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Edited March Quickening


Edited March Quickening

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									                             I CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 2

2:1     And when I came to you, brethren, I       was not saying that when he came to
        did not come with superiority of          Corinth, he was determined to bury his head
        speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to       in the sand and ignore everything that was
        you the testimony of God.                 going on around him. Paul's two letters to
        When I came to you, brothers, I           the Corinthians show that he was very much
        did not come with eloquence or            concerned with events in their city.
        superior wisdom as I proclaimed
        to you the testimony about God.           Our text explains what Paul did mean. He
        And I, brethren, when I came to you,      did not want the Corinthians' faith to rest
        came not with excellency of speech        upon the persuasive power and eloquence
        or of wisdom, declaring unto you the      of his preaching. Instead, Paul desired that
        testimony of God.                         Christ alone take center stage in his
                                                  preaching and in the lives of his converts.
2:1 Paul is referring to his first visit to       He didn't want to talk people into believing
Corinth during his second missionary              something just because he made it sound
journey (A.D. 51), when he founded the            good.
church (Acts 18:1ff).
                                                  After all, anything that someone can talk you
2:1-5 A brilliant scholar, Paul could have        into, someone else can talk you out of.
overwhelmed his listeners with intellectual       That's why we suggest that the heart
arguments. Instead he shared the simple           attitude of knowing nothing but Christ, a
message of Jesus Christ by allowing the           humble desire to make Him preeminent, is a
Holy Spirit to guide his words. In sharing the    good strategy for spiritual warfare.
gospel with others, we should follow Paul’s
example and keep our message simple and           2:2     For I determined to know nothing
basic. The Holy Spirit will give power to our             among you except Jesus Christ, and
words and use them to bring glory to Jesus.               Him crucified.
                                                          For I resolved to know nothing
TODAY IN THE WORD                                         while I was with you except Jesus
One of the more unusual political parties in              Christ and him crucified.
American history was a group called the                   For I determined not to know any
""Know-Nothing Party."" Made up of                        thing among you, save Jesus Christ,
members of certain secret societies, the                  and him crucified.
party flourished for a few years before the
Civil War. Meetings were held in secret, and      The True Picture
the ideas that the Know-Nothings promoted         Jesus Christ evokes many images in the
were never openly discussed. Their                minds of people. Some picture Him as a
standard answer to a question was, ""I don't      baby in a manger—the Christ of Christmas.
know,"" giving the group its nickname. When       Others picture Him as a child, perhaps living
the Know-Nothings split over the slavery          in the home of a carpenter or confounding
issue in the 1856 election, the party soon        the religious leaders of Jerusalem. Many
disappeared.                                      picture Him as a compassionate and
                                                  powerful healer who restored the sick and
Being a know-nothing in politics is probably      raised the dead. Still others picture a bold
of no use to anyone. So why was Paul              and fiery preacher speaking the Word of
""resolved to know nothing"" when he came         God to great crowds. And there are those
to Corinth for the first time ""except Jesus      who see Him as the consummate man—a
Christ and Him crucified""? Since ""being a       model of goodness, kindness, sympathy,
know-nothing"" is a sound strategy for            concern, care, tenderness, forgiveness,
spiritual warfare, we need to answer this         wisdom, and understanding.
                                                  Yet the one image of Christ that surpasses
Let's start with what Paul did not mean. He       all the rest is Jesus Christ on the cross. To

                             I CORINTHIANS
                                            Chapter 2

know Christ crucified is to know Him as the        the face of the earth. And because Jesus
author and finisher of your faith—the truest       shed His blood on that cross for lost
picture of His Person and work.                    humanity, believers in Christ have a deep
                                                   desire to "reach out and touch" others with
Christ’s suffering on the cross is the focal       the message of the gospel.
point of the Christian faith. That’s where His
deity, humanity, work, and suffering are           For the apostle Paul, the cross was
most clearly seen.                                 everything. He had one message when he
                                                   wrote to the Corinthian believers: "Jesus
C.H. Spurgeon                                      Christ and Him crucified." Calvary was the
I have often felt to be of Paul’s mind here.       heart of Paul's communication and the basis
Some are wise to interpret prophecies. I am        of his power.
not. Enough for me to know about the cross.
                                                   The next time you see a telephone pole,
Paul does not merely determine to keep his         think about the cross of Christ and how
preaching to that point, but he resolves not       much it means to you.
even to know any other subject. He would
keep his mind closed to any thought but              Nothing speaks more clearly of God's
Jesus Christ and him crucified.                              love than the cross.

