V88[the wisdom] which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;. The rulers of this world, mainly the religious leaders of Israel, were completely blind. Because their eyes and mind were set on their own concern, their own honor and fame among the people, they were blind for the wisdom of God in the Person of the Lord Jesus Who stood there before them and Who could be seen and touched. Therefore it is inconceivable that they would have crucified “the Lord of glory” if they would have had the slightest notion of Who He was and why He had come, would they? You may have such a good knowledge of everything and know the Bible very well, just as the pharisees and scribes did, but if you are filled with your own personal importance, you become blind for the glory of the Lord Jesus!
V99but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And [which] have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”. Then you will also lose the perception of “what God has prepared for those who love Him”. The things that God has prepared for those who love Him, are not things you are able to observe with the natural eyes or to be heard with your ears. Neither are they things that have come out of man’s heart. Every input of the natural man, that is the man without God, is excluded here. It is about things that God had prepared.
V1010For to us God revealed [them] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.. If you read verse 99but just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And [which] have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” superficially, you might think: ‘This is too lofty and too incomprehensible for us. It’s better not to be occupied with “what God has prepared”, it is after all, a hopeless task.’ But that is the result of reading superficially. Verse 1010For to us God revealed [them] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. actually says that “to us God revealed [them] through the Spirit”. Therefore there is no excuse for not immersing yourself in the things that God had prepared. The Spirit is totally willing to tell you about them. The point is that your heart is focused on God, whether you love Him, for He has prepared them “for those who love Him”. It is a fact that if you really love somebody, you want to know him or her better. That is also the case with our love for God.
You wouldn’t know anything of the things that God has prepared for you if God did not reveal them. God could have kept them all to Himself and show them only to you when you would be with Him in heaven. But God did not do that. He revealed or made them known now already. He did that through the Spirit.
V1111For who among men knows the [thoughts] of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the [thoughts] of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.. Here the Spirit is called “the Spirit of God”. To clarify what he means, Paul makes a comparison with the spirit of man. The truth is that nobody knows the inner of a man than his own spirit. Only you know by your own spirit what is happening inwardly. You are the only one who is aware of the questions and problems you are pondering on or why you are joyful and happy. All other people have no idea of that and are not able to know that. The only way that they could know is when you tell them.
In this same way God is operating to tell you what He has given to you. Only the Spirit of God knows what is going on in the depth of God’s heart, regarding His thoughts about and feelings for you personally.
V1212Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,. That Spirit you have received! Therefore you are able to discover what the things are that God has given to you. You have received the precise ability to search those things. The spirit of the world – which you did not receive – you find back in what men have invented or what the devil has whispered in their ear. With that spirit you will absolutely not understand one bit of the things of God. The spirit of the world doesn’t know anything about it and is in no way related to the things of God. In fact the spirit of the world is in flat contradiction with the things of God.
V1313which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual [thoughts] with spiritual [words].. From verse 1313which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual [thoughts] with spiritual [words]. you read about the means God used to reveal to you what He had in His heart. To do that God did not use human wisdom, for no man should receive glory for that. So no man could say: ‘How clever those people are, who can pass on such lofty things.’ What again is the issue here? It is about spiritual things. Who is the One Who could tell about them? Only the Spirit.
To tell us what is given to us by God, the Spirit uses spiritual words. What words are they? Were they unintelligible sounds? No, they were normal, ordinary words, but to which the Spirit gives a spiritual meaning.
V1414But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.. Those are words that are foolishness to the natural man. He cannot understand it at all. Just examine that. Does an unbeliever understand what you’re talking about when you tell him about your relationship with God and how your life has been changed since you’ve known the Lord Jesus? No, he does not, does he? Why not? You speak your mother’s tongue, the same language as the other one and yet you’re not being understood. That’s because the things of God’s Spirit are foolishness to him. He cannot understand them, for they are spiritually discerned and to discern something spiritually you need to have the Spirit of God.
It’s about two totally different worlds. In the one world, the spiritual world, the Lord Jesus is centered and the language of the Spirit is being spoken. In the other world, the natural world, where man and his own concern are centered, the language of the flesh is being spoken. These two worlds have nothing in common.
V1515But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.. Now you have become a believer, you can understand the way of living and thinking of people from the natural world, for you used to belong there. Now you are able to appraise things, but he who does not have the Spirit, can neither appraise nor understand you. It is only possible through the Spirit to appraise all kinds of things.
To summarize this important teaching of the apostle about the revelation of the wisdom of God, we can say this:
1. First there is the revelation by the Spirit (verse 1010For to us God revealed [them] through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.).
2. Then it is followed by the message, the way it reaches us: that happens through spiritual words (verse 1313which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual [thoughts] with spiritual [words].).
3. Finally it is being accepted by spiritual people (verse 1414But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.).
V1616For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.. The previous seems to sound rather proud. You would almost think that you have become equal to God. The last verse of this chapter brings clarity. There is nobody who has ever known the thinking of the Lord so that he would be able to teach the Lord about something. That would sound very impertinent. There are people who think that God did it all wrong. Once I heard somebody say: ‘If I were God, then everything would have looked different.’ Such a person thinks that he could teach God something, but in fact he, of course, does not have the slightest notion of God.
But you as a believer have received the new life, a new nature. Christ is your life and therefore you have the mind of Christ. You are able now to see and appraise things as Jesus Christ always did and still does. It is important to know that therefore you are able to appraise everything, because you have now received Christ as your life. You surely understand that you are to live close to the Lord Jesus in the practice of your faith life, in order to also give room for ‘His mind’. That was what the Corinthians failed to do, as you will see in chapter 3.
Now read 1 Corinthians 2:8-16 again.
Reflection: Which things do you read here about the Spirit?