were most powerfully directed, and thus have escaped not only the contempt of his auditors, but secured their admiration.

I. This determination was plainly founded on a deep and heartfelt conviction that CHRIST JESUS, IN THAT WHICH HE HAS DONE AND SUFFERED, IS THE ONLY GROUND OF THE SINNER'S HOPE. The apostle knew that, though the case of the sinner was dreadful, it was not hopeless, and bearing in mind that the eternal safety of the soul is a matter compared with which everything else must Sink into insignificance, we cannot understand how he could form any other resolution than that which he here expresses, when he says, "I determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."

II. But the apostle's determination to know nothing but Christ, and Him crucified, rested not merely on the fact that, by the atoning death of Christ, it was rendered possible for God to extend His pardoning mercy to rebellious man, but upon the other fact, that BY THE SAME MEANS, THE SINNER IS RENDERED A FIT SUBJECT FOR PARDON, AND ENDOWED WITH CAPACITY FOR ENJOYING THE BLESSINGS WHICH PARDON SUPPOSES IMPARTED. Man is not only guilty, but polluted; he is not only subjected to the wrath of God, here and hereafter, because he has broken His law and incurred its penalty, but he is excluded from His fellowship here, and from the enjoyment of Him hereafter, because, by the depravity of his tastes, his feelings, his desires, his affections, he is incapable of holding that fellowship, and enjoying that felicity. It is the tendency of the preaching of Christ crucified to remedy this evil, to reduce the rebellious sinner to throw aside the weapons of his rebellion, to enkindle within his bosom the flame of love, and to adorn his soul with all the virtues which adorn the Saviour, and to change him into the same image from glory to glory. And in illustration of this tendency of the preaching of Christ crucified to produce these effects, we remark, that the strongest possible assurance is thereby afforded to men of God's willingness to be reconciled to them. Nothing surely can tend more to dispel the fears and strengthen the confidence of his creatures, to soften their hearts, and to win them over to His service, than the view in which the gospel represents God as willing to be reconciled; as not only willing, but earnest that such a reconciliation should be effected, as even sending His Son to suffer and die, that this end might be effected, and delegating men as heralds to offer terms to the guiltiest and most unworthy. But, again, by the preaching of Christ crucified, there is such a demonstration of love afforded, as tends most directly to ensure a return of the same affection. Do we think of a departed parent's tenderness, her days of toil and nights of watching, that she might bring us (under the blessing of God), through the weakness and dangers of infancy, without wishing her alive, that we might afford her, during her declining years, a practical proof of our gratitude? Can the helpless orphan think of the beneficence of the philanthropist, whose hand has rescued him from want and ignominy and death, and raised him to affluence, without bedewing his grave as he stoops over it with the tears of sensibility and tender recollection? Can we think of the love of God, not only in saving us, but in giving up His Son to the death for us all, in order to save not His friends but His enemies, without having our hearts warmed with a kindred love, and constrained by an irresistible influence, to live no longer to ourselves, but to Him who hath died for us and risen again? And does not the contemplation of the character of Christ, as exhibited in His life of suffering and death and agony, tend to beget in us a conformity to His image? You behold the Son of God leaving a palace, and becoming the tenant of a prison; and who can indulge in pride that contemplates such an overpowering exhibition of humility? You behold the Lord of all worlds wandering to and fro upon this earth without a house to afford Him shelter, yet not repining; and who, having food and raiment, should not therewith be content? You behold Him rejected by the nation He was sent to save, yet lamenting its infatuation, and weeping in the foresight of its doom; and who would not pity the miserable man who does not forgive the injurious? You see the crucified Jesus laid in the grave; and who would not repose in the bed He has hallowed? You see Him rising in glory; and who would not exult in the hope of immortality? Had Christ not been crucified, this Spirit had never been sent to earth, to move, to arrange the disordered elements of our moral nature, to convert the desert into the fruitful field, and the bleak and barren wilderness into the paradise of God. What, then, we ask, should the apostle have determined to know, in comparison with the great subject upon which he dwelt? What is more suited to the hungry than bread — what more consonant to the state of the weary traveller than rest — what more cheering to the guilty than pardon; and what could the apostle, in his regard to the honour of his Master, and to the interests of his fellows of the city of Corinth, guilty and polluted sinners, preach more adapted to their situation, than that Jesus, by whose blood they might be forgiven, by whose Cross and Spirit they might be sanctified, and thus be prepared, both by title and qualification of nature, for a place in that heavenly family, in reference to which they were now foreigners and strangers.

(J. Clason.)

I. WHAT IT IS TO MAKE KNOWN JESUS CHRIST. By separating the idea of Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ crucified, the apostle means by the first to specify the person of Christ. To make known the person of Christ is to proclaim Him —

1. The incarnate God. Such he declares Him to be in many passages, "Who, being in the form of God," &c. "He is God over all, blessed for ever." He is the true God and eternal life."

2. The great Prophet of man. As such He was spoken of by the prophets (Isaiah 61:1). Hence they, by predicting His advent, applied to Him the epithet, the Messiah, or the Anointed.

3. Jesus Christ the example. "Leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps." Men are prone to imitation, it is one of the principles that come earliest into action, by it the child acquires the art of speech. Of this great principle Jesus Christ availed Himself in effecting His benevolent purposes on the moral condition of men; He commanded them to be perfect, as their Father in heaven is perfect; and, lest their hearts sink within them, and they should turn away from the effort in despair, He hath Himself obeyed His own commandments. In the example He has set they may confide: it is perfect in the embodying and personifying His law.

II. WHAT IT IS TO MAKE KNOWN JESUS CHRIST CRUCIFIED.

1. For pardon — "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in His blood."

2. Christ crucified for purification — for if He died a propitiation for men, to save them from their sins, His work must be either complete or completely ineffectual: ineffectual it would be to save them from the punishment of sin if they were still left under its ruling power. By that death Christ having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, sheds Him abroad on the hearts of His people, destroying the tyranny of passion, weakening the power of habit, correcting the taste, implanting new principles, regenerating the affections.

3. Christ crucified for protection — for the protection of those whom He died to save (Philippians 2:8-10; Ephesians 1:22.) He is the ruler of providence, and subordinates all its events to promote the object for which He was crucified, even the salvation of men. They are exposed to danger from temptation, the sin that remains within them would precipitate them into guilt, His grace restrains; the world would seduce, He discloses the vanity of its fascinations; in the hour of death, when trial assails every weakness of humanity, He illumines and supports.

4. For resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4, 12, 13).

5. For eternal glory — this is the consummation of it (John 17:24). Of His glory, "it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive"; but elsewhere it is said, that His followers shall be like Him, and that as they have borne the image of the earthly, so also shall they bear the image of the heavenly, and that image shall never be defaced.

