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Are You Spiritual

To the Church of God at Corinth  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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1 Corinthians 2:6–16 NASB95
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:6

Wisdom of the Spirit

2:6–16 Paul argues that the Spirit is necessary to understand God’s wisdom, since it cannot be perceived through human nature. Paul wants the Corinthians to recognize their need for true wisdom from God’s Spirit before he resumes his appeal for unity beginning in 3:1 (see 1:10).

It seems that Paul addressing all true believers in the Corinthian Church. The people who are truly wise in regards to salvation. They had received God’s wisdom which he revealed to everyone who is truly saved, a child of God, one of his chosen. These people are led by the Holy Spirit…as all who are truly saved.
Reality Check
Before we go any further we must ask ourselves this very question.
Are we led by the Holy Spirit? Think about it…are you? If someone asked you what it means to be Spirit Led and to describe from your very own life today how you are being led by the Holy Spirit what would you say to them?
If you were to write down what you would say could you?
So, I ask you again, Are you Spirit Led?

Wisdom and the Mature

1 Corinthians 2:6 NASB95
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
Yet we do speak wisdom - “YET” - the conjunction moreover, indeed now . . . , on top of this . . . , next . . .
(a conjunction) – moreover, indeed now . . . , on top of this . . . , next . . .
It introduces new material to develop what precedes…basically we are getting into text through which we should better understand what Matt preached on last week.
1 Corinthians 2:1–5 NASB95
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
We must keep in mind
The recipients of the letter was the fledgling church made up mostly of Gentiles. The population of Corinth was racially and culturally mixed.
The letter seems to reflect several groups in the church:
The letter seems to reflect several groups in the church:
1. intellectual Greeks who were still very proud of their philosophical traditions and were trying to wed Christian revelation to these old customs and intellectual traditions
2. Roman patrons and the socially elite
3. a believing Jewish contingent made up mostly of "god-fearing" Gentiles, who attended the synagogue
4. a large number of converted slaves
And that The Purpose of the Letter was to call this Church to Unity; they were divided over leadership types, but also over several moral issues and the use of spiritual gifts.
Let the text remind us…
1 Corinthians 1:10 NASB95
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
And please take notice what Paul does in Ch 1 vs. 17-31…He destroys any idea that salvation can come from human wisdom, worldly wisdom.
1 Corinthians 2:6 NASB95
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
So NOW, moreover, Paul is showing the reader the differences between Godly wisdom and human wisdom, spiritual and unspiritual man.
He writes:
τελείοις téleios Definition: perfect, (a) complete in all its parts, (b) full grown, of full age, (c) specially of the completeness of Christian character.
τελείοις
téleios
Definition: perfect, (a) complete in all its parts, (b) full grown, of full age, (c) specially of the completeness of Christian character.
mature (consummated) from going through the necessary stages to reach the end-goal, i.e. developed into a consummating completion by fulfilling the necessary process (spiritual journey).
This is well-illustrated with the old pirate's telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).]
This is well-illustrated with the old pirate's telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).]
the mature The Greek word used here, teleios, refers to those who understand and conform to the message of Jesus Christ. Paul also may be applying the term ironically to the Corinthian believers, who considered themselves to be highly spiritual when in fact they were immature in the faith
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

referring to the influence of the Holy Spirit. The mature or spiritual person is the person in whom the Holy Spirit dwells and whose life the Holy Spirit directs (cf. v. 14). Since every true believer has received the Spirit, every believer is spiritual and can understand God’s wisdom, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Harold W. Perkins wrote, "The great advance made by Hebrew thought was in the knowledge of the perfection of God. It is . . . not (about) the production of a perfect man, but union with the perfection of God. The strong ethical bent of the prophets made them insist on holiness and righteousness as the marks of His Perfection . . . The perfection towards which man ought to strive was regarded as derivative. It came from walking with God, and could only be retained by a ceaseless communication of His Spirit"
1 Corinthians 2:6 NASB95
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
Paul says that this wisdom is not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;

not of this age God’s wisdom—which is revealed in Christ’s death, resurrection, and the saving of humanity—is not bound by time; it is eternal.

rulers The Greek word used here, archōn, can refer either to humans or to divine beings. This term may refer to the Jewish and Roman officials who were involved in the crucifixion of Christ. It also could refer to evil spiritual entities (compare John 12:31; 14:30). Paul emphasizes that everything that these leaders have and do is temporal, whereas Christ is eternal.

