“Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. ‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:6-16
In this passage, the apostle Paul compares and contrasts the wisdom that comes from God through his revelation, and applied by the Holy Spirit and with the wisdom of this age.
The Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit
1. A secret and hidden wisdom which God decreed before the ages for our glory. (v.7)
“The idea of mystery indicates a secret that man cannot penetrate but which God reveals. God’s wisdom is hidden in that it has only been disclosed at the turning of the ages, in the decisive appearance of Jesus Christ…This glory awaits men in the age to come (1 Corinthians 15:43) but it also can be experienced in the present as people live out the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. (2 Corinthians 3:18)” Curtis Vaughn and Thomas D.Lea, 1 Corinthians (Bible Study Commentary), p.35
2. The deep things of God are revealed to us through the Holy Spirit. (v.10)
3. This wisdom is received (not discovered) by the empowering, illuminating work of the Holy Spirit to understand things freely given to us by God. (v.12)
4. This revelation comes in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Holy Spirit. (v.13)
5. Because of this instruction from the Holy Spirit we have the mind of Christ. (v.16)
The Wisdom of This Age
1. The rulers of this age and its wisdom are doomed to pass away. (v.6)
2. None of the rulers of this age understood the glory that was found in Christ. (v.8)
3. The natural man (the man without the Holy Spirit) does not accept the things of God because they are folly to him. (v.14)
1. The Holy Spirit is the One who searches out the deep things of God in order to communicate them to God’s people. (vv.10-11)
“All saving knowledge of God comes from the Spirit, enlightening the mind as IT reflects on holy Scripture…the Bible without the Spirit of God is but a lantern without a light.” Charles Spurgeon
2. The truth is revealed by the Holy Spirit and humbly received by the people of God. (vv.10,12)
3. The Holy Spirit brings enlightenment as we submit to revelation so that the believer is empowered for Christian living and service. (vv.13-16)
4. In understanding spiritual truth there are infants in Christ (3:1) and the mature.
1. We sit UNDER the authority of the Bible, and have our lives shaped by revelation (Scripture).
2. We are primarily oriented toward the truth (with experiences that follow) versus oriented toward experiences, which often holds to Scripture with a lack of resolute determination.
3. We live in community with other believers and learn from the church in the present day and historical contexts.
4. We come to the Scripture, pleading for the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit as we walk in humility.
5. The Holy Spirit and the “highway to holiness.”
“Those who adhere to the biblical worldview will seek not to forget or disparage created things, but to bring all creation into submission to the high and holy God. Their attention is directed to the highway of holiness rather than the mountain of purgation or the stairway to a wholly transcendent perfection. God does not call us into the desert in order to escape the follies of the world. Instead, he creates a highway in the wilderness to lead us to a new city that will arise out of the ashes of the old.” Donald G. Bloesch, The Holy Spirit: Works Gifts
1. What are the major differences between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of this age?
2. Why do we say, “The truth of Scripture is not discovered, but revealed by the Holy Spirit”?
3. What is the difference between a stairway to heaven and/or perfectionism and the highway of holiness?
4. How does mysticism adrift from solid theology lead to deep error? (Example of the Shakers and Mother Lee, 1736-1784).
5. How does personal holiness dovetail with Paul’s assertion in Acts 24:16?
6. Why is personal holiness/purity absolutely essential in our walk to understand the appropriation of Scripture?