on 1-corinthians 2 :4
And my speech - Ὁ λογος μου, My doctrine; the matter of my preaching.
And my preaching - Το κηρυγμα μου, My proclamation, my manner of recommending the grand but simple truths of the Gospel.
Was not with enticing words of man's wisdom - Ενπειθοις ανθρωπινης σοφιας λογοις, With persuasive doctrines of human wisdom: in every case I left man out, that God might become the more evident. I used none of the means of which great orators avail themselves in order to become popular, and thereby to gain fame.
But in demonstration of the Spirit - Αποδειξει, In the manifestation; or, as two ancient MSS. have it, αποκαλυψει, in the revelation of the Spirit. The doctrine that he preached was revealed by the Spirit: that it was a revelation of the Spirit, the holiness, purity, and usefulness of the doctrine rendered manifest: and the overthrow of idolatry, and the conversion of souls, by the power and energy of the preaching, were the demonstration that all was Divine. The greater part of the best MSS., versions, and fathers, leave out the adjective ανθρωπινης, man's, before σοφιας, wisdom: it is possible that the word may be a gloss, but it is necessarily implied in the clause. Not with the persuasive discourses, or doctrines of wisdom; i.e. of human philosophy.
on 1-corinthians 2 :4
And my speech - The word "speech" here - if it is to be distinguished from "preaching" - refers, perhaps, to his more private reasonings; his preaching to his public discourses.
Not with enticing words - Not with the persuasive reasonings (πειθοῖς λόγοις peithois logois) of the wisdom of men. Not with that kind of oratory that was adapted to captivate and charm; and which the Greeks so much esteemed.
But in demonstration - In the showing ἀποδείξει apodeixei; or in the testimony or evidence which the Spirit produced. The meaning is, that the Spirit furnished the evidence of the divine origin of the religion which he preached, and that it did not depend for its proof on his own reasonings or eloquence. The proof, the demonstration which the Spirit furnished was, undoubtedly, the miracles which were performed; the gift of tongues; and the remarkable conversions which attended the gospel - The word "Spirit" here refers, doubtless, to the Holy Spirit; and Paul says that this Spirit had furnished demonstration of the divine origin and nature of the gospel. This had been by the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 1:5-7. Compare 1 Corinthians 14), and by the effects of his agency in renewing and sanctifying the heart.
And of power - That is, of the power of God 1 Corinthians 2:5; the divine power and efficacy which attended the preaching of the gospel there. Compare 1 Thessalonians 1:5 - The effect of the gospel is the evidence to which the apostle appeals for its truth. That effect was seen:
(1) In the conversion of sinners to God of all classes, ages, and conditions, when all human means of reforming them was vain.
(2) in its giving them peace, joy, and happiness; and in its transforming their lives.
(3) in making them different people - in making the drunkard sober; the thief honest; the licentious pure; the profane reverent; the indolent industrious; the harsh and unkind, gentle and kind; and the wretched happy.
(4) in its diffusing a mild and pure influence over the laws and customs of society; and in promoting human happiness everywhere - And in regard to this evidence to which the apostle appeals, we may observe:
(1) That is a kind of evidence which anyone may examine, and which no one can deny. It does not need labored, abstruse argumentation, but it is everywhere in society. Every man has witnessed the effects of the gospel in reforming the vicious, and no one can deny that it has this power.
(2) it is a mighty display of the power of God. There is no more striking exhibition of his power over mind than in a revival of religion. There is no where more manifest demonstration of his presence than when, in such a revival, the proud are humbled, the profane are awed, the blasphemer is silenced, and the profligate, the abandoned, and the moral are converted unto God, and are led as lost sinners to the same cross, and find the same peace.
(3) the gospel has thus evidenced from age to age that it is from God. Every converted sinner furnishes such a demonstration; and every instance where it produces peace, hope, joy, shows that it is from heaven.
on 1-corinthians 2 :4
2:4 And my speech in private, as well as my public preaching, was not with the persuasive words of human wisdom, such as the wise men of the world use; but with the demonstration of the Spirit and of power - With that powerful kind of demonstration, which flows from the Holy Spirit; which works on the conscience with the most convincing light, and the most persuasive evidence.