The Power Of Paul’s Preaching -- By: Charles M. Horne

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 08:3 (Summer 1965)
Article: The Power Of Paul’s Preaching
Author: Charles M. Horne

The Power Of Paul’s Preaching

Charles M. Horne

Brethren, I speak to these, who like myself, have been divinely called to communicate the message of God’s Word to a lost world, albeit in various capacities. We want to do our work rightly and effectively but we cannot do it without power. I speak I am sure as unto wise men who already knew both the object and source of this strength; and yet, I believe it is wise to frequently stir up our minds by way of remembrance. In order therefore to further stimulate your reflective thought in this area I would draw your attention to the words of the apostle Paul in First Corinthians 2:1-5. The power of Paul’s preaching is seen by a careful consideration of both his message and his method.

I. The Message.

A. “The testimony of God” - verse 1.

The words “of God” (θεου) may be taken either as a subjective or objective genitive. If the former, the apostle would simply mean the testimony which goes forth from God; if the latter, the testimony which has God as its object. Gresheide maintains that the genitive of (θεου) is both subjective and objective. He states that this testimony is one which God gives and which has God as its content. “Paul holds a mandate from God and he speaks of no one else but God.”1

Textual note: In the place of “testimony” (μαρτυριον) some other ancient authorities read “mystery” (μαρτυριον).

B. “Jesus Christ and him crucified” - verse 2.

Paul deliberately determined that among the Corinthians he would only know the one great central truth of Jesus Christ. Christ is described in 1:24, 30 as the power and wisdom of God. The particular point about Christ that is singled out is the crucifixion; that is the heart of the Gospel, on that the apostle especially concentrated. Hodge writes, “It has been well remarked that Jesus Christ refers to the person of Christ, and him crucified, to his work; which constitutes the sum of the gospel.”2

In summary then, Paul’s message was the testimony from God and/or to God concerning the person and work of His Son, Jesus Christ.

II. The Method.

A. Negatively.

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