07 July 22, 2012, 1 Corinthians 2
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  • 1. GOD’S WISDOM 1 CORINTHIANS 2 JULY 22, 2012FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, USA
  • 2. 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 (HCSB)1“When I came to you,brothers, announcing thetestimony of God to you, I didnot come with brilliance ofspeech or (human) wisdom.
  • 3. 2 For I didn’t think it wasa good idea to knowanything among youexcept Jesus Christ andHim crucified.
  • 4. 3 I came to you in weakness,in fear, and in muchtrembling. 4 My speech and myproclamation were not withpersuasive words of wisdombut with a
  • 5. powerful demonstrationby the Spirit, 5 so that your faith mightnot be based on men’swisdom but on God’spower.
  • 6. Spiritual Wisdom6 However, we do speak awisdom among the mature,but not a wisdom of this age,or of the rulers of this age,who are coming to nothing.
  • 7. 7 On the contrary, wespeak God’s hiddenwisdom in a mystery, awisdom Godpredestined before theages for our glory. 
  • 8. 8 None of the rulers ofthis age knew thiswisdom, for if they hadknown it, they would nothave crucified the Lord ofglory. 
  • 9. 9 But as it is written:‘What eye did not see and eardid not hear, and what neverentered the human mind—God prepared this for thosewho love Him.’ (Isa 64:4)
  • 10. 10 Now God has revealedthese things to us by theSpirit, for the Spiritsearches everything, eventhe depths of God.
  • 11. 11 For who among menknows the thoughts of a manexcept the spirit ofthe man that is in him?In the same way, no oneknows the thoughts of Godexcept the Spirit of God.
  • 12. 12 Now we have not receivedthe spirit of the world, but theSpirit Who comes from God,so that we may understandwhat has been freely given tous by God.
  • 13. 13 We also speak thesethings, not in wordstaught by human wisdom,but in those taught by theSpirit, explaining spiritualthings to spiritual people.
  • 14. 14 But the unbeliever does notwelcome what comes fromGod’s Spirit, because it isfoolishness to him; he is notable to understand it since it isevaluated spiritually.
  • 15. 15 The spiritual person,however, can evaluateeverything, yet he himselfcannot be evaluated byanyone.
  • 16. 16 ’For who has known theLord’s mind, that he mayinstruct Him?’ (Isa 40:13) But we have the mind ofChrist.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 HCSB
  • 17. Chronology of ApostlePaul’s Journeys andEpistlesMatthew McGee
  • 18. Here’s how Paul got toCorinth:The crucifixion,resurrection, and ascensionof Jesus Christ occurred inthe spring of 32 AD.
  • 19. Five years later, in about 37AD, Jesus Christ speaks toSaul (Paul) on the road toDamascus.Paul’s first missionaryjourney took place 45-4AD.
  • 20. The second journeybegins, possibly in the springof 51 AD. Paul takes Silasthrough Syria and Cilicia(now southeastern Turkey).They came to Derbe and
  • 21. Lystra, where they findTimothy. They areforbidden by the Spirit togo into Asia so they thenwent to Macedonia (nownorthern Greece).
  • 22. At Philippi, God opens theheart of Lydia and thePhilippian jailer. They thencame to Thessalonica, wherePaul taught for 3 weeks.After teaching some in
  • 23. Berea, Paul departed byhimself southward toAthens. Paul then makeshis first visit to Corinthwhere he stays a year and ahalf (Acts 18:1, 5, 11).
  • 24. In Corinth, Paul met andmade tents with Aquilaand Priscilla, who had justcome from Rome, fromwhich Claudius Caesarhad banished all Jews.
  • 25. First & Second Thessalonianswere written from Corinth.Paul left by boat from Corinthwith Aquila and Priscilla to goacross the Aegean Sea toEphesus.
  • 26. Paul then goes up toAntioch in Syria, wherethe second journey ends.
  • 27. The third journey beginswith Galatia (central regionof Turkey) in the spring of 54AD.Paul arrives at Ephesuswhere he stayed for 3 years.
  • 28. He wrote 1 Corinthians near theend of this stay inEphesus probably in 57AD. 
  • 29. Ray StedmanCopyright (C) 1995 Discovery Publishing,a ministry of Peninsula Bible Church.
  • 30. Corinth was the mostAmerican city in the NewTestament, a resort city ofpalms and beautiful buildings,the capital of pleasure for thewhole Roman Empire.
  • 31. The citizens of Corinth were devoted to two things:1) the pursuit of pleasure1) the pursuit of wisdom.
  • 32. That is why it is so likemodern conditions today.It was a Greek city so itsinhabitants loved tophilosophize. They weregiven to“the wisdom of words”.
