Today: [1 Corinthians 2:] Fathoming the Trackless Depths of God: In chapter 2 of 1 Corinthians Paul underscores the foolishness of preaching but emphasizes that the wisdom of God is beyond natural comprehension. There are those who consider themselves princes of popularity that mainstream Christianity lauds as modern-day voices from heaven, but they are excluded to the shallows of human reasoning. For those that have the mind of the Spirit, however, the deep treasuries of God’s mysteries stand open wide inviting our inquiry.
[1Co 2:1-16 KJV] 1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
In 1 Cor. 2 Paul continues elucidating the wisdom of God in contrast with the philosophies of men. God does not communicate with us according to the dictates of man’s expectation, and he never deals with us on human terms. If your approach to God is one of rationale and human reasoning you can be sure you have entirely missed the mind of God in the situation. In verse 1 Paul declares that his proceeding mandate is not moving with the excellency of speech or wisdom declaring the testimony of God. What is the testimony of God? The testimony of God according to Rev. 19:10 is the spirit of prophecy. What is prophecy? Prophecy is hearing the voice of God and articulating what you hear for your benefit and the benefit of others. Prophetic utterance is not equivalent to psychic readings or clairvoyance from another source. Prophetic utterance is about declaring to you who Jesus is and what the overture of heaven is toward you at that moment. For this reason, Paul sweeps aside the expectation of his readers and declares he will know nothing in our midst but Jesus Christ and him crucified.
What was Paul like when he visited among the churches? Was he a silken-tongued orator, stupefying his audiences with his diction and eloquence? Quite the opposite. In v. three he says he was with them in weakness and fear and much trembling. The only redeeming thing about his presentation was in the midst of what must have been a very unimpressive personal presence the demonstration of Spirit and of Power showed up and radically shifted the atmosphere and changed men’s lives. Paul must have reflected on this and came to the conclusion (v. 5) that God allowed this to happen that their faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
If it is the foolishness of preaching by which men are saved does that mean there is no wisdom in God? Not at all. Pay attention to v. 6. Paul states that he would indeed speak wisdom (v. 7) among those who are wise and those who were perfect (or mature) enough to handle it. Today believers have the same appetite for the deep things of God that New Agers have for the latest occult craze. He wrote elsewhere (2 Tim. 4:3) that in the last days men would have itching ears to hear the newest revelation but be unable to come to the knowledge of the truth. For this reason, Paul spoke the wisdom of God in a mystery. He didn’t shrink from saying things to people and teaching things that were completely opaque in terms of the comprehension or understanding of his listeners, even the hidden wisdom ordained before the foundation of the world.
Paul’s bold declaration then was that he wasn’t going to snappysermons.com to get a text, three points, and a life application to titillate his hearers. He was speaking of things (v. 9) that were known before the foundation of the world that human eye had not seen nor entered into their minds of what God had prepared for them though they were incapable of understanding it or receiving it because of immaturity and gross lack of capacity to hear.
These things may be foolishness to those who have an opinion of themselves but to to US – those who are small in their own estimation they are revealed not by the learned or by the rationale of men but by the Spirit of God that not only teaches the things of God but yes the very deep things of the kingdom that the Spirit of God will expose to open air even the very foundations of the cosmos and the ineffable plan of God in the earth.
Who is capable of receiving these lofty verities? Those who have received not the spirit of the world but the spirit of God that we might know the things that are freely given us of God. Do you understand the implications of v. 12? He is saying if you can know it by the revelation of the Spirit it is because it is freely given to you of God. This then shows us the power of the preaching of the Gospel. If you can see it, receive it and know it – then you walk away with that very understanding revealed by anointed preaching as the free gift of heaven in your life.
These are things taught not in the wisdom of men’s words but in the wisdom of the Holy Ghost comparing spiritual things with spiritual. There is no natural application with which you can find a frame of reference for the very deeps of God. The things that the Holy Ghost teaches are in another language and another subset of understanding beyond the simplistic offensively saccharine teachings that come across in our pulpits today. The deeps of God if they are not received it is because those of natural minds (v. 14) have no appetite for the liberties and truths of the Spirit for they are foolishness unto them. The person, however, that is spiritual, who has been impacted in his mind with the mentality of God – if he has in his perceptions and perspectives become a God-carrier then he can judge and receive even the inscrutable mysteries of God even some things as we know from Paul’s testimony it is lawful to hear and not utter.
Who has known this mind – the mind of God that we might instruct Him how to better communicate himself to a world and verily a church that is spiritually tone deaf? It is incredible to me that the most shallow teachers and preachers are the ones who consider themselves most apt to instruct those bolder adventurers who step out teach the deepest realities and mysteries of God. These immature self-appointed authorities have nothing but the mind of the natural and condemn themselves to the wading pools of religion, but we have the mind of Christ, and the trackless deeps of the things of the Spirit never plumbed or fathomed by the natural mind are open to us.
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