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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Friday, February 10 2017

Contributor: Alex Alajiki


Last week, we continued our study of the book of Corinthians and examined 1 Cor.1:18-21.

We saw the contrast between human and Godly wisdom. The preaching of the cross is foolishness to the world, but it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.

Since the world has not come to know God through its wisdom, God will make Himself known to some through means which the world regards as foolish. Imagine the saviour of the world was born in a manger and crucified on the cross. 1 Cor.1:27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”

Today, we are looking at the first sixteen verses of chapter two. Paul approached the Corinthians with great humility, both in speech and character. His main focus was the mystery of Christ and His cross.

  1. Paul’s Conduct at His First Coming: 1 Corin.2:1-5

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Paul came to Corinth at the beginning, preaching to them the gospel of Jesus Christ with humility and simplicity. It was through his simplistic message and methods that the Corinthians, once pagans, became saints. Paul now reminds them of his message and manner when he first came to them which resulted in their salvation. He needed to remind them because they were now exposed to other teachers trying to complicate the simplicity of the gospel. Paul came to Corinth with a clear sense of his own limitations, knowing that the salvation and sanctification of men could only be accomplished by the miraculous intervention of God. Vs 3 “I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling”.

Paul was not interested in making disciples for himself but for Christ. If men were converted because of Paul’s wisdom and because of his persuasive skills, they could then be led astray by anyone who was wiser and more persuasive. Paul’s desire was that men would place their faith in God and in His power rather than in men’s wisdom (verse 5).

  1. God’s Wisdom and the Wisdom of This Age: 1 Corin.2:6-8

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Paul’s words here help us to distinguish between God’s wisdom and worldly wisdom. God’s wisdom was revealed in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ at His first coming, but the world rejected Him and the wisdom He manifested (1 Cor.1:24). The wisdom of God is “eternal wisdom,” a wisdom established in eternity past. The wisdom of this world is “empirical wisdom,” based upon that which can be seen and heard and touched. The wisdom of God is otherwise. It is not seen by the naked eye, it cannot be heard with the ears, it cannot be fathomed by the natural mind. It surpasses even man’s imagination. Most people in the present age would not recognise this wisdom. That is why Paul called this wisdom a mystery, in other words, a secret. The mystery is that, at a future time, God has a plan to share his glory with all his people (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Colossians 1:26-27).

Paul, in Athens, had an opportunity to speak at one of the greatest universities in the ancient world. He tried hard to explain about God and about Christ in a manner that the people there could understand. However, most of those people did not believe; they even started to laugh at Paul (Acts 17:16-34). The most intelligent people in the world could not understand things that every Christian can know.

  1. How God’s Wisdom is Revealed; 1 Cor.2:9-13

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”

God has great plans for those who love Him and this plans are beyond the reach of the enemy (Jer.29:11). But a person’s mind does not know about these things unless God’s Spirit shows them to that person. That should not surprise us; one person does not know another person’s secrets. A person does know his own secrets. Deep inside him, in his spirit, that person knows his own desires, plans and intentions.

God has desires, plans and intentions for the people who love him. God does not allow everyone to know about these things; they are his secret (2:7). But God’s plans are not secrets for the people who love God. That is because God has given his Holy Spirit to them. And the Holy Spirit shows them what God is doing. In the future they will share his glory (honour and greatness), but already they share his Spirit (John 16:13).

It is not necessary to have great knowledge or intelligence in order to become a Christian. But it is essential that each Christian should allow the Holy Spirit to teach him. 1 John 2:20 “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.”

  1. Spiritual Insight; 1 Cor.2:14-16

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

Paul contrasts two different kinds of people here; The Natural man and The Spiritual man.

The first kind of person has life that comes from this world (2:14). He is not allowing God’s Holy Spirit to teach him in the manner that Paul described in 1 Corinthians 2:13. Instead, this person follows the opinions and attitudes that he has learned from this world. As we saw in 1 Corinthians 2:12, those opinions and attitudes really come from the devil. So the things that the Holy Spirit wants to teach seem foolish to this person.

The second kind of person has life that comes from the Holy Spirit (2:15). God teaches this person by means of the Holy Spirit. So, this person can understand what God is doing (2:9-10). And this person even does things by the power of the Holy Spirit that other people cannot understand. That is possible because the Holy Spirit guides this person (John 3:8; Acts 1:8, Rom.8:14).

Paul’s question in vs 16 comes from Isaiah 40:13. ‘Who knows God’s thoughts?’ he asks. We expect the answer ‘nobody’. But that is not Paul’s answer. Only someone who has God’s Spirit can understands God’s thoughts (2:11). But Christ has given his Holy Spirit to his people (John 16:5-15). So now, they think as Christ thinks. In other words, they have the mind of Christ.

Conclusion: The Christian life can only be lived successfully in the power and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. We must learn to depend on and walk with Him daily.

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