III. WHAT IS THE IMPORT OF THE PHRASE NOT TO MAKE KNOWN ANYTHING"?

1. Anything at variance with, or opposed to, these doctrines. These doctrines were novel; novelty of opinion implies opinions previously existing, which are for the most part not only distinct, but opposite; for truth is one, and opinions .respecting it are either consistent with it or are inconsistent. Novelty of opinion, therefore, implies opposition. The opposition in the present ease was extensive; the doctrines of Christianity contrasted themselves with every department, throughout the whole sphere of religious thinking, at Corinth. The sufficiency of reason to instruct and to .regulate was tacitly assumed by them; of the necessity of Divine instruction they had no general idea. Naturally allied to this was the sufficiency of human merit to command acceptance. The moral character of their gods was so low that few men, however bad, could despair of reconciling themselves to one or other deity: the thief, the murderer, the adulterer, could all find examples of their own vice in the superior beings they feared. A degradation of the standard of virtue necessarily followed, accompanied with callousness of moral disapprobation. Even in those religious rights where human inability appeared more unambiguously acknowledged in the sacrifices by which they deprecated the wrath of offended Deity, it is easy to descry the spirit striving by such means to establish a claim on the Divine equity for protection and blessing, rather than the mere mercy of God. And again, allied to this, and forming but a new aspect, was the assumption of the sufficiency of human effort to originate and carry on to perfection excellences of character. I mention further their notions of the relative value of the virtues: pride was with them elevation of spirit; brute courage, designated by way of eminence, virtue; a spirit of .revenge was esteemed honour, and the constituted favourite topic of their most lauded poets. Throughout the whole sphere there was a lamentable destitution of spirituality in their modes of thinking and feeling. Now, as these were the opinions that obtained at Corinth, and as all these are directly at variance with Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, with the Christianity which the apostle had to make known, it is obvious that in the text he referred specifically to these opinions, and that he considered them as what was not to be made known by one to whom was committed the ministration of the gospel; and condemning them thus specifically, he condemned them by their principles, and so he condemned all the consequences of such principles whenever they should in after years, under any other forms, appear.

2. Not anything exclusive of these doctrines. At first sight it appears impossible that any one, pretending to make known Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, should be able to do it in a way exclusive of the doctrines we have explained: they seem so essential to Christianity. Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, and Christianity, are convertible terms, they signify the same thing. But as what appears to man to be impossible is often possible with God, so what appears to man to be impossible is often possible with the great enemy of God and His Son: the arch enemy of the doctrines of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, has devised the means of doing what is apparently impossible: these means vary with circumstances; but one of the most common is to originate controversy respecting the minor matters of the law and the subordinate or less essential parts of religion. By giving to these a temporary and unmerited importance, the attention of those appointed to make known Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, is concentrated and engrossed, weightier matters are in proportion neglected, and the duty of promulgating Christianity is performed in a way more or less exclusive of its characteristic doctrines. S. Not anything so habitually as those doctrines. There is no virtue, no excellence, that in practice may not be carried to an extreme; and every extreme is bad. On this subject, of making known Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, men having indulged in the utmost extravagances; have, under the best and most pious feelings, conceived that in the words of the apostle they are enjoined so to make known the distinguishing doctrines of the gospel, as to exclude everything else; have tacitly denied any importance to the minor parts of the system, and have deemed the explication of them unworthy their attention. By thus failing to accommodate themselves to the demands of the system, and the mixed character of those who hear the gospel, they have given offence to the sensible, disgusted the almost Christian, and by limiting their range of topics, have introduced into their illustrations and enforcements a monotony of thinking, destructive, in no small degree, of ministerial usefulness. Such persons seem to act under the mistake that they have to make Jesus Christ known only to the unconverted.

IV. WHAT IS EXPRESSED BY THE RESOLUTION, "I determined not to know anything," &c.

1. His conviction of the truth of these doctrines.

2. His sense of their importance. "Why am I invested," he would naturally ask himself, "by the Creator, the Ruler of men, with extraordinary and supernatural power to propagate among them these tenets, unless they are of more than worldly importance to them?

3. His determination to act worthily of his convictions. How peculiar and how sublime was the attitude in which he now stood! He saw the mightiest purposes of benevolence identified with his efforts, he saw the cause of truth dependent on his success, he heard the voice of gratitude for his own preservation summoning him to the sacred enterprise.

(W. Moodie, D. D.)

"Don't you know, young man," said an aged minister, in giving advice to a younger brother, "that from every town, and every village, and every hamlet in England, there is a road to London?" "Yes," was the reply. "So," continued the venerable man, "from every text in Scripture there is a road to the metropolis of Scripture — that is, Christ. And your business, when you get a text, is to say, now what is the road to Christ, and then preach a sermon, running along the road towards the great metropolis, Christ." In considering what is implied in preaching Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, we remark —

I. That it implies THE PREACHING OF CHRIST'S DIVINITY.

II. To preach Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, implies THE PREACHING OF THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF CHRIST'S CHARACTER. "The Lord Jesus, it has been remarked, is the subject of all prophecy, the substance of all types, the end of the law, the jewel that lies in the casket of every promise, the sun in whom all the rays of heavenly truth centre, and from whom they radiate, filling the minds of all redeemed men, and of all holy angels, with their light and glory."

III. Preaching Christ implies PREACHING HIM IN ALL HIS OFFICES AS PROPHET, PRIEST AND KING.

IV. Preaching Christ, and Him crucified, implies THE SETTING FORTH IN ALL ITS FULNESS AND FREENESS CHRIST'S ATONING SACRIFICE, and commending Him and it for the acceptance of all hearers, Now, whilst the substitutionary work of Christ must ever be the theme of true gospel preaching, preachers should be careful to be fervent in spirit whilst commending Christ and His salvation to men. No doubt God may bless clear anal cold preaching. For illustration, when Dr. Kane was in the Arctic regions he cut a piece of ice clear as crystal, in the form of a convex lens, held it up to the sun's rays, and to the surprise of the natives set in a blaze some dry wood which had been gathered. So an unconverted preacher may be the medium by which the truth may be brought to other hearts and kindle them with the holy flame of Divine love. Still, that is not usual, and it is well it is not. True preaching should be earnest; and, indeed, all the most eminent soul-winners may be said to have had their hearts in their mouths, so fervent were they in spirit. Thus, Richard Sheridan used to say, "I often go to hear Rowland Hill because his ideas come red-hot from the heart." Dr. Mason, when asked what he thought was the strong point of Dr. Chalmers, replied, "His blood-earnestness." And a Chinese convert once remarked in conversation with a missionary, "We want men with hot hearts to tell us of the love of Christ." Such is the manner in which Christ, and Him crucified, should be preached.

(D. Scott, D. D.)