  • 33. In the city of Corinth therewas a temple that wasdedicated to Aphrodite, theGreek goddess of love, andpart of their worship involved10,000 temple prostitutes.
  • 34. The city was openly givenover to the practices oflicentiousness; it wasregarded as a normal, properpart of life and no one everthought twice about it.
  • 35. If we think we are livingunder conditions wheresensualism is rampant andworship of sex is widespread,our conditions do not yetapproach those of the
  • 36. Christians who had to live inCorinth.Furthermore, they werecontinually assaulted by thedoctrines, dogmas and ideasof men following the greatphilosophers.
  • 37. This city was the heir of thegreat thinkers of the GoldenAge of Greece---Socrates,Plato, and Aristotle all hadtheir followers within thecity of Corinth.
  • 38. And as in every Greek city,they loved to gather in thepublic plazas and debatethe present issues. Theywere people given over tothe love of human wisdom.
  • 39. Paul stayed with Aquila andPriscilla in Corinth and ledthem to Christ.He formed a church in theirhome and gradually theGospel spread throughout thecity and
  • 40. many of the Corinthianson hearing it, believed,were baptized and becamemembers of this church.That was the church towhich Paul wrote this
  • 41. letter, and as you read it,you see that it was achurch in trouble;it was the biggest problemchurch in the NewTestament.
  • 42. The letter falls into twomajor divisions; there is firstof all a great section dealingwith what we might call "thecarnalities," that takes youfrom chapters 1 through 11.
  • 43. Then there is a closing sectionfrom chapter 12 throughchapter 16 that deals withwhat Paul calls "thespiritualities"---the carnalitiesversus the spiritualities.
  • 44. The carnalities includedeverything that waswrong with this church;the spiritualities werewhat they needed tocorrect it.
  • 45. As you read this letterthrough, you will see that wesuffer today from all thecarnalities and that what wedesperately need to set ourlives right are thespiritualities.
  • 46. Therefore, this letter isespecially written to thosewho live in a sex-saturated,wisdom-loving atmosphereand are trying to live asChristians in the midst of allthe pressures
  • 47. that constantly come fromthese two areas.The godless spirit of thecity had come into thechurch.
  • 48. There are those who aretelling us that the need in thechurch today is to captureagain the spirit of the age inwhich we live. There could beabsolutely nothing furtherfrom the
  • 49. truth than that!The one thing the churchmust never do is to capturethe spirit of the age.The job of the church is tocorrect the spirit of the age
  • 50. because when a church beginsto reflect the spirit of the agein which it lives, itimmediately loses its power,and that is what hadhappened to the church atCorinth.
  • 51. "The world," Paul says, “byits wisdom does not knowGod" (1 Cor. 1:21), and theywill never get to the heart oftheir problems by trying topursue the insights of
  • 52. current popularity or secularphilosophers.That is still true today.The church will never solve itsproblems as long as itconstantly pursues
  • 53. the knowledge of menlooking for the insights itneeds to understand itsproblems.
  • 54. The apostle says it isimpossible that we canever arrive at a solution toour needs on this level,because there issomething vitally missing.
  • 55. That missing element is thelife of the Spirit in man, andwithout this, he can neversolve all the riddles of life.So the apostle answers theseproblems by
  • 56. confronting them with theword of the cross---the wordthat presents the cross ofChrist as that instrument bywhich God cuts off all humanwisdom as being useless insolving the major problems
  • 57. of man.
  • 58. When we come toappreciate the word of thecross, we understand thatin the cross of Jesus Christ,God took His own Son,now become man like us,
  • 59. identified with us in everyway, and nailed Him up todie.The world sees that as beinguseless as far as solving any ofthe problems of mankind isconcerned.
  • 60. That is the word of thecross; that is why it looksso foolish to the naturalman; that is why itproceeds on a totallydifferent principle than
  • 61. the wisdom of the world. Andwhen we accept that, theapostle says, we begin todiscover that true, secret,hidden wisdom that unfoldslittle by little the answers tothe
  • 62. problems of life.We begin to understandourselves and to see why thisworld is what it is, and whereit is heading, and why all theconfusion and the difficultiesand
  • 63. the problems exist, as the deepthings of God, the wisdomwhich God has hidden inChrist, is unfolded to usthrough the teaching of theSpirit by the word of God.
