(This is a short study and could be combined with the next one)
We saw last time that Paul was weak, fearful, even trembling as he brought a message full of the Spirit’s power – and it was by the Spirit’s power that the people of Corinth had been convicted and converted.
Paul knew that people are not converted by clever arguments. They may well produce a mental assent, but only the work of the Holy Spirit can change the heart.
However, Christians need to move on. They need to be weaned off the milk of simple things and start to grapple with the deeper things of God. We need to mature.
1 Corinthians 2:6-
6 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.7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.
What is God’s wisdom that is ‘destined for our glory’ (v7)?
Surely it speaks of his plan of salvation, established before time began (Romans 8:29) but it had been hidden from wise men right up to the time of Christ’s crucifixion (Rom 11:25, 16:25).
We shall indeed share in Christ’s Glory: 1 John 3:2
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
It is interesting that the rulers did not understand – John 8:30 tells us that the ordinary people believed, but John 8:43 tells us that the rulers were unable to hear.
Why was that? John 8:44
1 Corinthians 2:9-
9 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”— (see Isaiah 64:4)
Is this verse talking about Heaven? Or here and now?
If it refers to our Christian life now, could anyone have imagined what it is
truly like to live in relationship with Jesus?
If it refers to Heaven, I think that whatever anyone has ever said that heaven will really be like, or however scripture may have been interpreted, heaven
will be different – and better – than that! Personally I can picture a physical world (because I have experienced that). And I can imagine a spiritual world (because I have understood that). If I try to imagine a different sort of creation, not using atoms and molecules or other physical forms, and not a ‘spirit’ world, then I have to say my brain cannot conceive of it because it would be a new creation, beyond my experience.
Would someone like to explain Verse 10? but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
The Spirit has not described to us the things God has prepared. But he has shown us the possibility that there can be things beyond our comprehension. There are some things about God – deep things – which are un-
us mere mortals. But there are many things which the Spirit does make known to us:
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no-
who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
The New Living Translation has ‘No one can know a person's thoughts except that person's own spirit, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit’
So what is the Spirit’s job?
To reveal God’s thoughts to us, and interpret God’s gifts to us.
13 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.14 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.15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” (Isaiah 40:13)
But we have the mind of Christ.
What do we mean by that? (V11-
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