And was the apostle wrong in his determination? He speaks as if the doctrine of the Cross were ample enough, comprehensive enough, for all his powers. Does this at all indicate that he was of a narrow and contracted mind, which could apply itself to only one topic, whilst a hundred others, perhaps nobler and loftier, lay beyond its grasp? Nay, not so; the tone of the apostle is not that of a man who is apologising for the limited character of his preaching, or its humiliating tendency; it is rather that of one who felt that the Corinthians had nothing to complain of, seeing that he had taught them the most precious, the most diffusive, the most ennobling of truths. Here, then, is our subject of discourse — the apostle determined to know nothing save the Cross; but the Cross is the noblest study for the intellectual man, as it is the only refuge for the immortal. How different was the plan of the apostle from that pursued by many who have undertaken the propagation of Christianity. The missionary might keep back all mention of the Cross, because fearful of exciting dislike and contempt. But, all the while, he would be withholding that which gives its majesty to the system, and striving to apologise for its noblest distinction. Now, we need hardly observe to you that, so far as Christ Jesus Himself was concerned, it is not possible to compute what may be called the humiliation or shame of the Cross. It is altogether beyond our power to form any adequate conception of the degree in which the Mediator humbled Himself when born of a woman, and taking part of flesh and blood. But when the Redeemer, though He had done no sin, consented to place Himself in the position of sinners, then was it that He marvellously and mysteriously descended. "He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross." Here it is that the word "shame" may justly be used; for in this it was that Christ Jesus became "a curse for us." We read nothing of the shame of His becoming a man, but we do read of the shame of His dying as a malefactor. And it we allow that it was a shameful thing, that it involved a humiliation which no thought can measure, with what other emotions, you may ask, but those of sorrow and self-reproach, should we contemplate the Cross? Shall we exult in the Cross? The awful transactions of which Calvary was the scene should never be contemplated by us without a deep sense of the magnitude of the guilt which required such an expiation, and great self-abhorrence at having added to the burden which weighed down the innocent sufferer. But though of all men, perhaps, St. Paul was the least likely to underrate the causes of sorrow presented by the Cross, this great apostle, in determining to know nothing but the Cross, could adopt a tone which implied that he gloried in the Cross. And why, think you, was this? Or why, if there be so much of shame about the Cross, was the apostle wise, when addressing himself to a refined people, in determining to "know nothing but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified? Indeed, there is no difficulty in finding answers to these questions; the only difficulty is in the selecting those which are the more pertinent and striking.

1. We may first observe that the great truth which the apostle had to impress on the Corinthians was that, in spite of their sinfulness and alienation, they were still beloved by the one true God. And how could he better do this than by displaying the Cross? The greater the humiliation to which the Son of God submitted, the greater was the amount of the Divine love towards man. We know not whether it be lawful to speak of the possibility of our having been saved through any other arrangement. We may not be able to prove, and perhaps it hardly becomes us to investigate, what may be called the necessity for Christ's death, so that, unless Jesus had consented to die, it would not have been in God's -power to open to us the kingdom of heaven. But we cannot be passing the bounds of legitimate supposition if we imagine for a moment that some less costly process had sufficed, and that justice had been satisfied, without exacting from our Surety penalties so tremendous as were actually paid. And is it not too evident to ask any proof, that in the very proportion in which you .diminish the sufferings of the Mediator, you diminish also the exhibition of His love, and leave it a thing to be questioned? It is, then, to "Christ Jesus, and Him crucified" that we make our appeal when we would furnish such evidence of Divine love as must overbear all unbelief. We do not rest our proof on .the fact that we have been redeemed, but on the fact that we have been redeemed ,through the bitter passion and the ignominious death of God's only and well beloved Son. It is here that the proof is absolutely irrefragable. Notwithstanding all which man hath done to provoke Divine wrath and make condemnation inevitable, he is regarded with unspeakable tenderness by the Almighty. Teach me this, and you teach me everything. And this I learn from Christ crucified. I learn it, indeed, in a measure from the sun, as he walks the firmament and warms the earth into fertility. I learn it from the moon, as she gathers the stars into her train and throws over creation her robe of soft light. But if I am taught by these, the teaching after all is but imperfect and partial. But when I behold Christ crucified, I cannot doubt the Divine love. I cannot doubt of this love, that it may justly be called inexhaustible, and that, if I will only allow myself to be its object, there is no amount of guiltiness which can exclude me from its embrace.

2. We proceed to observe that, although to the eye of sense there be nothing but shame about the Cross, yet a spiritual discernment perceives it to be hung with the very richest of trophies. It is necessarily to be admitted that, in one point of view, there was shame, degradation, ignominy, in Christ's dying on the Cross; but it is equally certain that in another there was honour, victory, triumph. There are impaled those principalities and powers, the originators and propagators of evil; there is fastened Death itself, that great tyrant and destroyer of human kind; there our sins are transfixed, having been condemned in the flesh, because borne in Christ's body on the tree. And am I, then, to be ashamed of the Cross? It is to be ashamed of the battle-field on which has been won the noblest of victories, of the engine by which has been vanquished the fiercest of enemies. It is to be ashamed of conquest, ashamed of triumph, ashamed of deliverance. And therefore was His death glorious, aye, unspeakably more glorious than life, array it how you will with circumstances of honour. This turns the crown of thorns into a diadem of splendour. This converts the sepulchre of Jesus into the avenue of immortality.

3. But we have hitherto scarcely carried our argument to the full extent of the apostle's assertion. Not only was he determined to know amongst the Corinthians "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified," but he was determined to know nothing else. And if you consider for a moment what reason we have to believe that every blessing which we enjoy may be traced to the Cross, you will readily acknowledge that St. Paul went no further than he was bound to go as a faithful messenger of Christ. I can say to the man of science, thine intellect was saved for thee by the Cross. I can say to the father of a family, the endearments of home were rescued by the cross. I can say to the admirer of nature, the glorious things in the mighty panorama retained their places through the erection of the Cross. I can say to the ruler of an empire, the subordination of different classes, the working of society, the energies of government, are all owing to the Cross. And when the mind passes to the consideration of spiritual benefits, where can you find one not connected with "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified? But we have yet another remark to offer. St. Paul must have desired to teach that doctrine which was best adapted to the bringing the Corinthians to "live soberly, righteously, and godly in the world." If, therefore, he confined himself to any one doctrine, we may be sure that he considered it the most likely to be influential on the practice, on the turning sinners from the error of their ways, and making them obedient to God's law. And what doctrine is this if not that of "Jesus Christ, and Him crucified?

(H. Melvill, B.D.)

I. I AM TO EXPLAIN WHAT IS MEANT BY "NOT KNOWING ANYTHING, SAVE JESUS CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED." By Jesus Christ we are to understand the eternal Son of God. By this word "know," we are not to understand a bare historical knowledge. It implies an experimental knowledge of His crucifixion so as to feel the power of it.

II. I pass on to GIVE SOME REASONS WHY EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD, WITH THE APOSTLE, DETERMINE "NOT TO KNOW ANYTHING SAVE JESUS CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED."

1. Without this our persons will not be accepted in the sight of God. Some may please themselves in knowing the world, others boast themselves in the knowledge of a multitude of languages. The meanest Christian, if he know but this, though he know nothing else, will be accepted; so the greatest master in Israel, the most letter-learned teacher, without this, will be rejected.

2. Without this knowledge, our performances, as well as persons, will not be acceptable in the sight of God. Two persons may go up to the temple and pray; but he only will return home justified, who, in the language of our Collects, sincerely offers up his prayers through Jesus Christ our Lord. Farther: As our devotions to God will not, so neither, without this knowledge of Jesus Christ, will our acts of charity to men be accepted by Him. As neither our acts of piety nor charity, so neither will our civil nor moral actions be acceptable to God, without this experimental knowledge of Jesus Christ. The death of Jesus Christ has turned our whole lives into one continued sacrifice.