Christ Crucified:                                  Worker Qualifications:
    The fact of it                                    Go                of commission
    The place                                         Glow              of compassion
    The sinful act                                    Grip              of conviction
    The associates                                    Godliness         of consecration
    The crucifixion                                   Grace             of consistency
    The subjective power                              Gumption          of compatibility
    The grave consequences                            Grit              of continuance

A Reminder Of The Cross                            Our Message
I determined not to know anything among            I determined not to know anything among
you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. -       you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. -
-1 Corinthians 2:2                                 -1 Corinthians 2:2

Telephone poles play a crucial role in             I've heard people say that the Lord
developed countries. They support lines of         sometimes uses simple hymns to impress
communication that enable people to "reach         them with profound truths. Songs like "He
out and touch" others in just about any            Lives," "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," or
corner of the globe. And in many                   "Jesus Saves" have jolted them as if they
communities, telephone poles carry power           were hearing these truths for the first time.
lines that make it possible for people to use
lights and appliances.                             Something similar happened to me in 1986.
                                                   I attended a convention that drew 10,000
Think about these poles and the vast               evangelists from many countries. Our unified
roadside forest they form. What is their           concern was to bring God's plan of salvation
shape? They look like crosses, don't they?         to our lost and needy world. As I went to
                                                   seminars and listened to brilliant speakers, I
As I looked at the pole in front of my house, I    began to wonder if the urgent task of
was reminded of the old rugged cross of            evangelism was beyond me. Then a singer
Christ. Think of the "lines" of communication      was invited to the platform. My spirit soared
and power it carries. Because of that cross,       with reassurance and confidence as her rich
God listens to the prayers of any believer on      voice proclaimed, "People need the Lord!"

                             I CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 2

She reminded us in song that people all                   Spirit and of power,
around us need to hear about Jesus and put                My message and my preaching
their faith in Him.                                       were not with wise and
                                                          persuasive words, but with a
Sharing the gospel means sharing Christ,                  demonstration of the Spirit's
His death, and His resurrection with people               power,
lost in sin. Paul said he didn't minister with            And my speech and my preaching
eloquence or worldly wisdom. He chose to                  was not with enticing words of man's
know nothing "except Jesus Christ and Him                 wisdom, but in demonstration of
crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).                           the Spirit and of power:

Yes, there is much knowledge to be learned,       2:4 Paul’s confidence was not in his keen
but the key to that knowledge is to know the      intellect or speaking ability but in his
Lord. That's why people need Him.                 knowledge that the Holy Spirit was helping
Remember, our message is Christ.                  and guiding him. Paul is not denying the
                                                  importance of study and preparation for
      The more you think about Jesus,             preaching—he had a thorough education in
       the more you'll talk about Him.            the Scriptures. Effective preaching must
                                                  combine studious preparation with reliance
2:3      And I was with you in weakness and       on the work of the Holy Spirit. Don’t use
         in fear and in much trembling.           Paul’s statement as an excuse for not
         I came to you in weakness and            studying or preparing.
         fear, and with much trembling.
         And I was with you in weakness,          Oswald Chambers
         and in fear, and in much trembling.
                                                  Paul was a scholar and an orator of the
                                                  highest degree; he was not speaking here
Anatomy Of Fear
                                                  out of a deep sense of humility, but was
In spite of what they say, 90% of the chronic
                                                  saying that when he preached the gospel,
patients who see today’s physicians have
                                                  he would veil the power of God if he
one common symptom. Their trouble did not
                                                  impressed people with the excellency of his
start with cough or chest pain or                 speech. Belief in Jesus is a miracle
hyperacidity. In 90% of the cases, the first      produced only by the effectiveness of
symptom was fear.
                                                  redemption, not by impressive speech, nor
                                                  by wooing and persuading, but only by the
This is the opinion of a well-known American
                                                  sheer unaided power of God. The creative
internist as expressed in a roundtable
                                                  power of redemption comes through the
discussion on psychosomatic medicine. This        preaching of the gospel, but never because
is also the consensus of a growing body of
                                                  of the personality of the preacher.
specialists. Fear of losing a job, of old age,
of being exposed—sooner or later this fear        Real and effective fasting by a preacher is
manifests itself as ―a clinical symptom.‖         not fasting from food, but fasting from
                                                  eloquence, from impressive diction, and
Sometimes the fear is nothing more than a         from everything else that might hinder the
superficial anxiety; sometimes it is so deep-     gospel of God being presented. The
seated that the patient himself denies its        preacher is there as the representative of
existence and makes the round of doctor to        God -- ". . . as though God were pleading
doctor,     taking    injections,  hormones,      through us . . ." (2 Corinthians 5:20). He is
tranquilizers and tonics in an endless search     there to present the gospel of God. If it is
for relief.                                       only because of my preaching that people
                                                  desire to be better, they will never get close
2:4      And my message and my preaching          to Jesus Christ. Anything that flatters me in
         were not in persuasive words of          my preaching of the gospel will result in
         wisdom, but in demonstration of the      making me a traitor to Jesus, and I prevent

