1 Corinthians 2 (9 Feb 2020)

  • Some memorabilia; it relates to our Bible passage; does it relate to you?
  • Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
  • You just don’t understand me!

11For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no-one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

  • You just don’t understand him/her!
    • What if we could really completely know and understand each other’s thoughts?
    • If we could communicate spirit to spirit?
    • Just give me a moment to try that…
    • It’s a useless hypothetical question – it can’t be done.
    • We have real limits to how we can understand each other; no one knows a person’s thought except their own spirit within them
  • Likewise, God’s Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God.
  • But more: The Holy Spirit searches ALL things, even the deep things of God

10What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 

  • We have a unique and special spirit to Spirit relationship with God!
    • Spirit to spirit
    • God’s Holy Spirit to your spirit
    • So we may understand what God has freely given us
    • And He may fully understand us.
  • This explains Paul’s approach:

1-5 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

  • There is no point in talking about Jesus with great eloquence, with persuasion, with human wisdom 
  • The message is simple: Christ was crucified and died for our sins
  • It’s OK to lack self-confidence. 
  • We, too, can share this message in fear and trembling (which is good to know!)
  • But we can be confident of the message
  • And the Holy Spirit will demonstrate God’s power to people as he did in you.
  • Their faith, like yours, rests on God-supplied insights and wisdom.

6-10We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:

‘What no eye has seen,

what no ear has heard,

and what no human mind has conceived’

the things God has prepared for those who love him –

10these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

  • A mystery has been revealed
  • This message of Christ the crucified, risen, reigning Lord is not what people expect or want.
  • It is a message of wisdom but it goes beyond the limitations of what humans call wisdom.
  • People simply don’t understand God’s wisdom – otherwise they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory!
  • God’s wisdom is a mystery to people: their human mind can conceive of what God has revealed to us by his Spirit

14The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 

  • Without the Holy Spirit people don’t understand these spiritual truths 
  • They consider them foolishness
  • Pray for them that the Holy Spirit will communicate with their spirit
  • So that they, too, can discern these eternal, spiritual truths

12What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

  • This is what Packer was explaining:
  • Do you know Jesus was crucified to take the penalty and blame and power of your sin?
  • That he was raised from the dead as King of kings and Lord of lords?
  • That he ascended to the Father until he will returns and you, too, will live and reign with him forever?
  • If “yes”, then that is because God’s Holy Spirit has revealed these things to you, has given you new, eternal life 
  • The Spirit of God who knows the thoughts of God, who knows all things, who knows your spirit, who knows your thoughts has revealed these things to you
  • More: the Holy Spirit has taken up residence within you so that you have become the temple of the Holy Spirit

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no-one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,

‘Who has known the mind of the Lord

so as to instruct him?

But we have the mind of Christ.

  • Don’t be surprised that others can’t understand your relationship with Jesus!
  • They can’t fully understand you, can’t understand the Holy Spirit of God, and will even think you are foolish.
  • They will often try to tell you what to believe and how to behave in ways contrary to what God has made plain to you.
  • Out of their ignorance they will pass judgement on you.
  • But with the Holy Spirit’s help you have a chance to understand the world and see it in the way God sees it.
  • People who do not know the Holy Spirit cannot see things the way they really are. 
  • Then you are seeing it the way it really is
  • Christians are the realists!
  • How wonderfully blessed we are!
  • None of us can ever fully know the mind of God – his thoughts are so much greater than ours
  • But the Spirit of Christ has at least revealed to our spirits what we need to know.
  • His Spirit has become more intimately close and personal that anyone else can be
  • Spirit to spirit we are related to God our Father and Jesus our Saviour.

Bellingen Uniting Church 9 February 2020