III. EXHORT YOU TO PUT THE APOSTLE'S RESOLUTION IN PRACTICE, and beseech you, with him, to determine "not to know anything save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.(G. Whitfield, M. A.)

1. Let us be thankful to God for a crucified Redeemer. There is nothing in heaven and earth such an amazing wonder as this, nothing can vie with it for excellence.

2. Let us delight in the knowledge of Christ crucified, and be often in the thoughts and study of Him. Study Christ, not only as living, but dying.(1) This will keep up life in our repentance. We cannot look upon Christ crucified for us for our guilt, but the meditation of this must melt us into sorrow.(2) It will spirit our faith, when we shall see His blood confirming an everlasting covenant wherein God promises to be gracious.(3) This will animate us in our approaches to God. Not only a bare coming, but a boldness and confidence in coming to God was purchased by a crucified Christ (Hebrews 10:19).(4) This will be a means to further us in a progress in holiness. An affection to sin, which cost the Redeemer of the world so dear, would be inconsistent with a sound knowledge and serious study of a crucified Saviours(5) This will be the foundation of all comfort. What comfort can be wanting when we can look upon Christ crucified as our Surety, and look upon ourselves as crucified in Him; when we consider our sins as punished in Him, and ourselves accepted by virtue of His Cross.

(Bp. Hacket.)

If the wisdom of men had been to advise about the most effectual means to promote Christianity in the world, they would presently have considered what those things are which are most likely to prevail on mankind, and, according to their several inclinations, would have made choice of one or the other of them. Some would have been for the way of external greatness and power as most apt to oversway the generality of mankind. Others would have thought this an improper way of promoting religion by the power of the sword, because that is more apt to affright than convince men, and the embracing religion supposes the satisfaction of men's minds about it, and all power doth not carry demonstration along with it; therefore such would have proposed the choosing out of men of the finest parts and best accomplishments, who, dispersing themselves into several countries, should, by their eloquence and reason, prevail on the more ingenious and capable sort of men, who by degrees would draw all the rest after them. Thus the wisdom of men would have judged; but the wisdom of God made choice of ways directly contrary to these. He would not suffer His truth to be so much beholden for its reception either to the power or the wit of men.

I. WHY ST. PAUL DOTH SO UTTERLY RENOUNCE THE ENTICING WORDS OF MAN'S WISDOM? For we are not to imagine it was any natural incapacity or want of education which made him forbear them. The apostle implies an unsuitableness in these enticing ways of man's wisdom to the design of promoting the Christian religion; what that was I shall now more particularly search into.

1. As to the enticing words of persuasion.

2. As to the way and method of reasoning, or man's wisdom.

1. As to the way of eloquence then in so much vogue and esteem, called by St. Paul (ver. 1) the excellency of speech. And what harm was there in float that it could not be permitted to serve the design of the gospel? Is not the excellency of speech a gift of God as well as knowledge and memory? What are all the instructions of orators intended for but to enable men to speak clearly and fitly and with all those graces and ornaments of speech which are most apt to move and persuade the hearers? And what is there in all this disagreeable to the design of the doctrine of Christ? Are not the greatest and most weighty concernments of mankind fit to be represented in the most proper and clear expressions, and in the most moving and affectionate manner? Why, then, should St. Paul be so scrupulous about using the enticing words of man's wisdom? To clear this matter we are to consider a twofold eloquence.(1) A gaudy, sophistical eloquence is wholly renounced by him, of which the apostle seems particularly to speak, mentioning if under the name of man's wisdom, which was in mighty esteem among the Greeks, but suspected and cried down by wiser men as that which did only beguile injudicious people. And the great orator himself confesses the chief end of their popular eloquence was so to move their auditors as to make them judge rather according to passion than to reason. This being the common design of the enticing words of man's wisdom in the apostle's age, had they not the greatest reason to renounce the methods of those whose great end was to deceive their hearers by fair speeches and plausible insinuations?(2) The apostle is not to be understood as if he utterly renounced all sober and manly eloquence; for that were to renounce the best use of speech as to the convincing and persuading mankind. And what is true eloquence but speaking to the best advantage, with the most lively expressions, the most convincing arguments, and the most moving figures? What is there now in this which is disagreeable to the most Divine truths? Is it not fit they should be represented to our minds in a way most apt to affect them?

2. As to the way and method of reasoning. So some think these words are chiefly to be understood of the subtilty of disputing because the apostle brings in demonstration as a thing above it. But this again seems very hard that the use of reasoning should be excluded from the way of propagating Christian religion.But that which St. Paul rejects as to this was —

1. The way of wrangling and perpetual disputing, by the help of some terms and rules of logic, so that they stuck out at nothing, but had something to say for or against anything. No man that understands the laws of reasoning can find fault with the methodising our conception of things by bringing them under their due ranks and heads; nor with understanding the difference of causes, the truth and falsehood of propositions, and the way of discerning true and false reasonings from each other. But men were fallen into such a humour of disputing that nothing would pass for truth among them. And therefore it was not fitting for the apostles of Christ to make use of these baffled methods of reasoning to confirm the truth of what they delivered upon the credit of Divine revelation.

2. The way of mere human reasoning as it excludes Divine revelation. The apostle proves the necessity of God revealing these things by His Spirit (vers. 10-12).

II. TO INQUIRE INTO THE FORCE OF THAT DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT AND OF POWER WHICH THE APOSTLE MENTIONS AS SUFFICIENT TO SATISFY THE MINDS OF MEN WITHOUT THE ADDITIONAL HELP OF HUMAN WISDOM; wherein are two things to be spoken of.

I. What is meant by the demonstration of the Spirit and of power?

1. It must be something by way of proof of another thing, otherwise it could not bear the name of demonstration. If the apostle's words were understood of the conviction of men's consciences by the power of preaching, his argument could reach no farther than to those who were actually convinced, but others might say, We feel nothing of this powerful demonstration upon us. Since, therefore, St. Paul speaks for the conviction of others, and of such a ground whereon their faith was to stand (ver. 5), it is most reasonable to understand these words of some external evidence which they gave of the truth of what they delivered.

2. That evidence is described by a double character — it was of a Spiritual nature and very powerful. And such a demonstration was then seen among them in the miraculous gifts and works of the Holy Ghost.

3. Why this was not as liable to suspicion as the way of eloquence and logic, since those had been only corrupted and abused by men, but the power of miracles had been pretended to by evil spirits.Why, then, did God reject the most reasonable ways of dealing with men in the way of eloquence and demonstration, which were more natural and accommodate to the capacities and education of the most ingenious minds, and make choice of a way which the world had been so much abused in by the imposture of evil spirits?

1. Because the method God ,chose did prove it was not the invention of men, which would have been always suspected if mere human arts had been used to promote it. Whereas if the way of promoting this religion had been ordinary with the usual methods of persuasion, men would have imputed all the efficacy of it only to the wisdom of men. For God knows very well the vanity and folly of mankind, how apt they are to magnify the effects of their own wit and reason.

2. God gave sufficient evidence that these extraordinary gifts could never be the effects of any evil spirits.(1) The publicness of the trial of it, when it first fell upon them on the day of Pentecost.(2) The usefulness of this gift to the apostles, for considering the manner of their education and the extent of their commission to preach to all nations; no gift could be supposed more necessary.(3) The manner of conferring these miraculous gifts upon others show that there was somewhat in them above all the power of imagination or the effects of evil spirits.

