God’s Word of Wisdom
1 Corinthians 2:1-16: Paul reminds the Corinthians that, when he first arrived, he did not use eloquent words to preach “God’s secret truth” because the message of Christ’s death on the cross was of paramount importance. Paul contrasts the world’s wisdom with “God’s secret wisdom” and explains the role of God’s Spirit in revealing God’s truth.
Your faith, then, does not rest on human wisdom but on God’s power.
The Message about the Crucified Christ
1When I came to you, my friends, to preach God's secret truth, I did not use big words and great learning. 2For while I was with you, I made up my mind to forget everything except Jesus Christ and especially his death on the cross. 3 So when I came to you, I was weak and trembled all over with fear, 4and my teaching and message were not delivered with skillful words of human wisdom, but with convincing proof of the power of God's Spirit. 5Your faith, then, does not rest on human wisdom but on God's power.
6Yet I do proclaim a message of wisdom to those who are spiritually mature. But it is not the wisdom that belongs to this world or to the powers that rule this world—powers that are losing their power. 7The wisdom I proclaim is God's secret wisdom, which is hidden from human beings, but which he had already chosen for our glory even before the world was made. 8 None of the rulers of this world knew this wisdom. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as the scripture says,
“What no one ever saw or heard,
what no one ever thought could happen,
is the very thing God prepared for those who love him.”
10But it was to us that God made known his secret by means of his Spirit. The Spirit searches everything, even the hidden depths of God's purposes. 11It is only our own spirit within us that knows all about us; in the same way, only God's Spirit knows all about God. 12We have not received this world's spirit; instead, we have received the Spirit sent by God, so that we may know all that God has given us.
13So then, we do not speak in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, as we explain spiritual truths to those who have the Spirit. 14Whoever does not have the Spirit cannot receive the gifts that come from God's Spirit. Such a person really does not understand them, and they seem to be nonsense, because their value can be judged only on a spiritual basis. 15Whoever has the Spirit, however, is able to judge the value of everything, but no one is able to judge him. 16 As the scripture says,
“Who knows the mind of the Lord?
Who is able to give him advice?”
We, however, have the mind of Christ.
How does Paul describe himself in verses 1-5? What does he say enabled him to deliver his message to the Corinthians? Reread verse 2. Why is Jesus’s death on the cross central to Paul’s message? What is “God’s secret truth” (verse 1) and “God secret wisdom” (verse 7)? Why was this wisdom hidden from the rulers of the world? Is such wisdom still hidden today? What does Paul say about God’s Spirit (verses 10-16)? In what ways has God’s Spirit enlightened your understanding of “God’s secret truth” and “God’s secret wisdom”?
Sovereign God, you are the source of all true wisdom. Enlighten me with your Spirit so that I may grow stronger in faith day by day, learning more and more about you and trusting in you and in your love. Amen.
Psalm 19: God’s glory in creation.