                                I CORINTHIANS
                                               Chapter 2

the creative power of His redemption from                      Saints have confidence in.
doing its work.                                                Saints receive increase of grace by.
"And I, if I am lifted up . . . , will draw all                Saints strengthened by.
peoples to Myself" (John 12:32).                               Saints upheld by.
                                                               Saints supported in affliction by.
2:5        that your faith should not rest on the              Saints delivered by.
           wisdom of men, but on the power of                  Saints exalted by.
           God.                                                Saints kept by, unto salvation.
           so that your faith might not rest                   Exerted in behalf of saints.
           on men's wisdom, but on God's                       Works in and for saints.
           power.                                              The faith of saints stands in.
           That your faith should not stand in                 Should be acknowledged.
           the wisdom of men, but in the power                 Should be pleaded in prayer.
           of God.
                                                               Should be feared.
                                                               Should be magnified.
POWER, of God                                                  Efficiency of ministers is through.
         One of his attributes.                              Is a ground of trust.
         Expressed by the voice of God.                      The wicked know not.
         Expressed by the finger of God.                     The wicked have against them.
         Expressed by the hand of God.                       The wicked shall be destroyed by.
         Expressed by the arm of God.                        The heavenly host magnified.
         Expressed by thunder of his power.
         Described as great.                        2:6        Yet we do speak wisdom among
                                                                 those who are mature; a wisdom,
         Described as strong.
                                                                 however, not of this age, nor of the
         Described as glorious.
                                                                 rulers of this age, who are passing
         Described as mighty.                                  away;
         Described as everlasting.                             We do, however, speak a
         Described as sovereign.                               message of wisdom among the
         Described as effectual.                               mature, but not the wisdom of
         Described as irresistible.                            this age or of the rulers of this
         Described as incomparable.                            age, who are coming to nothing.
         Described as unsearchable.                            Howbeit we speak wisdom among
         Described as incomprehensible.                        them that are perfect: yet not the
         Described things possible to.                         wisdom of this world, nor of the
         Nothing too hard for.                                 princes of this world, that come to
         Can save by many or by few.                           naught:
         Is the source of all strength.
         Exemplified in the creation.               Duty:
         Exemplified in establishing                         To be wise by declaring that Jesus
                                                                 Christ is of God
         Exemplified in the miracles of Christ.
         Exemplified in the resurrection of                  To build one’s life upon the rock just
           Christ.                                               as any wise person would do.
         Exemplified in the resurrection of                  To know that it is the holy Scriptures
           saints.                                               that makes one wise unto salvation.
                                                               To pray for wisdom.
         Exemplified in making the gospel
           effectual.                                          To seek wisdom despite all
         Exemplified in delivering his people.
                                                               To seek wisdom diligently.
         Exemplified in the destruction of the
           wicked.                                             To show that one is wise by good
         Saints long for exhibitions of.

                               I CORINTHIANS
                                               Chapter 2

         To teach every man in all wisdom.                  heart of man,          Col. 1:28
                                                              All that God has prepared for those
2:7        but we speak God's wisdom in a                     who love Him."
           mystery, the hidden wisdom, which                  However, as it is written:
           God predestined before the ages to                 "No eye has seen,
           our glory;                                         no ear has heard,
           No, we speak of God's secret                       no mind has conceived
           wisdom, a wisdom that has been                     what God has prepared for those
           hidden and that God destined for                   who love him"--
           our glory before time began.                       But as it is written, Eye hath not
           But we speak the wisdom of God in                  seen, nor ear heard, neither have
           a mystery, even the hidden wisdom,                 entered into the heart of man, the
           which God ordained before the                      things which God hath prepared for
           world unto our glory:                              them that love him.

2:7 God’s ―secret wisdom. . . that has been           2:9 We cannot imagine all that God has in
hidden‖ was his offer of salvation to all             store for us, both in this life and for eternity.
people. Originally unknown to humanity, this          He will create a new heaven and a new
plan became crystal clear when Jesus rose             earth (Isaiah 65:17; Rev. 21:1), and we will
from the dead. His resurrection proved that           live with him forever. Until then, his Holy
he had power over sin and death and could             Spirit comforts and guides us. Knowing the
offer us this power as well (see also 1 Peter         wonderful and eternal future that awaits us
1:10-12 and the first note on § Romans                gives us hope and courage to press on in
16:25-27). God’s plan, however, is still              this life, to endure hardship, and to avoid
hidden to unbelievers because they either             giving in to temptation. This world is not all
refuse to accept it, choose to ignore it, or          there is. The best is yet to come.
simply haven’t heard about it.
                                                      C.H. Spurgeon
2:8        the wisdom which none of the rulers        Hell is horrible, for we may say of it, ―Eye
           of this age has understood; for if         hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it
           they had understood it, they would         entered into the heart of man to conceive
           not have crucified the Lord of glory;      the horrors which God hath prepared for
           None of the rulers of this age             them that hate him.‖
           understood it, for if they had, they
           would not have crucified the Lord          God Hath:
           of glory.                                      Revelation           revealed
           Which none of the princes of this              Selection            chosen
           world knew: for had they known it,             Preparation          prepared
           they would not have crucified the              Ordination           set forth
           Lord of glory.                                 Resurrection         raised up
                                                          Vocation             called
2:8 Jesus was misunderstood and rejected                  Distribution         distributed
by those whom the world considered wise                   Combination          tempered
and great. He was put to death by the rulers
                                                          Situation            set
in Palestine—the high priest, King Herod,
Pilate, and the Pharisees and Sadducees.
                                                      "Christianity and Judaism"
Jesus’ rejection by these rulers had been
                                                      In the Boston library is the great mural
predicted in Isaiah 53:3 and Zech. 12:10-11.
                                                      painting "Christianity and Judaism," by
                                                      Sargent. At one end are depicted the law
2:9        but just as it is written,
                                                      and the prophets in majestic splendor and
           "Things which eye has not seen and
                                                      noble array; at the other is a representation
           ear has not heard,
                                                      of the Redemption. Surmounting all are the
           And which have not entered the

