1 Corinthians 2:2- For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
A. As a believer, who do you see when you see yourself?
B. As a believer, what do others see when they see you?
C. As a church, how does the community or the world see you?
This letter is one of two letters written by the Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth. We find Apostle Paul speaking to the church after having received word regarding the many issues that had surfaced in the church which were causing divisions and contentions in the church. In many ways, the church was dysfunctional, yet the Holy Spirit was working mightily in the church. There were issues dealing with sexual immorality, leadership, spiritual immaturity, idolatry, marriage, orderly worship, the Lord's Supper, etc.
Five years earlier, Paul visited Corinth and stayed for 18 months and founded a church. In the larger context of the letter, Paul addressed the influences and mindsets of the Corinth society that were infiltrating the church.
Corinth was a chief commercial city of the Roman Empire. Its location made it a natural center of commerce and transportation. Corinth had two patron deities. Poseidon, god of the sea, was appropriately reflected in the naval power and devotion to the sea. The other deity, Aphrodite, goddess of sexual love, was reflected in the city’s reputation for immorality. The temple was central to the worship of Aphrodite. It boasted one thousand female prostitutes available to the people of the city and to all the visitors. The income of the temple prostitutes provided a major source of the city’s income. This practice, coupled with the looseness often characteristic of a port city of a mixed and transient population, gave Corinth a reputation far beyond the cities of its day.
As a prelude to giving his positions on the specific issues of the church, Paul, in ch.1, vs 11-16, addressed the church's reasoning for the divisions. Paul was telling them how flawed and inferring how immature their reasoning for the divisions were. Paul appealed to the church to be united and not allow flawed reasoning to divide the church. Since Paul was questioning their reasoning.
In vs. 17, he transitioned his train of thought to the argument that if they continued in their reasoning/wisdom, the result could be that the "cross of Christ", would be made emptied of its power (made void, hollow, useless). Why? Because others, i.e., non-believers, or the world, would see their divisions and not be persuaded that Christ has the power to change the heart of men.
From vs.18-31, Paul reminded the church that God's wisdom is so far superior to man's wisdom that He took the things despised by men to use as instruments to show just how inferior man's wisdom is. He proclaims that Christ is the manifestation of God's wisdom and God's power for salvation.
In ch.2 v.1, Paul states that when he was with the church before (his initial visit), he didn't come proclaiming the gospel with lofty speech or wisdom. [And so] we come to our text.
v.2. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.