II. The power of miracles, or of doing extraordinary things, as well as of speaking after an extraordinary manner. This seems the hardest to give an account of, why God should make choice of this way of miracles above all others to convince the world of the truth of the Christian doctrine, upon these considerations:(1) The great delusions that had been in the world so long before under the pretence of miracles.(2) The great difficulty there is in putting a difference between true and false miracles.

1. How we may know when anything doth exceed the power of mere nature as that is opposed to any spiritual beings; for some have looked on all things of this kind as impostures of men.

2. We must therefore inquire further, whether such things be the effects of magic or Divine power.For which end these two things are considerable.

1. That Christ and His apostles did declare the greatest enmity to all evil spirits, professing in their design to destroy the devil's kingdom and power in the world.

2. The devil was not wanting in fit instruments and means to support his kingdom; and God was pleased, in His infinite wisdom, to permit him to show his skill and power, by which means there was a more eminent and conspicuous trial on which side the greatest strength did lie. Thus the matter is brought to a plain contest of two opposite powers, which is greater than the other, and which shows itself to be the Divine power.To which purpose we may consider these two things. That the pretended miracles of the opposers of Christianity did differ from the miracles wrought by the apostles in several weighty circumstances.

1. In the design and tendency of them. Most of the wonderful things whereof the enemies of Christianity did boast were wrought either —

(1)To raise astonishment and admiration in the beholders.

(2)To gratify the curiosity of mankind.

(3)To encourage idolatry.

(4)To take men off from the necessity of a holy life.

2. In the variety, openness, usefulness, and frequency of them. The greatest magical powers were limited and confined; and the spirits which ruled in the children of disobedience were sensible of their own chains. I shall only add one circumstance more, wherein the miracles wrought to confirm the Christian religion exceed all others, and that is —

3. In the satisfaction they have given to the most inquisitive part of mankind, i.e., either to convince them of the truth of the doctrine confirmed by them, or, at least, to bring them to this acknowledgement that, if the matters of fact were true, they are a sufficient proof of a Divine power.

(Bp. Stillingfleet.)

I. ITS IMPORT.

1. What are we to understand by "Christ, and Him crucified"? This theme is distinguished by —(1) Great simplicity. Other teachers engaged the mind with speculations on subjects of various degrees of interest, but this teacher had for his theme a Person and a fact. Leaving the philosophers to their "wisdom" he held up a Man, and that Man hanging on a Cross. Other instructors spoke with great respect of eminent men, whose opinions they were anxious to advance; but it was never known before that a person and his sufferings were to be the foundation and the superstructure of every discourse.(2) Vast comprehensiveness. It was not Paul's practice to indulge in an endless repetition of the name of Christ, or in a mere detail of His history, but to exhibit His life and death as the basis of a grand system of truth. He "preached Christ, and Him crucified," as the brightest and best revelation of the Divine character, and the grand announcement of mercy to man. In His incarnation and death we see the Divine love, for "God so loved the world," &c.; the Divine wisdom, for "Christ is the wisdom of God"; the Divine power, "for the gospel is the power of God unto salvation"; the Divine justice, for the Saviour lived and suffered that the righteousness of God might be revealed; the Divine truth, for Christ came to "confirm the promises made of God unto the fathers."

2. In what sense we are to understand the apostle's determination. He determined —(1) To exclude every subject that would deprive the gospel of its power. The gospel is a sharp, two-edged sword, but if we lower its ethereal temper by forging it anew on our own anvil, it will wound no conscience and slay no sin. It is a fire able to melt the hardest heart, but if we damp its flame by earthly additions, the heart of stone defies its power. It is the sincere milk of the Word; but the admixture of human fancies and dogmas will destroy its power to sustain. It is a mirror, in which the sinner is to see the correct reflection of his own image; but beclouded by the mists of error, the natural man cannot be expected to behold his face in this glass. And therefore would we humbly cherish the apostle's holy jealousy for the unadulterated gospel, and "know nothing but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.(2) To exclude everything that might tend to deprive the gospel of its glory. His anxiety on this subject is clearly expressed in vers. 1, 4, 5. He knew the effects assigned by the Greeks to human wisdom, the power ascribed to persuasive words, and how ready they would be, supposing great moral changes to follow, to give to his reasoning and eloquence the glory of bringing those changes about, and therefore was he most careful to prevent this evil.

II. ITS REASONS.

1. His anxiety to be found faithful. A sacred trust had been reposed in him. How, then, could he most effectually shield himself from the woe threatened against unfaithfulness, and give up his account with joy and not with grief? It was simply by having his mind so engrossed with the grand theme of the gospel as to shut out every other.

2. His desire to promote the highest interests of man. He was eminently a philanthropist, and it is easy to see how such a true lover of mankind would seize with avidity this remedy for universal suffering, and be ready to employ the rent means for "promoting the greatest good of the greatest number." In the great announcements of mercy connected with "Christ, and Him crucified," he had the panacea for the spiritual woes under which men were suffering.

3. His grand aim to give the greatest glory to God. When the Redeemer was within a few days of His crucifixion He said in His prayer, "Father, save Me," &c. (John 12:27, 28). From this prayer, and its supernatural answer, we learn, first, that the prevailing desire of every holy mind is the glory of God; and, secondly, that that glory was displayed in the death of Christ and its great results. The prayer of Christ is that of every child of God, "Father, glorify Thy name." It was so in a remarkable degree in Paul. And it was by the faithful exhibition of "Christ, and Him crucified," that he could most effectually secure the high end. he had thus constantly in view. All the Divine perfections are displayed in the sacrifice of Christ. And the effects of this great theme on the minds that receive it are of such a nature as to bring the highest honour to the Divine name. The case of the apostle is a striking illustration. When he became a preacher of the faith he had once attempted to destroy, men "glorified God in him." The character of the Divine artist could be seen in the work of His hands. What power, in turning the stubborn will, and causing it to move in the true way! What love, in receiving into the Divine friendship a bitter enemy! What wisdom, which when it was revealed caused the disciple of Gamaliel to count all his learned notions as dross, for the excellent knowledge to which it was now supplanted! And all who believe the gospel, become in like manner the living epistles of God, known and read by all men, and furnishing to the whole intelligent universe the best and the brightest displays of the character of God.

(W. Owen.)

Let us —

I. EXPLAIN IT. He determined —

1. To preach Christ crucified, as the ground of hope, and the motive to obedience.

2. To exclude everything else.

II. VINDICATE IT. This was —

(1)All he was commissioned to preach.

(2)All it was necessary to preach.

(3)Everything else but weakens the efficacy of the truth.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

I. THE APOSTLE PREACHED CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED.

1. Preaching Christ means making known the truth respecting Him, i.e., the great facts concerning His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection; the ends for which He did and suffered all this, and the benefits procured by it.

2. Preaching Christ and Him crucified is stating the fact of His ignominious death, and making known all the blessings connected with it.

