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Wisdom From The Spirit

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Paragraph v.1-5.

Paul emphasizes here that he intentionally did not come to them with preaching that was "eloquent" or contained "superior wisdom."

The Corinthian people would have loved this, but he refused to cater to their human desires or entertain them with flights of philosophic intrigue. Instead he preached a message that they needed to hear and respond to; one that would benefit them in their daily lives and for all eternity.

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." 2 Ti 4:3

Read the passage. Two verses not yet commented on.

"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." 1 Cor 2:2

The focal point of Paul’s preaching was Jesus Christ. He refused to be sidetracked from his main task.

"Christ in you the hope of glory. We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ." Col 1:27-28

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith"

Heb 12:2

"I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling." 1 Cor 2:3

The phrase simply describes a spirit of dependence and subjection to God, in contrast to the demeanor and self-confidence of the detractors.

"To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to (adequate to) such a task?" 2 Co 2:16

"For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. . . But we have this treasure (the message of the gospel) in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power (of transformation) is from God and not from us." 2 Co 4:5-7

Paragraph v.6-10

In this next section Paul wants to make sure the Corinthian Christians do not misunderstand what he has been saying. He has been warning them against elevating human wisdom to a place it does not belong and using it as a means of understanding the God of heaven. In denouncing human wisdom they might think that the gospel is just for simpletons. Not so, Paul says. God's wisdom is great and the gospel, though simple in its message contains a depth of wisdom the world has never known before.

"We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing." v.6

The message of the Gospel is simple enough for an illiterate man to understand, believe, and be saved. But it is also so profound that the most brilliant thinker cannot fathom its depths.

Sometimes the most profound truths can be presented in a deceptively simple way. *The formula E=MC2 seems simple when you look at it. However, behind that equation lies the brain and brilliance of Einstein, and it unblocks one of the most profound mysteries of the universe.

"No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began." v.7

"God’s secret wisdom"

"we speak God's wisdom in a mystery" NASV

Does not mean something puzzling, complicated or difficult to understand, but wisdom once hidden but now revealed.

"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever." Dt 29:29

Paul's commentary on this passage

"I have become its (the church) servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness- the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Col 1:25-27

"destined for our glory before time began."

Before the world was even created, God was already preparing for our salvation. He ordained that salvation would not come by human merit but by the atoning death of his own son.

God moves in mysterious ways

His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.

Deep in the unfathomable mines

Of never failing skill

He treasures up his bright designs

And works his sovereign will. by William Cowper

"None of the rulers of this age (by their wisdom) understood it (God's secret wisdom), for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." v.8

"However, as it is written:

“No eye has seen,

no ear has heard,

no mind has conceived

what God has prepared for those who love him”-

10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit." v.9-10a

Paul quotes from Isaiah 64:4 to support his point in verse 8, "None of the rulers of this age understood it (God's secret wisdom)."

When the Lord Jesus comes to dwell in your life, your eyes are opened, your ears are unspotted, and you begin to understand some of the things that God has prepared for you.

"what God has prepared for those who love him"

God's plans for and involvement in our life is most remarkable and the more you read the Bible the more remarkable it all becomes.

Verse 10 serves as a transitional statement into the next paragraph.

Paragraph v.10b-16

In this section Paul talks about how God has revealed his secret wisdom to believers. Divine revelation, the inspiration of Scripture, illumination of the Scriptures to the understanding of individual believers.


"God has revealed it ("God's secret wisdom" v.7) to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God 10. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." v.10-11

Not in order to know them, for he knows all things.

Instead he comprehends the depth of God's nature, his plans, purposes and wisdom; so he is fully competent to make the revelation claimed here.

A man knows his own mind, but no one else can know it without that man revealing it.


"We have not received the spirit of the world (the source of human wisdom & ideas) but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us ("what God has prepared for those who love him" v.9)" 12. "This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words." v.12-13

"in words taught by the Spirit" v.13

The Spirit taught them how to verbalize God's truths.

"For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it." Jn 12:49

He gave the words as well as the thoughts. Verbal inspiration means inspiration of the words. If the Bible is inspired at all, it is in the words.

"For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Pe 1:21

"expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words" v.13

"using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths" LB

The successful Christian learns the vocabulary of the Spirit and makes use of it. He knows the meaning of justification, sanctification, adoption, propitiation, election, inspiration, and so forth.

In understanding God’s vocabulary, we come to understand God’s Word and God’s will for our lives.


The Holy Spirit 1) reveals truth about God and his plans, 2) inspires the writers of the Bible so we can have an infallible document to read and study, and 3) illumines the individual believer so they can understand what the Bible says.

"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." v.14

"The man without the Spirit"

1) "Does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God"

2) "for they are foolishness to him"

3) "he cannot understand them"

"Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say." Jn 8:43

"He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." Jn 8:47

The deaf man cannot enjoy the symphony, the blind man cannot enjoy the beauty of the sunset. He lacks the faculty by which these things can be appreciated.

"they are spiritually discerned."

The two on the road to Emmaus, "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." Lk 24:45

"Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this." 2 Ti 2:7

"Their minds were made dull" v.14. "Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." 2 Co 3:15-16

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints," Eph 1:18

"The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:" v.15

1) The spiritual man "makes judgments about all things"

The Holy Spirit teaches the beleiver God's word and he or she is then equipped to evaluate the rightness or wrongness of all things.

"But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." Heb 5:14

2) The spiritual man "is not subject to any man’s judgment"

The natural man does not have the ability to evaluate the lives of believers. He does not understand our love for God, our interest in the Bible, our desire to worship with other believers, our moral stand.

3) The spiritual man has "the mind of Christ"

"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." v.16

Helps to understand what Paul means here, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. . . he humbled himself." Phil 2:5 KJV

When we live a humble life like Jesus did, we will have the same mind-set that he does.

The whole Bible is an expression of the mind of Christ on every conceavable subject. When we know the Bible and believe it, we will have the mind of Christ.

To “have the mind of Christ” means to look at life from the Saviour’s point of view, having His values and desires in mind. It means to think God’s thoughts and not think as the world thinks.

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