Utley expounds on this verse:
"a wisdom, however, not of this age" This is Paul asserting the Jewish interbiblical concept of two ages: the current evil age, dominated by fallen humanity, and the age of righteousness to come, dominated by the Messiah. Human earthly wisdom is basically presuppositional and changes from culture to culture and period to period.
"nor of the rulers of this age" It seems more in line with this context to interpret these as human leaders. It is so hard to know if Paul is speaking purely of human logic or the demonic activity behind human logic; both are present. Humans are influenced because of their fallenness, but they are also influenced by the presence of supernatural evil.
the term means "to be made inoperative." If this refers to human authorities, they will die. If this refers to angelic authorities, this age will pass away into the new age of righteousness.

we do impart wisdom. The gospel, the proclamation of Christ crucified.

"God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom" This wisdom is from God (i.e., Theos is fronted, or placed first, in the Greek text for emphasis); this is hidden wisdom; this mystery has now been clearly manifested in Christ. This uncovered secret,the gospel, emphasizes God's revelation versus human discovery
1 Corinthians 2:7–8 NASB95
but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;

Hidden Meaning, it is not plain to the person looking for understanding of the world, themselves, and others. Rather, it can be understood only through revelation from God’s Spirit.

2:8 Lord of glory Refers to Jesus Christ. This designation echoes the OT names of Yahweh: “King of glory” (Psa 24:7–10) and “God of glory” (Psa 29:3; Acts 7:2).

"God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom" This wisdom is from God (i.e., Theos is fronted, or placed first, in the Greek text for emphasis); this is hidden wisdom (i.e., perfect passive participle, cf. ); this mystery has now been clearly manifested in Christ (cf. ; ; ). This uncovered secret (i.e., the gospel) emphasizes God's revelation versus human discovery
1 Cor
Utley states:
Even before creation God already had His plan of redemption. The term translated here "predestine" is a compound of the preposition "before" and "to set bounds."
The definitive passages on predestination in the NT are ; ; and . These texts obviously stress that God is sovereign. He is in total control of all things, including human history. There is a preset divine redemption plan being worked out in time. However, this plan is not arbitrary or selective. It is based not only on God's sovereignty and foreknowledge, but also on His unchanging character of love, mercy, and undeserved grace.
Romans 8:28–30 NASB95
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
Ephesians 1:3–14 NASB95
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Romans 8:28–30 NASB95
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
We must be careful of our western (American) individualism or our evangelical zeal coloring this wonderful truth. We must also guard against being polarized into the historical, theological conflicts between Augustine versus Pelegius or Calvinism versus Arminianism.
Predestination is not a doctrine meant to limit God's love, grace, and mercy, nor to exclude some from the gospel. It is meant to strengthen believers by molding their worldview. God's love is for all mankind (cf. ; ). God is in control of all things. Who or what can separate us from Him (cf. )? Predestination forms one of two ways to view life. God views all history as present; humans are time-bound. Our perspective and mental abilities are limited. There is no contradiction between God's sovereignty and mankind's free will. It is a covenantal structure. This is another example of biblical truth given in paradoxical, dialectical, tension-filled pairs. Biblical doctrines are presented from different perspectives. They often appear paradoxical. The truth is a balance between the seemingly opposite pairs. We must not remove the tension by choosing one of the truths. We must not isolate any biblical truth into a compartment by itself.
It is also important to add that the goal of election is not only heaven when we die, but Christlikeness now (cf. ; )! We were chosen to be "holy and blameless." God chooses to change us so that others may see the change and respond by faith to God in Christ. Predestination is not a personal privilege, but a covenantal responsibility! We are saved to serve!
1 Corinthians 2:7–8 NASB95
but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;

Hidden Meaning, it is not plain to the person looking for understanding of the world, themselves, and others. Rather, it can be understood only through revelation from God’s Spirit.

