Posted by: Heather | February 19, 2009

1 Cor 2:6-16

Sunday, I preached on this passage. (we are working through 1 Cor)
1 Corinthians 2:6-16
(6) We speak wisdom, however, among them that are fullgrown: yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nought:
(7) but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, even the wisdom that hath been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds unto our glory:
(8) which none of the rulers of this world hath known: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory:
(9) but as it is written, Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him.
(10) But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
(11) For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.
(12) But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God.
(13) Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words.
(14) Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged.
(15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, and he himself is judged of no man.
(16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

First, a little background:

The book of 1 Corinthians was written by Paul to the church at Corinth. Paul planted this church on his second missionary journey after he visited Athens. When he was at Athens he spoke on Mars hill, and was pretty much laughed out of town by the intellectuals. He went to Corinth and spent just over a year and a half there. (this was not typical – usually he was run out of town by then)

Corinth was a large port city in Greece, sort of a crossroads between Europe and the Middle East. It sat between two ports. Ships would unload their cargo in one port and then it would be hauled over land to the other port, which cut several miles off of their travel, and was much safer than going around the lower portion of Greece. Many of the smaller ships were actually towed over land on rollers from one port to the other. Corinth had a wide cross section of people, and was known as a very immoral place. Our equivalent today would be the strip on Las Vegas. But this section of Corinth was much larger than the strip. There was also a large intellectual community in Corinth as well. The city was known for it’s tolerance.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian church to correct several problems that had cropped up in their midst since he had left. They had what I would call a denominational spirit. They were allowing gross immorality in their midst. They were hung up on emotional highs, and fleshly pursuits.

Paul begins his letter by telling them how he thanks God for them. This letter is notable in this sense, as Paul does not list a single thing about them that he is thankful for. Instead, he says he thanks God for the work God is going to do in them. He then addresses their factions, and rebukes them for their pride in how they entered God’s kingdom. He speaks of how God uses the weak of the world to confound the strong. The foolish to confound the wise. The lowly to confound the noble. He says he did not come to them with lofty speech or wise profound words. He did not use the wisdom of the world, but the foolishness of preaching. He determined to know nothing among them except Christ and Him crucified.

This is where we pick up.

In verse 6 he says that he does teach wisdom, but it is wisdom from God, rather than man. (My mind goes to Proverbs 1:7, and 2:1-6

Proverbs 1:7
(7) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 2:1-6
(1) My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
(2) So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
(3) Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
(4) If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
(5) Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
(6) For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

in verse 7 he says this wisdom is a mystery and then he goes on to talk about how the rulers of this age do not understand it. The word “ruler” is the one used for the leaders of the synagogue. It is the same word used in Luke 18 in describing the rich young ruler.

He says that the rulers would not have crucified Jesus if they had understood this mystery. He then quotes Isaiah 64. In this chapter, Isaiah pleads with God that He would come down and show Himself as He did on Sinai. Isaiah did not understand this mystery either.

What is this mystery?

He goes on to talk about how a no man can know what another is thinking, as we are not inside each others’ heads. Those of you who are married understand this. Guys, you love your wife, but how many times do you find yourself wondering what she is thinking? Ladies, you wonder about us guys, too, don’t you? But at least we are all people. Who can know what is in the mind of God? How could we possibly understand what He thinks?

Let’s step back and think about that for a while. God revealed Himself in creation to an extent. We have been studying it ever since. Has anyone fully comprehended it? The more we study and learn, the more questions we have. Creation is fully beyond our understanding. God revealed his judgment and wrath at the flood. When you think of it, who can grasp what happened there? It is so far beyond what we can fathom. God revealed His justice and holiness to the nation of Israel at Sinai. The entire nation trembled and pleaded with Moses to be their go-between from then on. They could not take in what they saw at Sinai.

Then God came and was a man. Jesus – the God man – showed us in 3-D who God is. He said in John that “he who has seen me has seen the Father”

The mystery is stated in the last verse of chapter 2. We have the mind of Christ.

What does the mind of Christ look like? Lets take two looks. One from the outside looking in, and one listening as he spills his soul for us to hear.

Philippians 2:5-11
(5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
(6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
(7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
(8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
(9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
(10) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
(11) And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus gave up everything willingly because we needed Him to. God then exalted Him. So what does that look like in me? My life should be marked by two questions: First: “What can I give up so that you can see Christ?” Second: “How can I exalt Christ above all else?”

The second look at the mind of Christ can be seen in John 17 in his high priestly prayer.

John 17:1-26
(1) These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
(2) As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
(3) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
(4) I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
(5) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
(6) I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
(7) Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
(8) For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
(9) I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
(10) And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
(11) And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
(12) While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
(13) And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
(14) I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
(15) I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
(16) They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
(17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
(18) As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
(19) And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
(20) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
(21) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
(22) And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
(23) I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
(24) Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
(25) O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
(26) And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

This prayer can be summed up in this way.

Jesus prayed the following things:

Father, I have shown the world who you are.

Now it is time for you to show the world who I am. (he was about to show his love and mercy in a way that had never been seen before nor since, on the cross)

Show them who I am by what I do, and then continue to show who I am through those whom you have given me.

I long for the day when they will be with me.

I am to be a “walking Sinai” so people can see Christ. Think of it, Jesus has been gone for 2000 years, but I have seen him in those who follow him. Have you? Do people see Christ in you?

This is the mystery. The Holy Spirit has come to dwell in those who would exalt Christ above all else. God is in us. Immanuel – God with us.

How amazing. How beyond my comprehension.



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