II. HE PREACHED NOTHING BUT CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED, i.e. —

1. He made Christ known on every occasion on which he addressed them.

2. He rejected from his preaching whatever was not intimately connected with this all-important theme.

3. He made known no doctrine, precept, promise, but in connection with Christ and Him crucified.

III. HE DETERMINED TO PREACH NOTHING ELSE. It was not a hasty resolution, but his deliberate settled purpose. Let us consider what were the reasons which induced him, and which should induce every minister of Christ to adopt the same determination.

1. He saw the glory and excellency of this subject. Others might consider it foolishness, but the light of its glory had shone into his mind. When a man has his mind taken up with a subject in which he is delighted, he is quite out of his element if you lead him from it, and whatever subject he is engaged upon he will make it turn on his favourite theme.

2. The suitableness of this subject to answer the great ends of the Christian ministry. It is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Paul knew that this was the only doctrine which could reach the hardened heart, bring peace to the conscience, inspire a hope of pardon, make men love God, and cultivate all the beauties of holiness.

3. His Lord's command. The question with him was, not what message will be agreeable, but what have I been commanded to deliver. He was commanded to preach the gospel, therefore necessity was laid upon him, and the Saviour has made the discharge of this duty a test of love to Him. Lovest thou Me? Feed My sheep.

(W. R. Taylor, A. M.)

I. THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE. Those who believe in the atonement interpret it as a sacrifice for sin, and consider faith in it necessary to salvation. Others understand it as a bare fact, or as martyrdom for truth. The apostle, however, gives his own explanation (1 Corinthians 1:23, 24).

II. THE PROPOSITION THAT THIS IS THE ONLY DOCTRINE WHICH IS SAVING!

1. What is our condition?(1) We are corrupted!(2) Guilty — actually criminal, and this is the cause of eternal death.

2. This very condition it is which adapts the gospel to us. Try every other doctrine and see if it will do.(1) True, it reveals the glory of God, but what avails all our knowledge of God if no sacrifice? The gospel discovers His goodness in glowing characters, but while this rises on the scene it is shaded by His justice.(2) But you say, the gospel is a beautiful moral law for our guide. True; but what comfort is this to guilty man? Take the statute-book to the victim condemned to die; expatiate on the law he has violated; alas! he wants pardon, not law.

3. You say, there is the example of Jesus. Granted. We cannot study it too much; yet example is only law in action, and the former answer applies to it; if the law is unwelcome, so is its exhibition. And what is the fact? See the Jews. Was it not the excellence of the example which made them hate it?

4. You say, there are many promises in the gospel without that of Christ, or salvation by Christ. True; but hope cannot rest on them. The promise of a common providence, food, raiment, &c., is made; but we are guilty — and what are these if hell is to be our portion? And again, the promises are all to His people.

5. There is nothing, then, in the gospel on which to rest but the sacrificial death of Christ. Here, "what the law could not do," &c.Application:

1. The Cross is of no use to us if we do not confess our corruptions, inability, and danger.

2. We see the certainty of pardon — all is hope in the gospel, and all certainty too. Say not that you are unworthy — all your unworthiness is assumed in the gospel — it justifies in the character of ungodly.

3. We see what is meant by living a life of faith in the Son of God, all flows from Him, all your petitions are presented by Him, the blood of Christ and faith in that blood are all that stand between you and God.

4. Pray that a ministry may ever be among you to preserve this doctrine.

(J. Summerfield, A.M.)

I. THE KNOWLEDGE HERE MENTIONED.

1. Its subject.(1) Christ's person. Jesus points out divinity: the signification being Jehovah, the Saviour. It was given Him in fulfilment of the prophecy which declared that He should be called Immanuel, or God with us.(2) His offices. Christ or Messiah means "anointed," as were prophets, priests, and kings — all types of Christ.(a) He is the prophet of His Church (Deuteronomy 18:18, 19). He reveals to us the will of God, and accompanies it with the illuminating influences of the Spirit.(b) He is High Priest who, having offered sacrifice for sin, arose to make intercession.(c) He is King; He restrains, and finally destroys His enemies; He makes His people willing in the day of His power, governs them by His holy laws, and defends them.

2. His work. "Him crucified." The atonement thus made is explicitly inculcated in every part of the scriptures. In the prophets (Isaiah 53:5; Daniel 9:24, 26, &c.). By our Lord (Matthew 20:28; John 6:51); Matthew 26:28). By the apostle (Romans 5:6, 10; Colossians 1:14). It was pointed out by all the sacrifices, and in heaven the Redeemer appears as "a Lamb as it had been slain(Revelation 5:6, 9, 11, 12).

3. The kind of knowledge which we should have of this subject. There are two kinds of knowledge of Christ — speculative and practical. The former remains in the head, the latter in the heart. The former is obtained by exercise of our own faculties; the latter only by the Holy Spirit. The latter is intended in the text. This knowledge leads us to receive Jesus as our Divine Saviour; which prompts us to rely on Christ in reference to every one of His offices. Intellectual knowledge, however, is not to be neglected, because we cannot be affected by truths of which we are ignorant.

II. ITS SUPREME IMPORTANCE.

1. Absolutely it gives important benefits.(1) Acquaintance with the real character of God. The Cross of Christ impresses us with a sense of —

(a)His holiness and justice.

(b)His mercy and love.

(c)His wisdom.(2) Peace to the wounded conscience.(3) The foundation of all Christian graces, tempers, and obedience. It is the view of Him whom our sins pierced which leads us to mourn for them. It strengthens faith — "He that spared not His own Son,... shall He not freely give us all things?" It furthers progress in holiness. We abhor that sin which heaped such suffering on the Redeemer.

2. Relatively —(1) It is more useful than any other kind of knowledge. Human learning has its important use, but the interests of eternity are preferable to those of time.(2) It is more easily acquired. It is true, indeed, that where a right disposition be wanting, you shall find things hid from the wise and prudent. It is true that persevering diligence is requisite. It is true that there are depths attending this knowledge which the utmost powers of intellect cannot fathom.

(J. J. S. Bird, B.A.)

1. The great men of the world are those who discover or apply great truths to the times in which they live, in such a manner as to work effectual reformations of society. A man is great, not by the measure of his faculty, but by the results which he produces in life. Paul was, then, one of the greatest.

2. It is more than a matter of curiosity, when a man has been raised up of God to do great things, to have him give a view of his own life, its aims and methods. Paul here sounds the keynote of his life and course. You will take notice, in all the preceding chapter and in this, that it is not Christ, but Christ crucified, Christ with His Cross, that was the essential qualifying particular. Paul did not mean, then, to be a skirmisher, nor an elegant trifler. He did not propose to be a routinist, either through ceremonies or dialectics. For it was his business to work a thorough change of character in the men that came under his influence, and so to lay the foundation for the renovation of society itself. What could be greater than this work?