  • 64. And Paul says, "Im not goingto waste any time at allarguing with you about thewisdom of men: when itcomes to solving the deep-seated problems of humannature, there is
  • 65. only one wisdom that cantouch it, and that is the wordof the cross."This becomes, then, one of themightiest answers of all timeto the intellectualism that
  • 66. constantly hounds theChristian church and attemptsto undermine it---a falseintellectualism.The word of God neverattempts to set aside or callworthless the pursuit
  • 67. of knowledge.God intends men to learnthings, he designed us thatway, but it must beknowledge based upon a rightbeginning and we
  • 68. are called back to the principleset forth in the Old Testament,"The fear of the Lord is thebeginning of wisdom"(Prov. 9:10); and that is wherewe begin.
  • 69. “The fear of the Lord” can bedefined as:reverential awe and also asrealizing that God is watchingevery thought, action, attitudeand deed that I have and do.
  • 70. Wisdom can be defined as:seeing things from God’spoint of view.
  • 71. “The fear of the Lord is thebeginning of wisdom” istelling us that to start learningto have godly wisdom, beaware that God is watchingevery thought, action, attitude
  • 72. and deed that you have andthat you do. When you do,you start seeing things fromGod’s point of view, you startthinking like God thinks andyou begin to have the
  • 73. wisdom of God in yourlife.
  • 74. Now, Paul goes on here toshow that the true reason fortheir division was not whatthey thought it to be---differences of human points ofview---but rather, it wascarnality,
  • 75. the love of the flesh for beingpuffed up, and for findingitself idolized and followed.This was their problem. Paulsays that while that principleis at work, they
  • 76. would remain babes, theywould never grow.The word of the cross mustcome in and cut off the fleshbefore you will ever begin togrow.
  • 77. As long as this keeps on, youwill find yourselvesconstantly involved in littlesquabbles and bickerings anddivisions, and you can liveyour whole Christian life on
  • 78. that basis, Paul says. But oneof these days you are goingto come to the end, and thetesting, the analysis of whatyour life has been worth, andin that Day you will see that
  • 79. if you have been living inthe flesh, it is all wood, hay,and stubble.
  • 80. It is burned up, completelyworthless, and your life---except for the fact that youhave received Jesus Christas your Savior---is awasted enterprise.
  • 81. It is possible, even in thereligious realm, to gain theapproval of men and to beaccepted as quite a figure in thechurch, and to enjoy the favorof others and the prestige
  • 82. that comes from position, andto come to the end, only todiscover that the absolutelyrelentless judgment of Godhas not been impressed in theleast degree by that which
  • 83. originates from anything elsebut the work of the Spirit ofGod in you---it has to be theSpirit and not the flesh.“Old too soon, Smart too late!”
  • 84. “Just one life,will soon be past,Only what’s done forChrist will last.”
  • 85. Actually it is not what’s donefor Christ but only what weallow Him to do through usthat lasts.We don’t work for God,He works through us.
  • 86. Ephesians 2:1010 “For we are His creation,created in Christ Jesus forgood works, which Godprepared ahead of time so thatwe should walk in them.”
  • 87. 1 Corinthians 2:1a-21“I did not come withbrilliance of speech…2 For I didn’t think it was agood idea to know anythingamong you except JesusChrist and
  • 88. Him crucified.”Paul decided not to talk tothem with the wisdom of men– lofty words, flowery phrases– to impress them with thebeauty of the Christian
  • 89. life.The wisdom of the worldalways sounds impressiveand with attractive goalsfrom celebrities wearinglots of bling-bling.
  • 90. There is usually asuggestion as to how toobtain the good life – justbuy our product!
  • 91. It is doubtful that changingdeodorants is going todrastically improve yourlife.
  • 92. The cross of Christ is ajudgment on the wisdom ofman.The “smart” people inJerusalem crucified Jesus andthe intellectuals of our day dothe same.
  • 93. They killed Him, not becausethey thought He was crazybut because they were afraidthat He was right.They saw Him as dangerous!
  • 94. He threatens people and theirhuman wisdom.The cross is the result ofconfronting the world withthe ways of God.The only thing that they couldthink to do was to
  • 95. nail Him to the cross.Dorothy Sayers said that,“He was too dynamic to besafe. The Jews saw Him asdangerous.He was tender to the poor
  • 96. but He insulted the clergy bycalling them hypocrits. Hecalled King Herod “that fox”.He was a Friend of sinnersand One Who threwtradesmen out of
  • 97. the Temple.
  • 98. He destroyed theirregulations and cureddiseases with a shockingcasualness at the expenseof other people’s pigs andproperty.
  • 99. He showed no deference tothe wealthy or those withhigh social standing. Whenfaced with a trap, He madefun of those who were tryingto trick Him. He askedquestions that
  • 100. could not be answered andHe had a daily beauty in Hislife that made them feel ugly.The leaders felt like theirworld would be more securewithout Him.