                             I CORINTHIANS
                                           Chapter 2

colossal figures of the Trinity. On the cross             To see the fulfillment
hangs the Son of God, with Adam and Eve,                  To see the end
emblematic of humanity, kneeling on either                To see the beauty of Christ
side and bound, by what seems to be cloud
or purple banner, close to the body of Christ.    Need Christ As Saviour, Not Example
                                                  At the close of a service in Germantown,
Thus the artist has related to mankind the        U.S.A., a stranger accosted Dr. D. M.
death of Christ. His death on the cross for       Stearns with: "I don't like your preaching. I
sin has its direct and peculiar effect upon       do not care for the Cross. I think that instead
mankind. Humanity, identified with Christ in      of preaching the death of Christ on the
the Incarnation, suffers in Christ and is         Cross, it would be far better to preach
redeemed in Christ.                               Jesus, the Teacher and Example."

Blind to our:                                     "Would you be willing to follow Him if I
     Condition before God                        preach Christ the Example?" replied Dr.
     Beauty of Christ                            Stearns.
     Grace of God
     Things of the Lord                          "I would," said the stranger, "I will follow in
     Presence of Christ                          His steps."
     Need of a new birth
                                                  "Then," said Dr. Stearns, "let us take the first
     Evil around us
                                                  step, 'Who did no sin.' Can you take this
He Was Thankful For Blindness
A well-known English minister preached one
                                                  The stranger looked confused.
Sunday for Dr. Phillips Brooks in Boston.
                                                  "No," he said, "I do sin. I acknowledge it."
After the service he started to walk to his
hotel. He needed direction so he asked a
                                                  "Well, then," said Dr. Stearns, "your first
man behind him the way. "Why you're the
                                                  need of Christ is not as an Example, but as
minister I just heard. I know your voice. I am
                                                  a Saviour."
blind, but I can show you the way. I can take
you to the door."
                                                  Follow Me to the:
The minister protested, but the blind man              Manger              of humility
insisted, saying, "You will not refuse me the          Nazareth            of ministry
pleasure of helping you? I so seldom have              Jordan              of surrender
the opportunity to render service. Everyone            Wilderness          of temptation
is so kind to me." The two men walked arm-             Mount               of instruction
in-arm for ten minutes. "Here's your hotel,"           Place               of transfiguration
said the blind man.                                    Field               of service
                                                       Garden              of Gethsemane
Before parting, the blind man said, "I live            Cross               of Calvary
alone. I can go about the streets without a            Tomb                of resurrection
guide. I am thankful for my blindness,                 Throne              of ascension
because I have so much time for quiet                  Hope                of glory
meditation. There will be time enough in
heaven for me to see everything!"                 College Applicant Accepted As
The Sight Giver:                                  S.I. McMillen, in his book None of These
    To see the evil                              Diseases, tells a story of a young woman
    To see His worth                             who wanted to go to college, but her heart
    To see the need                              sank when she read the question on the
    To see the meaning                           application blank that asked, "Are you a