3. Many things were going on for the renovation, or rather the restraint, of men's passions? But it was a work imperfectly understood, and not done. Paul declared what was the power by which it might be achieved. He did not declare that he meant to exclude everything else. The declaration is only a comprehensive renunciation of secular interests and influences as working powers. When a man goes into a community to work, he instinctively says, "How shall I reach these men? What things shall I employ for their renovation?" The apostle says, "After looking over the whole field, I made up my mind not to rely on my power to discourse eloquently, nor upon my intellectual forces. This had been done by many a man with great cogency. But Paul, looking at such men as Socrates and Plato, said, "I determined that I would rely upon the presentation of God's nature and government as manifested particularly through the Christ as a sacrifice for sinners. By these I meant to get a hold upon men's conscience, affections, and life." A warrior preparing for battle walking through his magazine passes by bows and arrows, and old-fashioned armour, and says, "They were good in their time and way, but I do not intend to rely upon them." But when he comes to the best instruments of modern warfare, he says, "Here are the things that I mean to depend upon." Therefore, when the apostle said, "I determined not to know," &c., he avowed his faith that in that there is more moral power upon the heart and the conscience than in any other thing, and his determination to draw influences from that source in all his work. In view of this I remark —

I. THE PERSONAL INFLUENCE OF CHRIST UPON THE HEART IS THE FIRST REQUISITE FOR A CHRISTIAN PREACHER. We may preach much about Christ, but no man will preach Christ except so far as Christ is in him. There are many men that by natural gifts are qualified to stand pre-eminent above their fellows, who exert but little religious influence; and, on the other hand, there are many of small endowment whose life is like a rushing, mighty wind in the influence which it exerts. The presence of Christ in them is the secret of their power.

II. A MAN'S SUCCESS IN PREACHING WILL DEPEND UPON HIS POWER OF PRESENTING CHRIST. There is a great deal of useful didactic matter that every minister must give to his congregation. There is a great deal of doctrine, fact, history, and of description that belongs to the ministerial desk. The Bible is full of material for these things, and ethics should occupy an important place. But high above all these is the fountain of influence, Christ who gave Himself a ransom for sinners, and now ever lives to make intercession for them. Though one preaches every other truth, if he leaves this one out, or abbreviates it, he will come short of the essential work of the gospel. Put this in, and you have all, as it were, in brief.

III. THERE CAN BE NO SOUND AND EFFECTIVE METHOD OF PREACHING ETHICS, EVEN, WHICH DOES NOT DERIVE ITS AUTHORITY FROM THE LORD CHRIST. The motives derivable from the secular and human side of ethics are relatively feeble. Whatever method is pursued, the indispensable connection between the spiritual element and the practical development should be maintained. Morality without spirituality is a plant without root, and spirituality without morality is a root without stem and leaves. I have a right to introduce into my sermons all secular topics as far as they are connected with man's moral character and his hopes of immortality. If I discuss them in a merely secular way, I desecrate the pulpit; but if I discuss them in the spirit of Christ, and for Christ's sake, that I may draw men out of their peculiar dangers, and lead them into a course of right living, then I give dignity to the pulpit.

IV. ALL REFORMATIONS OF EVIL IN SOCIETY SHOULD SPRING FROM THIS VITAL CENTRE. It is a very dangerous thing to preach Christ so that your preaching shall not be a constant rebuke to all the evil in the community. That man who so preaches Christ, doctrinally or historically, that no one trembles, is not a faithful preacher of Christ. On the other hand, it is a dangerous thing for a man to attack evil in the spirit of only hatred. The sublime wisdom of the New Testament is this: "Overcome evil with good." Was Christ not a reformer? Did He not come to save the world? And did He not hate evil? And yet with what sweetness of love did He dwell in the midst of these things, so that the publicans and the sinners took heart, became inspired with hope, and drew near to Him. Christ reformed men by inspiring the love of goodness as well as by hatred of evil, and He drew men from their sin as well as drove them from it.

V. HENCE ALL PHILANTHROPIES ARE PARTIAL AND IMPERFECT THAT DO NOT GROW OUT OF THIS SAME ROOT. When philanthropy springs from this centre, and is inspired by this influence, it becomes, not a mere sentimentalism, but a vivid and veritable power in human society. Philanthropy without religion becomes meagre. It is the love of man uninspired by the love of God!

VI. ALL PUBLIC QUESTIONS OF JUSTICE, OF LIBERTY, OF EQUITY, OF PURITY, OF INTELLIGENCE, SHOULD BE VITALISED BY THE POWER WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS. There are other motives that may press men forward in a little way, but there is nothing that has such controlling power as the personal influence of Christ.

(H. W. Beecher.)

I. THIS IS THE GREAT DOCTRINE SUITABLE FOR MAN, VIEWED AS A BEING GUILTY IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. This state of guilt we bring into the world with us; we augment it by actual transgression, and we cannot remove it by any service or obedience of our own. In these circumstances the duty of the ambassadors of Christ is not to gain the applause of their perishing fellow-creatures, by displaying from week to week the depth of their own learning; but to offer simply this one remedy for men's guilt.

II. THIS IS THE ONLY DOCTRINE SUITABLE FOR MAN, VIEWED AS A BEING WHO HAS TO BE RAISED TO HOLINESS. Describe holiness as you will; speak of its beauty and its dignity; invest it with all the charms which fancy can devise or language utter — and to the human heart alienated from Christ, your efforts will be as unavailing as if you were to exhibit the finest combination of colours to the blind, for "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God." Or point to God, as the highest type of holiness — you only plunge the sinner into utter wretchedness. But the preaching of "Christ crucified" exhibits a new aspect of the Divine character, which he can look upon without fear; he now strives to keep God's holiness constantly before him; and his language is not "Depart from me," but "My soul thirsteth for God."

III. THIS IS THE ONLY SUBJECT SUITABLE FOR MAKING AN IMPRESSION UPON MAN IN THE WAY OF LEADING HIM TO THE DISCHARGE OF ACTIVE DUTY. The growth of holiness in the heart is indicated by the fruits of righteousness in the life. Now, when the sinner is once convinced that God loves him, and when fear, and doubt, and suspicion have thus given place to hope, and joy, and confidence — then does he begin to ask what he can do to manifest his gratitude to his merciful Redeemer.

(A. D. Davidson.)

1. The teaching of Paul is remarkable for comprehensiveness. In Romans he traverses the whole range of doctrines bearing on sin and salvation; in Ephesians, from another standpoint, he goes still further into thoughts of grace, love, glory; in Corinthians, Timothy, Titus, he discourses of human life, the world, congregational and individual difficulties; in Thessalonians, of prophecy and the future. Moreover, he impresses on all Christians to go on unto perfection, and not rest content with the elements of truth. Therefore, to "know Jesus Christ and Him crucified" is not to him the minimum, but the maximum of knowledge — the culmination of all doctrines, the starting-point of all duties.

2. Paul knew not Jesus in His earthly life; he saw Him only in His glory; yet the deepest impression left on the heart of Paul was the sweet name "Jesus"; the indelible image burnt into his soul was "Jesus Christ crucified."

3. Paul, more than any other, knew the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. His own weakness made him take hold of the inexhaustible power of God, as the crucifixion leads to resurrection-life and victory. As when he is weak then is he strong, so the Cross of Christ is the power of God.

(A. Saphir, D. D.)

I.CHRIST THE SUBJECT.

II.CHRIST THE MOTIVE — we believe, therefore speak.