  • 101. They did away with God inthe name of peace andquietness.” Dorothy SayersMan tries to handle life apartfrom the redemptive processof Jesus Christ.
  • 102. In the death of Jesus, Godwiped out all otherapproaches to life as Paulrefers to in verse 7:“ God’s hidden wisdom in amystery”
  • 103. In verse 1 Paul calls it “themystery of God”in v10, “the deep things ofGod”in v 11, “the thoughts of God”in v 12, “the gifts of God”
  • 104. in v 13, “spiritual truths” andin the last verse,“the mind of Christ”.This mystery of God is themissing link of humanunderstanding.The wisdom of God holds
  • 105. the secrets of how to live andhow to get rid of guilt andfear and how to love God.These truths are intended forour glorification –developing the real you.
  • 106. They are not discoverable bynatural processes or throughphilosophy.The natural man cannotunderstand this body of truth:“What eye did not see and eardid not hear,
  • 107. and what never entered thehuman mind—God prepared this for thosewho love Him.”The natural man cannot learnthis from history.God reveals this body of
  • 108. Truth only to those whoposses His Spirit(Christians).The Spirit of God takes theWord of God and teaches thepeople of God these truths.
  • 109. These truths are never foundin secular thinking.These are seen only fromGod’s point of view, from Hisperspective.The Holy Spirit is God’sTeacher that He has
  • 110. placed inside of us.
  • 111. Jesus Himself spoke with suchauthority that others knewnothing about.Matthew 7:28-29“28 When Jesus had finishedthis sermon, the crowds wereastonished
  • 112. at His teaching, 29 because He was teachingthem like One Who hadauthority, and not like theirscribes.” Matthew 7:28-29
  • 113. Jesus read people’s minds andanswered questions beforethey were even asked, Hediscerned people’s motivesand He spoke of unseenthings with a familiarity as
  • 114. though He had seen themHimself.He described what God is likeand what happens after death.He knew a body of Truthothers had no access to.
  • 115. In the Upper Room, whenthe disciples feared the lossof His wisdom, He said,“18 I will not leave you asorphans; I am coming toyou.” John 14:18
  • 116. Then He said,26 “The Counselor, the HolySpirit —the Father willsend Him in My name—willteach you all things andremind you of everything Ihave told you.” John 14:26
  • 117. Jesus told them that theHoly Spirit would saymany things to them thatHe did not say becausethey couldn’t handle themyet.
  • 118. As we already stated, thewisdom of God isintended for ourglorification.God designed it tocomplete human beings,
  • 119. to bring us to fulfillment, tomake us into the men andwomen that He designed usto be: beautiful people bothoutwardly and inwardly,loving, compassionate,
  • 120. strong, tender-hearted,merciful people filled withgrace and strength.That is glorified humanity!That’s what this body of Truthwill do.Without this body of Truth
  • 121. homes break up and societiesfall apart.It is the most vital line ofTruth that anyone can knowanything about.It is available only throughGod’s Holy
  • 122. Spirit.He is the mighty Teacher ofGod come to instruct us in theWord of God and expose us tothe hidden secret wisdom ofGod.He sets us free to become
  • 123. who He designed us to be.You are not defined by yourpast but by who you arebecoming.You are being conformed tothe image of His Son (Romans8:29).
  • 124. You are now who you havebeen becoming!We cannot know God exceptHe disclose Himself to us.You cannot know Himthrough human wisdom,
  • 125. not by investigation.Only God Himself can openHimself to us and that He hasdone by means of His HolySpirit.Jesus said, “He will take thethings of Mine and
  • 126. show them to you.”He illuminates the pages ofScripture and makes itvivid and real and we areconfronted with the living,breathing Christ Himself.
  • 127. That’s the work of the Spirit.The apostles did notunderstand Jesus but theSpirit helped them tocomprehend what He hadtold them.
  • 128. Jesus puzzled them but whenthe Spirit came – all that Jesushad said began to makewonderful sense.Unbelievers can read the Bibleand it is a totally differentbook to them but
  • 129. after they become Christiansand they have the Holy Spiritas their Teacher, it comesalive!The Spirit interprets thesetruths to those who posses theSpirit.
  • 130. The word interpret means “tofit things together”.He takes the wisdom of Godand facts about yourpersonality and your makeupand your spiritual gifts andfits
  • 131. those all together for eachindividual, for eachspiritual person.Spiritual person comes fromthe word pneuma = spirit.Believers can operate their
  • 132. lives from the spiritual level,the highest functioning levelpossible.Only those who have receivedthe Spirit (which occurs forevery believer at salvation)can operate
  • 133. from the spiritual level. Weare made up of body, soul andspirit.Our soul is made up of ourmind, our will and ouremotions.