                             I CORINTHIANS
                                             Chapter 2

leader?"     Being    both     honest    and        Let’s remember that the Christian life is not
conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned        static or automatic. A Christlike mind is not
the application, expecting the worst.               just a fixed body of data the Holy Spirit plugs
                                                    into our minds when we get saved. If it were
To her surprise, she received this letter from      automatic, like a computer program for
the college: "Dear Applicant: A study of the        spiritual growth, God’s Word would not
application forms reveals that this year our        command us to ―grow in the grace and
college will have 1,452 new leaders. We are         knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus
accepting you because we feel it is                 Christ‖ (2 Peter 3:18).
imperative that they have at least one
follower."                                          We’re responsible to cooperate with the
                                                    Spirit in His work of making us more like
2:10    For to us God revealed them                 Christ. That’s why Paul said we must have
        through the Spirit; for the Spirit          renewed minds. This is essential for all
        searches all things, even the depths        believers, whether married or single.
        of God.
        but God has revealed it to us by            Paul gives us a dynamic picture of growth
        his Spirit.                                 toward the goal of spiritual maturity. We
        The Spirit searches all things,             can’t help but grow in grace and knowledge
        even the deep things of God.                of Christ when we present our bodies as
        But God hath revealed them unto us          living sacrifices to God, and allow His Spirit
        by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth     to conform our thinking to the will of God.
        all things, yea, the deep things of         And when a man and woman bring this kind
        God.                                        of individual commitment into their marriage,
                                                    they’re in for an exciting spiritual adventure.
2:10 The ―deep things of God‖ refers to
God’s unfathomable nature and his                   The command ―be transformed‖ in the
wonderful      plan—Jesus’     death    and         original language suggests, ―Keep on
resurrection—and to the promise of                  allowing yourself to be transformed.‖ We
salvation, revealed only to those who               don’t change ourselves. That’s the job of the
believe that what God says is true. Those           Spirit, using the Word of God and spiritual
who believe in Christ’s death and                   disciplines such as prayer, fellowship,
resurrection and put their faith in him will        fasting, and Bible study.
know all they need to know to be saved.
This knowledge, however, can’t be grasped           God Hath:
by even the wisest people unless they                   Revelation          revealed
accept God’s message. All who reject God’s              Selection           chosen
message are foolish, no matter how wise the             Preparation         prepared
world thinks they are.                                  Ordination          set forth
                                                        Resurrection        raised up
TODAY IN THE WORD                                       Vocation            called
The Bible says that all Christians have the             Distribution        distributed
mind of Christ because we have the Holy                 Combination         tempered
Spirit, who reveals the things of Christ to us.         Situation           set
This is part of what it means for believers to
―participate in the divine nature‖ (2 Peter         Simonides Unable To Define God
1:4).                                               Simonides, an ancient Greek philosopher
                                                    and poet who lived several centuries before
Therefore, if our marriages have two people         Christ, was commanded by his king to offer
with the mind of Christ, then we should have        a definition of God.
a tremendous head start and advantage
over people who do not know God.

                            I CORINTHIANS
                                          Chapter 2

The philosopher asked for a few moments to                 righteousness.
give the matter some thought. But so short a             World belongs to man. Entrusted to
time did not suffice, and at the close of the              man by God.
day, he returned to the palace and said: "O
King, I shall require a week. I beg of you,      2:12      Now we have received, not the spirit
grant me a week."                                          of the world, but the Spirit who is
                                                           from God, that we might know the
At the week's end, Simonides pleaded with                  things freely given to us by God,
the King for a month's time to define God.                 We have not received the spirit of
When the month was ended, the                              the world but the Spirit who is
philosopher appeared before the monarch                    from God, that we may
and asked for an extension of time: "I shall               understand what God has freely
require a year, O King!"                                   given us.
                                                           Now we have received, not the spirit
But before the year had ended, Simonides                   of the world, but the spirit which is of
came and confessed that the task was quite                 God; that we might know the things
beyond him: "O King, the more I think of                   that are freely given to us of God.
God, the less I know of Him."
                                                 R. C. Sproul
2:11    For who among men knows the              It is vital to understand that we are dealing
        thoughts of a man except the spirit      with a person. The world often believes
        of the man, which is in him? Even        erroneously that when the church speaks of
        so the thoughts of God no one            the Holy Spirit is referring to an impersonal
        knows except the Spirit of God.          force or an act of God’s power. But the Spirit
        For who among men knows the              is a true person, a living entity, and Scripture
        thoughts of a man except the             attests to this fact in numerous ways.
        man's spirit within him? In the
        same way no one knows the                First, Jesus, the apostles, and indeed all the
        thoughts of God except the Spirit        writers of Scripture refer to the Spirit with the
        of God.                                  use of personal pronouns: He, Him, His. He
        For what man knoweth the things of       never is referred to as It. Second, the Spirit
        a man, save the spirit of man which      does things that are associated with
        is in him? even so the things of God     personality. He teaches, inspires, guides,
        knoweth no man, but the Spirit of        convicts, and grieves. Third, He is shown to
        God.                                     possess a will, knowledge, and grieves.
                                                 Third, He is shown to possess a will,
Spirit of Man:                                   knowledge and affections. In short, all the
In relation to God.                              attributes that we commonly think of as
      Abandoned by God.                                                       attributed to
                                                 making up personhood are Romans 1:24the
      Alienated from God.                      Holy Spirit in Scripture.      2 Cor. 5:18
      Cannot know the things of God.                                          1 Cor. 2:6
      Created a little lower than the          More than that, however, the Spirit is shown
          angels.                                                                instance of
                                                 to be fully divine. One clear Hebrews 2:7this
                                                 is in Acts 5, where Peter rebukes Ananias
      Enemy of God.                                                           Romans 5:10
                                                 for his falsehood. Peter first accuses him of
      Given dominion over the world.                                          Mark 12:1
                                                 lying to the Holy Spirit, but in the very next
      Life without God.                                                       Titus 3:3
                                                 verse he says Ananias has lied to God.
      Rejects God.                                                            Mark also
                                                 Other New Testament references 12:2 point
      Separated from God;                      to the Spirit’s divinity by attributing to Him
          division between men.                  traits that clearly belong toEphes. 2:11 as
                                                                                  God, such
      The natural man.                         eternality and omniscience. 1 Cor. 2:14 the
                                                                                 This is why
      Welfare of.                              study of the person and work of the Spirit,
          Determined by concern for              which is known as pneumatology, is one of

