1Corinthians Chapter Two


Paul has just admonished the Corinthians in chapter one for their attitudes of competitiveness in the management of their spiritual life as a community. He now launches in to tell them what true spirituality is. He makes a distinction between knowing a spiritual truth in a spiritual way, and knowing about a spiritual truth in a natural way. He compares worldly wisdom with spiritual wisdom. The Corinthian people that Paul wrote to in his letter belonged to a culture in which everyone believed in a spiritual life. For hundreds of years their spirituality was the dark distortion of superstition which held out false hope and deceived their minds.

They did not have the rule of science to rationalize the order of things as people do in our 21st century culture. In today’s culture spiritual concepts are met sometimes with derision or perhaps polite condescension. In a politically correct world such as ours it can be regarded as quaint or even appealing to have a spiritual framework for life, depending upon who it is that holds that spiritual viewpoint, but in those days everybody thought in spiritual terms in one way or another. Paul’s problems with the Corinthians was that they had blended the true spirituality of a shared life with Jesus Christ with the random spirituality of that early Greek culture, which placed great store on having special wisdom and knowledge concerning spiritual things.

Paul tells them that he depended totally on revelation from the Holy Spirit for spiritual knowledge concerning his life in Christ. He confesses to being nervous and self conscious about how he delivered the message of power to them, but he depended upon the power of the Holy Spirit to bring the truth home to their spirits. He even emphasizes the weakness of the humanity of Jesus in referring to him as the crucified Christ, implying that the only place Jesus took his flesh was to the cross. He is not willing to give any glory to the flesh. He then makes the point that only the Spirit of God understands and can convey the spiritual reality of Jesus.

He finally encourages them that they have received the very Spirit of God for themselves and that they can expect The Spirit to reveal to them all there is to know about Jesus and their shared life with him. He tells them that they haven’t yet seen or heard or imagined what God has in store for those who love him. he also tells them that they will be criticized for their belief in the simplicity of the gospel, but he finishes with the mighty statement that ‘we have the mind of Christ’.

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1. And my friends when I came to you I did not use elegant  oratory or impressive philosophy to tell you of the wonderful plan of God

2. For I had made up my mind to talk to you about nothing else but the crucified Jesus Christ.

3. In fact I felt inadequate and nervous and quite fearful.

4. The way I spoke and everything about my message had nothing to do with the wisdom of the world, but it was all in the power of the Spirit of God.

5. So that your faith would be established in that same power, and not because of worldly wisdom.

6. Not that we don’t speak wisdom  to those who can understand it, but it is not the wisdom of the world or of the people who have influence in this world.

7. The wisdom we speak with is hidden wisdom that is revealed by God, which reveals what he planned for humanity before he created the world, which is a glorious plan for us.

8. It is a plan which none of the rulers of this world knew anything about. If they would have known they would not have dared crucify the Lord of glory.

9. But the Scriptures tell us that nobody could ever have seen or heard or even imagined the things that God has in store for those that love him.

10. But God reveals those things to us by his Holy Spirit who is in command of all the profound things of God.

11. Just as a human being can only understand the things about humanity because of the human spirit that is within him, so also only the Spirit of God knows about the things of God.

12. But we have more than just the spirit of the world, we have the Spirit of God, so that we are able to understand all about the things God freely gives to us.

13. That is why we do not just teach just life principles that the world teaches, but we teach the things that the Holy Spirit teaches, linking one spiritual truth with another.

14. But the human mind cannot take in the truths of the Spirit because they don’t make sense to the mind. Natural man cannot understand them because they can only be understood in the spirit.

15 But if you are spiritually alive you can seek out and understand all things, even though people criticize you because they don’t understand you.

16. After all, can any person understand the Lord’s mind and give him advice? But we have been given the mind of Christ.

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