  • 134. 1 Thessalonians 5:2323 “Now may the God ofpeace Himself sanctify youcompletely. And may yourspirit, soul, and body be keptsound and blameless for the
  • 135. coming of our Lord JesusChrist.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23
  • 136. The natural man is spirituallydead so he operates out of theareas of his body and his soul.Soul comes from the Greekword “psche”.The natural man is shut
  • 137. away from all the things ofGod, the whole realm ofthe secret wisdom of God.He does not even knowthat it exists.He thinks he has all he
  • 138. needs to live life when inreality he knows nothing of thevast realm of information aboutwhat makes humans tick, aboutGod, about the world, aboutthe way it operates
  • 139. and functions, the purposeof life, about the endtowards which all things areheading – he knows nothingof all of this and it limitshim. For this reason, he
  • 140. misunderstands so muchabout life.He misunderstandsmarriage – he doesn’t get it.God’s design is to take twototally different types
  • 141. of people (a female and amale) and blend themtogether through a longprocess involving muchstruggle and much heartacheuntil a whole new being isformed and
  • 142. that brings much glory toGod!The natural manmisunderstands adversity thatGod can use as a trainingground. He sees adversity asan
  • 143. invasion on his rights, as analien invader that has no rightto be there.He gets angry at God and hasresentment towards Godwhen adversity comes into hislife.
  • 144. He is shut away from thesecret wisdom of God and isunable to understand it.These things don’t make senseto him.It is only as he sees Christianshandle
  • 145. adversity that he is able toeven accept the idea at all.The same goes for his viewson euthanasia, abortion, etc.because these things arespiritually discerned.
  • 146. The message we are toconfront the natural manwith is “we preach notourselves but Jesus Christ asLord and ourselves as yourservants for Jesus’ sake.”
  • 147. That’s how we help the world.If the natural man does notaccept Jesus as Lord, his mindremains darkened andalthough out of peer pressurehe accepts the norms andvalues of the society –
  • 148. he is never fully convincedthat those values are right.Without the equipping bythe Spirit, the mind isunable to grasp what Godwants.
  • 149. Just as radio and TV wavesare passing through the airaround us right now, youcan’t hear or see themessages without thenecessary equipment.
  • 150. The natural man lacks theequipment to see the sense inChristian living.It is foolishness to him and itis foolish for us to argue withnon-believers
  • 151. beyond a certain point.Believers are equipped to passmoral and ethical judgmenton all things.Anything can be used rightlyor wrongly; TV, the Internet,in vitro fertilization, etc.
  • 152. It is the task, even theprivilege, of the Christian topoint out to the world theright way and the wrong wayto use things.The spiritual man is to
  • 153. have thoroughly studied theissue, fully prayed up,diligently researched it andthen waits before God for anillumination of his mindbefore making apronouncement.
  • 154. We are to stand up and say“abortion is wrong” no matterhow many laws say it is legal.They can pass laws that makesome things legal but that willnever make
  • 155. those things moral.Social oppression is wrong.Bigotry is wrong.Human trafficking iswrong.We are to stand against
  • 156. these things based on thesecret wisdom of God that theworld knows nothing about.We will see anit-Christianlaws in the near future andlike Martin Luther at
  • 157. the Diet of Worms as hestood before the assembledauthorities including theEmperor of the Holy RomanEmpire said, “unless myconscious be corrected by
  • 158. the Word of God, I will notrecant. Here I stand, I can dono other, God help me.”
  • 159. Possibly the most daring thingever said in Scripture is:“We have the mind of Christ”.To have the mind of Christ isto have the very
  • 160. way of thinking about lifethat Jesus Himself had. Thekeen ability to observe whatwas going on around Him.The ability to evaluate thechanging standards of
  • 161. men and to come to the heartof the matter.That’s the mind of Christ.The mark of it is that we willbehave as Jesus did.We will be compassionatewhen others are severe
  • 162. and we’ll be severe whenothers are tolerant.We will be kind to the uglyand to the obscure and to thepeople with no ability orpower but we will be frankwith the rich
  • 163. and the powerful and themighty.That’s the mind of Christ.It is the privilege of thespiritual man who can operatein the midst of a crooked andperverse
  • 164. generation among whom weappear as lights in a darkworld.It calls men back to reality –away from the confusion andthe illusion and the delusionsand the
  • 165. fantasies by which theworld lives – to the realitiesof life as it is in Christ.What a challenge we have!What a privilege we have!