                               I CORINTHIANS
                                              Chapter 2

the subsets of theology proper, which is the         imparting a divine enthusiasm.
study of God.
                                                     2:13    which things we also speak, not in
As a divine person, the Spirit is part of the                words taught by human wisdom, but
Trinity. Some people have difficulty with this               in those taught by the Spirit,
concept because of the Old Testament                         combining spiritual thoughts with
emphasis on God’s oneness: ―Hear, O                          spiritual words.
Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is                        This is what we speak, not in
one!‖ While others struggle with the fact that               words taught us by human
the word Trinity never is found in Scripture.                wisdom but in words taught by
In response, the church ahs argued that                      the Spirit, expressing spiritual
God is one in essence by three in person.                    truths in spiritual words.
God’s triune nature is seen over and over in                 Which things also we speak, not in
Scripture, such as in Matthew 3:16-17,                       the words which man's wisdom
where the Son is confirmed by the voice of                   teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost
the Father and the manifestation of the                      teacheth; comparing spiritual things
Spirit. Jesus’ command to baptize in the                     with spiritual.
name of the Father, the Son and the Holy
Spirit also attest that the Spirit is part of the    2:13 Paul’s words are authoritative because
Trinity.                                             their source was the Holy Spirit. Paul was
                                                     not merely giving his own personal views or
Crucified To:                                        his personal impression of what God had
    Sin of the world                                said. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
    Wisdom of the world                             he wrote the very thoughts and words of
    Friendship of the world                         God.
    Things of the world
    Pollutions of the world                         2:14    But a natural man does not accept
    Elements of the world                                   the things of the Spirit of God; for
    Course of the world                                     they are foolishness to him, and he
                                                             cannot understand them, because
    Contaminations of the world
                                                             they are spiritually appraised.
    Corruption of the world
                                                             The man without the Spirit does
    Care of the world                                       not accept the things that come
    Filth of the world                                      from the Spirit of God, for they
    Spirit of the world                                     are foolishness to him, and he
                                                             cannot understand them,
F.B. Meyer                                                   because they are spiritually
When we turn toward God in obedient faith,                   discerned.
we are lifted through faith into union with the              But the natural man receiveth not
heavenly Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, to rise                 the things of the Spirit of God: for
above the natural level. Then we walk in a                   they are foolishness unto him:
new world; then we become aware of the                       neither can he know them, because
unseen and eternal; then the spiritual                       they are spiritually discerned.
senses are as quick to discern good and evil
as our physical is to distinguish light from         2:14-15 Non-Christians cannot understand
dark. The spirit is our capacity for God.            God, and they cannot grasp the concept that
When it is brought to life, we move on to            God’s Spirit lives in believers. Don’t expect
new levels of experience; we touch reality.          most people to approve of or understand
When a channel is formed between the                 your decision to follow Christ. It all seems so
Spirit of God and the spirit of man, there is        silly to them. Just as a tone-deaf person
an instant communication of grace and                cannot appreciate fine music, the person
power that finds its way into every avenue of        who rejects God cannot understand God’s
the soul, enlightening the mind and                  beautiful message. With the lines of

                               I CORINTHIANS
                                              Chapter 2

communication broken, he or she won’t be             but to be spiritually minded is life and peace‖
able to hear what God is saying to him or            (Rom. 8:5–6). Because of the Spirit of God
her.                                                 in our lives, we think on a spiritual level, not
                                                     a fleshly one.
Our Daily Bread
Some people suffer from a strange hearing            Paul also said, ―Of Him you are in Christ
disorder: they can hear sounds but can’t             Jesus, who became for us wisdom from
understand words. They have no trouble               God—and righteousness and sanctification
hearing a bird sing or a watch tick, but words       and redemption‖ (1 Cor. 1:30). Since God
are as unintelligible as if they were a foreign      imparts His wisdom to us, we can think the
language. The source of the problem is not           deep thoughts of the eternal God.
in the ears. It stems from an injury to the
brain.                                               C.H. Spurgeon
                                                     Before by conversion I was accustomed to
There is also a spiritual deafness that affects      read the Scriptures to admire their grandeur,
people. Because of a problem in man’s                to feel the charm of their history, and wonder
sinful heart, the unconverted can read the           at the majesty of their language. But I
Bible and hear the preaching of God’s Word,          altogether missed the Lord’s intent therein.
but its spiritual message is foolishness to          But when the Spirit came with his divine life
them. That explains why some people can              and quickened all the page to my newly
appreciate the Bible as literature, as reliable      enlightened soul, the inner meaning shone
history, and as a source of high moral               forth with quickening glory.
standards, but fail to understand its spiritual
message. They don’t grasp the significance           My brother, you think you will put the gospel
of what it says about Christ, His death on           so clearly that they must see it, but their
the cross for our sins, His resurrection, and        blind eyes overcome you. You thing you will
His ministry of intercession in heaven today.        put it so zealously that they must feel it, but
These truths make no sense to them.                  their clay-cold hearts defeat you. You may
                                                     think you are going to win souls, by your
As you read the Bible, do you ―hear‖ what it         pleadings, but you might as well stand on
says? If not, ask the Lord to open your              the top of a mountain and whistle to the
understanding to what it says about Jesus.           wind, unless the Holy Spirit be with you.
Put your trust in Christ as your personal            After all your talking, your hearers will,
Savior and experience a spiritual birth.             perhaps, have caught your idea, but the
That’s the cure for spiritual deafness.              mind of the Spirit, the real soul of the gospel,
                                                     you cannot impart to them. This remains,
The key to understanding the written Word,           like creation itself, a work which only God
Is knowing the living Word.                          can accomplish.

