Weak and Fearful (1 Corinthians 2:3) - Radical

Weak and Fearful (1 Corinthians 2:3)

“And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling.”
(1 Corinthians 2:3)

This is Paul talking about when he went to Corinth and the way he describes himself going to Corinth. He said, “I was there in weakness and in fear and much trembling.” Now, I want us to think about this. This is Paul arguably, the greatest missionary, Christian who ever lived. The most influential follower of Christ, the most influential preacher of the gospel.

We confess that we are weak and fearful. We need God’s supernatural grace to help us to be bold in proclaiming the good news of the gospel.

And when he went to Corinth, we’re thinking, all right Paul, this is a pretty stout dude. This is a brother who, yeah, if you’re starting a church, you want him on the team, if you’re going out and sharing the gospel, you’d like to be paired up with Paul. You think, this is a brother who has confidence, this is a brother we all want to be like, right?

And what does he say in verse three, he says, “When I went to Corinth, I felt weak. I was afraid to the point of trembling.” And you look back, Acts chapter 18, that’s exactly what we read about.

Remember when Jesus came to Paul one night in a vision, when he was in Corinth and he said to Paul, “Do not be afraid.” Which implies he was afraid. He says, “Keep on speaking.” Jesus told him. Do not be silent for I have many in this city who are my people. I hope is an encouragement to you. I know it is to me to hear that Paul himself in the Bible was afraid when it came to sharing the gospel. He was trembling. He felt weak. Do you ever feel weak, when it comes to sharing the gospel?

Do you ever feel afraid to share the gospel? Do you ever find yourself kind of trembling when it comes to sharing the gospel? That’s the way Paul felt. Like none of us has in and of ourselves, not even the apostle Paul. None of us has in and of ourselves like the strength and the courage to share the gospel. That’s the whole point of what you just heard in Acts one, eight.

You will receive power when the Holy spirit comes upon you and you’ll be my witnesses. The whole point is, we all need supernatural power to share the gospel, which we’ll talk about more on another one of these episodes and pray to that, but let’s just pause right now and confess before God with Paul.

Oh God, we feel weak. We feel afraid when it comes to sharing the gospel with people right around us that’s less around the world and hard places. God we are so prone to silence and we know Paul was too, you told him to keep on speaking because he was tempted not to. God we are all tempted. I confess in my life and on behalf of my brothers and sisters praying with me right now, that we are tempted to stay silent with the gospel, to tremble when we have an opportunity to share the gospel, and to shrink back in fear.

So God, we pray for your help and this is what we see, the church praying throughout the new Testament. So we join with our brothers and sisters from couple a thousand years ago. We pray for boldness. God, please give us boldness, give us super natural boldness. We know your spirit is in us to empower us, so help us in these moments we have today to share the gospel.

Help us not to look to ourselves for strength, to look to ourselves for courage. Help us to look to your spirit, your presence in us for strength, for courage, for clarity, and speaking the gospel, and God we pray that the fruit would be people coming to know you through our lives, not because of our courage, our boldness, our work, our words, but because of your supernatural power at work, in and through our lives. God help us to live in that today. In Jesus name, we pray.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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