Lord of glory Refers to Jesus Christ. This designation echoes the OT names of Yahweh: “King of glory” (Psa 24:7–10) and “God of glory” (Psa 29:3; Acts 7:2)

Paul compares Human Wisdom and Godly Wisdom:
Human wisdom is time-bound and leads people to unfulfilled promises, frustration and in the end eternal destruction.
Godly wisdom is timeless. It leads people from darkness to light, salvation and an eternity in heaven.
Th
Godly wisdom is a mystery to the worldly man. They cannot even begin to understand this wisdom, the wisdom of the Cross without the Holy Spirit to led and teach.
"before the ages" The phrase "before the ages" is an OT idiom referring to eternity past. It corresponds to the Hebrew term 'olam, which can mean eternity, past or future. It can also denote a limited period of time. It must be translated in context. Its translation is related to its object (i.e., God, OT covenant promises, earthly life, the wicked, etc.).
This is also true for the NT Greek translations aiōn, aiōnios, eis ton aiōna, which follow the Septuagint's translation of 'olam. God is eternal, but physical things (i.e., the heavens and earth) will pass away

God and Revelation

1 Corinthians 2:9 NASB95
but just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Acts–Philemon 2:6–16. Divine Wisdom and Human Wisdom

There are similarities between this passage and Isa. 64:4, but there are other parallels also in other texts of antiquity, and it is not certain which source Paul was citing in this passage.

has not seen Paul uses Isaiah 64:4 to assert that people cannot understand the things of God through human faculties (compare Isa 52:15; 65:17); they must rely on the Spirit graciously given to believers by God (1 Cor 2:10).

for those who love him Emphasizes that God grants insight regarding His work to those who follow Him and do His will.

Isaiah 64:4 NASB95
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
1 Corinthians 2:
1 Corinthians 2:10a NASB95
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

to us God has revealed them God has shown the hidden wisdom of God to those who follow Christ (v. 7). Paul argues that people desiring to know more or have greater wisdom should seek to walk more closely with Christ, as God reveals His eternal work to people this way.

through the Spirit Indicates Christ’s method for revealing His work to people and granting them spiritual gifts of wisdom and knowledge.

1 Cor
The Father, through the Spirit, has unveiled (i.e., apokaluptō, aorist active indicative) this hidden mystery in Christ. All wisdom is in Christ

The Holy Spirit and Human Wisdom

1 Corinthians 2:10b NASB95
For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
We cannot understand the totality of this verse…the meaning is too deep. No one can know the mind of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10b
The Spirit searches everything; NOTHING escapes him, he uncovers and opens, his eyes see all. His searching is never ending.
The Spirit’s work reaches the deep things of God, the things we cannot grasp in the shallow depths of the human mind.
Utley goes further and states:
"for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God" The emphasis here is on the full personality of the Spirit (cf. ; ). The Spirit is our only means of knowing God (cf. ; ). This is the continuing emphasis of the entire context that human means are unable to know God or the things (i.e., plans) of God. "Deep" is a metaphor of that which is (1) profound as opposed to shallow or (2) hidden beyond mankind's reach or discovery. The Spirit's work is crucial in conviction, salvation, and Christlike living (cf. ).
The phrase "the deep things of God" (NKJV) may have been a catchphrase of one the factions at Corinth. The deep things of God are available to all who exercise faith in Christ. There are no hidden secrets anymore. The gospel is revealed to all who will receive. There are no "deeper things," no elitism, no exclusivism!
This wonderful assurance of God's provision and care was exploited by later Gnostics, who claimed it as a proof-text for special knowledge
1 Corinthians 2:11 NASB95
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

spirit of the man Paul uses this phrase to draw a contrast with the Spirit of God. Just as people know their own minds, so the Spirit (pneuma in Greek) knows the things of God.