Too Little Thought                                   2:15    But he who is spiritual appraises all
Some people assume worry is the result of                    things, yet he himself is appraised
too much thinking. But in reality it’s the result            by no man.
of too little thinking in the right direction.               The spiritual man makes
When we were saved, we received a new                        judgments about all things, but
mind or way of thinking. Now our human                       he himself is not subject to any
thought patterns are injected with divine and                man's judgment:
supernatural ones.                                           But he that is spiritual judgeth all
                                                             things, yet he himself is judged of no
The apostle Paul said, ―For those who live                   man.
according to the flesh set their minds on the
things of the flesh, but those who live              2:15-16 No one can comprehend God
according to the Spirit, the things of the           (Romans 11:34), but through the guidance
Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death,          of the Holy Spirit, believers have insight into

                              I CORINTHIANS
                                               Chapter 2

some of God’s plans, thoughts, and                    chicks sounded like quail.
actions—they, in fact, have the ―mind of
Christ.‖ Through the Holy Spirit we can               Here's a far greater miracle: God has
begin to know God’s thoughts, talk with him,          "implanted" the mind of Christ in those who
and expect his answers to our prayers. Are            have accepted His Son as their Savior. First
you spending enough time with Christ to               Corinthians 2:12 tells us that the Spirit of
have his very mind in you? An intimate                God has taken up residence in us. In some
relationship with Christ comes only from              mysterious way we now have a capacity for
spending time consistently in his presence            divine wisdom that no scholarly degree or
and in his Word. Read Phil. 2:5ff for more on         natural experience could ever provide.
the mind of Christ.                                   Having the mind of Christ enables us to see
                                                      life increasingly from God's perspective.
He is not:                                            This doesn't mean that we can think on
     Sanctimonious                                  God's level and instruct Him (v.16). But it
        (ungenuine, insincere, contrived)             does mean that we have a new capacity to
     Superior                                       think and talk and act more and more like
        (preferred, favorite, cut above)              Christ Himself.
     Sensational
        (dramatic, spectacular, stagy)                O Lord, forgive us for not using the good
     Sugary sweet                                   mind You have given us. Please help us to
        (sickly, cloying, melliferous)                spend more time in Your Word absorbing
     Segregated                                     Your thoughts so that we can think, talk, and
        (separate, dissociated, removed)              live more and more like You.
     Superficial
        (indifferent, shallow, ignore)                       To think and talk like Christ,
                                                              you must walk with Christ.
     Spineless
        (weak, irresolute, indecisive)
                                                      MIND The center of the intellectual activity,
     He is Spiritual!
                                                      an English term translating several different
        (pious, holy, pure, fervent, ardent)
                                                      Hebrew and Greek terms. The biblical
                                                      languages possess no one word parallel to
2:16    For who has known the mind of the
                                                      the English, mind. KJV translates at least six
        Lord, that he should instruct Him?
                                                      different Hebrew terms, mind. The primary
        But we have the mind of Christ.
                                                      word is leb, which means ―heart.‖ For
        "For who has known the mind of
                                                      example, Moses said, ―The Lord hath sent
        the Lord
                                                      me to do all these works; for I have not done
        that he may instruct him?"
                                                      them of mine own mind‖ (Numbers 16:28;
        But we have the mind of Christ.
                                                      compare 1 Samuel 9:20; Neh. 4:6). In
        For who hath known the mind of the
                                                      addition, the word nephesh (soul) is
        Lord, that he may instruct him? But
                                                      translated ―mind‖ in Deut. 18:6 when it refers
        we have the mind of Christ.
                                                      to the desire of a man’s mind (soul) and in
                                                      Genesis 23:8 where it refers to mind in the
Whom Do We Sound Like?
                                                      sense of a decision or judgment. The word
We have the mind of Christ. --1 Corinthians
                                                      ruach (spirit) is rendered ―mind‖ in Genesis
                                                      26:35. It speaks of the ―grief of mind‖ (spirit)
                                                      which Isaac and Rebekah experienced
French scientists have succeeded in
                                                      because Esau married heathen wives. Also
causing chickens to sound like quail.
                                                      used are the words lebab (heart) in Ezekiel
Researchers took tissue from the part of the
                                                      38:10; yetser (imagination) in Isaiah 26:3;
Japanese quail brain thought to control the
                                                      and peh (mouth, speech) in Leviticus 24:12).
bird's call, and they implanted it in the brains
of five chicken embryos. The experiment               Open It
worked. Researchers say the hatched
                                                      01.   In what way might your life-style seem