III.CHRIST THE END — to Him be all the glory.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. IS A MINISTRY OF ONE TEXT ONLY. "Save Jesus Christ." As such —

1. It is most adapted to the intellectual condition of the world.

2. It is most adequate to reveal God. "In Him dwells the fulness of the God-head bodily," &c.

3. It is most complete. Christ is the Alpha and Omega of its tidings. Everything in Him and through Him.

II. AS A MINISTRY OF ONE TEXT IS A MINISTRY OF THE ONE BEST TEXT. "Save Jesus Christ and Him crucified." It is the best because —

1. Jesus is its sum and substance. "Save Jesus Christ."

2. It reveals the Saviour in the most pleasing aspects of His love. "Him crucified."

3. It brings the Saviour within the reach of all. "Among you.(W. Maurice.)

1. Paul preached to the Corinthians all that had done him any good, and all he knew that would do them good: that was, the crucified Jesus Christ.

2. At the first this seems a narrow basis on which to erect a private character and a public life. But Paul deliberately adopted it. In his case it succeeded, and he believed it must succeed in every case. To a Greek, occupied with his philosophies, to a Roman, taken up with his politics, this must have seemed absurd. Even now superficial scientists and engrossed materialists regard the whole system of Christianity as a narrow theory, standing in contrast with "the liberal arts."

3. Does the history of the mental development and practical life of Paul, or any other Christian, confirm that view? Let us remind ourselves of certain things taught by the history of mind. Men have attempted to liberalise themselves by dipping into all the arts and sciences, and have thereby become most pleasant society men, and have made some figure while they lasted. But how long did they last? Compare them with the men who have each taken some great field of intellectual labour and devoted their lives to it, and how small they seem. Compare, e.g., the Admirable Crichton with Copernicus! What has Crichton done for the world? His life perished like a splendid rainbow, while that of the one-ideaed Copernicus fell on all fields like fructifying showers. Then Paul may have been right in selecting one single topic for study and preaching. And he was; for the knowledge of "Christ crucified—

I. RAISED PAUL TO BE AT THE HEAD OF ALL THE PHILOSOPHERS. The study of Jesus led Paul — and will lead us — into the perception that the material is only an expression of the ideal, that there is a soul to the universe. It is in seeking to explain the existence of such a being as Jesus of Nazareth, and such a life as His, that we come to the underlying basis of the spiritual world. Matter could not do it at all. Now it is so that all questions of bodily and mental health and disease, of the moral forces of the universe, of the social questions of human life, of development and progress, are concerned with Jesus more than with any other one person or subject known to men. For what was all this universe of worlds and men created? "For Him," said Paul, speaking of Jesus. We have not yet found the centre of the physical universe; but we have demonstrated that there is a centre to every system, and that, there is one last, supreme, unmovable point, around which all worlds revolve. The man who shall determine that exact spot shall wear the grandest starry crown among the princes in the Court of Astronomy. But to know Christ, in all He was and did, would be to know the whole material universe. Science has no other basis so broad, philosophy has no other element so simplifying and unifying all the works of God. "The heavens declare the glory of God," but that glory "shines in the face of Jesus." For all that work which found its consummation on the Cross of Christ all the other works of God were wrought. Believing this, Paul became the philosopher who lifted a light which is now the central splendour of all human intellectual efforts and results.

II. ENLARGED PAUL INTO A BROAD, INTELLIGENT HUMANITARIAN. Recollect the age in which he lived, and the nation from whom he sprung. It was not an age of humanity; indeed our race had no right views of the value of humanity till Christ came. Now there is no view of humanity which so makes every man precious to every other man, as the doctrine that the God became flesh, and that love found its greatest expression in a sacrifice, in which every man had an interest, and which should bring good to every man. It takes in all there is of God and all there is of man. It is to the heart of man what the doctrine of universal gravitation is to his intellect. All the atoms of the whole material world rush toward one another, because they rush towards the centre. All the individual hearts of our whole humanity rush toward one another, just as all feel the attraction of the loving crucified One. Paul was lifted to his broad love for man, by refusing to know among his brethren anything except their relation to Him who had loved them and given Himself for them, the just for the unjust, to bring them to God. The more he knew of that love the more humanitarian he became, until the distinction between Jew and Gentile, &c., lost itself in the great fact that man was the object of the love of the Heavenly Father, as taught by the dying Redeemer.

III. MADE PAUL A MOST PRACTICAL BUSINESS MAN. A good practical business man is one who in the beginning sets before himself distinctly an end worth the devotion of his life; who uses the methods reasonably adapted to the gaining of that end; who pushes his work by sustained efforts to its legitimate conclusion, and who promotes the general weal in gaining his own ends. Now such a man was Paul, and he learned to become such at the Cross of Christ. Full of business, never idle, never hurried, "the care of all the Churches" on him, study and trouble and work always pressing, he succeeded in organising Christian societies whose influence will go on for ever. So those men who make a business of their religion and a religion of their business, these men, by the knowledge of the crucified Jesus, become the greatest, the best, the most practical business men. This text is as good a motto for the merchants as for the preachers.

IV. MADE PAUL A TENDER, HAPPY MAN, LOVING AND BELOVED IN HIS GENERATION. Paul does not seem to have been an amiable man naturally. But from being the hard, ambitious student of Gamaliel and instrument of the Sanhedrin, how tender he became! The Cross had softened him and his love begat love. Read the salutations in his letters. See what friends he made. Conclusion: Now, consider this case. Here was a man born in a province, taught in a sectarian school, reared under every political and ecclesiastical influence calculated to cramp and embitter him, driven from his own people at last, and killed by their conquerors after years of persecution. This man became a profound philosopher, a wide and consistent philanthropist, a man of great practical business capabilities, and a tender, noble gentleman, through Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. No other culture ever made such results. Will you now dare tell me that Christianity is not liberal, that Christians are narrow, that the religion we preach to you is in the way of human progress or individual advancement?

(C. F. Deems, D. D.)

"Preach Christ Jesus the Lord," said Bishop Reynolds two hundred years ago. "Determine to know nothing among your people but Christ crucified. Let His name and grace, His spirit and love, triumph in the midst of your sermons. Let your great end be to glorify Him in the heart, to render Him amiable and precious in the eyes of His people, to lead them to Him as a sanctuary to protect them, a propitiation to reconcile them, a treasure to enrich them, a physician to heal them, an advocate to present them and their services to God, as wisdom to counsel them, as righteousness to justify, as sanctification to renew, as redemption to save. Let Christ be the diamond to shine in the bosom of all your sermons." Those who most closely follow such advice are most likely to stay the plague of modern superstition and infidelity, as well as build up the waste places of our Church and restore the foundations of many generations.

It is said that Luther was a man of one idea, and that idea — Jesus. But it does not mean, I suppose, that he had no other ideas in his mind. This would be false to fact. It means, I conceive, that Jesus was the one idea of his mind from which all others emanated; the same as the trunk of a tree is one, but gives life and growth to scores of branches, hundreds and thousands of buds and leaves; just as great tradesman has one idea, his trade, but that divides and works out into a thousand ideas of ways and means of promoting his trade. In this sense Paul, Wesley, Howard, Whitefield, Wellington, &c., were men of one idea. He who wishes to fulfil his mission in this world must be a man of one idea.

(John Bate.)

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