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            As one reads in the Bible the preaching and teaching of men such as Peter, John, James, and Paul, and even of Jesus, an impression might be formed of their oratory skills, but without hearing and or seeing them it would be impossible to know for sure. However, there are some things that can be known by what the inspired authors wrote. For example, Paul wrote, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech…declaring to you the testimony of God…I was with you in weakness, in fear, and much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom…” (1 Corinthians 2:1-4). The apostle Paul says very clearly that he was not an orator, that is he was not one to give a polished speech using words and phrases that indicated the wisdom of men and to impress them with such. Paul essentially is saying that he was not the most talented orator (preacher). Being the most talented in anything relating to worship is not God’s standard of worship, whether it is the preacher, teacher, song leaders, brethren leading prayers, or serving in other ways, but God’s standard is that worship be “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). 
            Paul did not go to them with “excellence of speech” (1 Corinthians 2:1), but he went to them preaching as he wrote “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). The pure gospel was preached to the Corinthians by Paul in a manner so that they could understand it and motivated to be faithful to the Lord. His preaching was scriptural and faithful to the truth. Paul goes on to write that while his preaching was “not with persuasive words of human wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:4) it was “in demonstration of the Spirit and power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). That is another way of saying it was in keeping with the revealed Word of the Holy Spirit and the power of the gospel, and not in oratory. 
            The explanation for all of this was given by Paul when he wrote “that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5). If the Corinthian Christians wanted to be impressed with oratory skills, then they could go to the local theater or university. Paul did not go to Corinth to impress them with the superficial, but he went there to teach and preach so that their faith would be founded in the truth and that they would be built up spiritually as opposed to a superficial faith. Paul wrote, “we speak wisdom among those who are mature…we speak the wisdom of God…” (1 Corinthians 2:6-7).
            The same could be said of Jesus regarding teaching and preaching. The prophet Isaiah wrote concerning Jesus, “There is not beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). Jesus may not have been the best looking or most talented orator among the people of that time, but as Matthew recorded “the people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught as one having authority…” (Matthew 7:28-29). The seekers of truth were not concerned with Jesus’ oratory skills, but with the content of his message. They were not astonished with his talent but with what he taught.
            The Lord’s church in the twenty-first century needs to return to that kind of attitude and thinking. Should one preaching, teaching, leading singing, or leading a prayer try to give attention and effort to what they are doing? Certainly, each one should as they serve God and lead God’s people in spirit and truth worship and do so without falling into the Corinthian mindset. May it be the truth that is taught, sung, and prayed first.