                         I CORINTHIANS
                                      Chapter 2

     foolish to some of your friends or      ___________________________________
     relatives?                              ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          07.  How does the message of the Cross
___________________________________               contrast with what most people
___________________________________               consider wise? (1:18-19)
___________________________________          ___________________________________
02.  In what ways did you depend on your     ___________________________________
     parents’ wisdom when you were a         ___________________________________
     child?                                  ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          08.  How does God get His message
___________________________________               across? (1:19-31)
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
Explore It
03.  To whom is the message of the Cross     ___________________________________
     foolishness? (1:18)
___________________________________          09.  How does God’s wisdom contrast with
___________________________________               the world’s wisdom? (1:20)
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
04.  To whom is the message of the Cross     ___________________________________
     powerful? (1:18)
___________________________________          10.  How did the demands of the Jews and
___________________________________               Greeks contrast with the Corinthians’
___________________________________               hope? (1:22-23)
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
05.  How can people hear the message of      ___________________________________
     Christ differently? (1:18)              ___________________________________
___________________________________          11.  How do God’s attributes compare with
___________________________________               ours? (1:25-26)
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
___________________________________          ___________________________________
06.  What does God’s message mean to         ___________________________________
     the person being saved? (1:18)          ___________________________________
___________________________________          12.   What were the Corinthians like before
___________________________________                they were called? (1:26-27)

                          I CORINTHIANS
                                       Chapter 2

___________________________________           18.  Why was it good that Paul came to
___________________________________                Corinth in weakness and fear? (2:3-5)
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
13.  How does God use the foolish and         ___________________________________
     weak things of the world? (1:27)
___________________________________           19. On what should our faith rest? (2:5)
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
14.  Why does God express His power and
     wisdom through ―foolish,‖ ―weak,‖ and
                                              Get It
     ―lowly‖ means? (1:28-29)
___________________________________           20.  Why do Christians and non-Christians
___________________________________                value the message of Christ so
___________________________________                differently?
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
15.  What has Jesus Christ become for         ___________________________________
     us? (1:30)                               ___________________________________
___________________________________           21.  What are some examples of the
___________________________________                world’s wisdom?
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
16. What kind of boasting is good? (1:31)     ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           22.  What common difficulties do people
___________________________________                mention when trying to understand the
___________________________________                gospel of Christ?
___________________________________           ___________________________________
17.  How did Paul’s regard for the world’s    ___________________________________
     wisdom affect his preaching and          ___________________________________
     testimony? (2:1-5)                       ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           23.  What are some doctrines of the
___________________________________                Christian faith that are difficult for non-
___________________________________                Christians to understand?
___________________________________           ___________________________________

                           I CORINTHIANS
                                        Chapter 2

___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            29.  Why do you think people demand
___________________________________                 signs, or proof, of God?
24.  When have you heard non-Christians        ___________________________________
     balk at the message of Christ?            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            30.  What’s wrong with demanding signs,
___________________________________                 or proof, from God?
25.  How has God made foolish the              ___________________________________
     wisdom of the world?                      ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            31.  How can you share the truth of the
___________________________________                 gospel with people who demand
                                                    signs, or proof, of God?
26.  In what ways do God’s commands            ___________________________________
     seem like foolishness to the non-         ___________________________________
     Christians you know?                      ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            32.  How is it encouraging to know that
___________________________________                 Paul was weak and fearful?
27.  What difference should it make in your    ___________________________________
     life to know that God chooses the         ___________________________________
     weak and lowly people of the world to     ___________________________________
     do His work?                              ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            33.  What does it mean to preach with a
___________________________________                 ―demonstration of the Spirit’s power‖?
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________
28.  What unbelievers have you known           ___________________________________
     who wanted miraculous signs or            ___________________________________
     airtight philosophical proofs before      ___________________________________
     believing in Christ?
___________________________________            34.  How can we make sure that our faith
___________________________________                 rests on God’s power and not our own
___________________________________                 wisdom?
___________________________________            ___________________________________
___________________________________            ___________________________________

                          I CORINTHIANS
                                       Chapter 2

___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           40.  What can you do this week to witness
___________________________________                for Christ in only God’s wisdom and
                                                   not your own craftiness?
35.  Whom could you encourage with the        ___________________________________
     knowledge that God’s weakness is         ___________________________________
     stronger than our strength?              ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________
___________________________________           ___________________________________

36.  What kinds of wisdom do you depend
     on that could be changed by the light
     of God’s Word?

Apply It
37.  To what area of your life now could
     you apply God’s ―foolishness‖? How?

38.  From whom can you learn more of
     God’s wisdom? How and when?

39.  How could you seek out God’s
     wisdom and power this week?


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