:
1 Corinthians 2:12 NASB95
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,

spirit of the world God’s Spirit is not like the spirit of people or anything that can be comprehended, computed, or reasoned in this world (compare 1:20; 2:6). While God’s work is eternal, everything of this world is temporal—including current rulers and evil spiritual beings.

freely given Refers to God’s gracious gift of salvation, which believers can comprehend because of the Spirit (compare Rom 6:23). It therefore describes the content of God’s revealed wisdom and thus refers to Christ Himself

Believers can understand the gospel of Christ and their blessings in Him only through the Holy Spirit.
It is certainly true that in their fallen and temporal state even believers cannot fully, exhaustively know God, but can know and understand everything needed for salvation and godly living through the revelation of the Father, the person and work of the Son, and the illumination of the Spirit. Because we cannot know everything is no excuse not to embrace the clear truths of the Bible and walk in them.
1 Corinthians 2:13 NASB95
which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

by human wisdom Without God’s help through the Spirit (v. 12), people lack the ability to understand His plans or work (i.e., God’s plan of salvation; compare note on 1:24).

Wisdom and Related Terms

in words taught by the Spirit Paul is likely referring to the gift of prophecy, which involves speaking on behalf of God (see note on 12:3; and note on 12:10; compare 14:1).

spiritual things The Spirit (pneuma) is the one who truly explains and reveals the ways of God to people—believers are just messengers and instruments of the Spirit’s message.

The Unspiritual and the Spiritual Man

1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB95
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

natural man Refers to a person who cannot grasp the things of God.

The natural man is the opposite of a "spiritual person." The term (i.e., psuchikos) is used several times in the NT where it refers to life on earth, life lived in relation to the five senses only.
is the opposite of a "spiritual person" referred to in , and 3:1. The term (i.e., psuchikos) is used several times in the NT where it refers to life on earth, life lived in relation to the five senses only
He is characterized by the created, finite, and fallen world; perhaps also of the nature that humanity shares with animals.
He does not accept the things of God
They are foolishness to him.
He is unable to understand them because he is spiritually dead.
1 Corinthians 2:15 NASB95
But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
discerns Paul again stresses that a true understanding of spiritual things occurs only with the aid of God’s Spirit.

discerns Paul again stresses that a true understanding of spiritual things occurs only with the aid of God’s Spirit.

himself is judged by no one Those who belong to the Spirit do not need to subject themselves to human condemnation or approval; they recognize that God is their only judge

himself is judged by no one Those who belong to the Spirit do not need to subject themselves to human condemnation or approval; they recognize that God is their only judge (4:3).
Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Believers cannot be judged, yea even truly understood, by unbelievers
Believers cannot be judged, yea even truly understood, by unbelievers
R
Believers cannot be judged, yea even truly understood, by unbelievers
1 Corinthians 2:16 NASB95
For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
This does not mean believers know everything Christ knows, but that the Spirit has opened our minds to His perspective, His priorities, His heart
Reality Check
It is true that we as believers cannot be judged by the unbelieved…however this judgement refers to us spiritually.
How often would I rather be judged by the unbelievers in regards to this.
If you truly understand what we just read about the Holy Spirit searching everything and believers you may need to take a moment and pause.
We will be judged on the basis of God’s Word, not some manmade religion, not a bunch of manmade rules and regulations, not on how we compare to each other nor the world. But rather our eternal destiny will ultimately be judged by the Word of God!
I need to wakeup to this reality! You need to wakeup to this reality! All those who are a “spiritual man” need to let this truth sink in.
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