Something true is something that is, “in accordance with fact or reality.”
It sounds so simple, but it isn’t, it’s complicated.
Some things are true,
and some things only feel true and in our culture we use
the word “truth” in a lot of different ways.
Hang with me, I promise we are going somewhere with this. If I feel hurt because someone called me short when I am actually tall, is my feeling true? Well, yes. Even though their statement about my height is false I am still feeling what I am feeling. The fact that I am experiencing the emotion “hurt” is a true experience.
Ah, so the truth isn’t entirely as black and white as one might hope for.
This passage speaks about this same tension. Our natural selves don’t embrace the truth of the spirit.
In fact, spiritual truth is foolishness to some of our
As followers of Jesus, we are given the Holy Spirit,
and with that comes the mind of Christ.
The mind of Christ is the mind of real truth
We could call this “big T Truth.” The mind of Christ sees you as a child, loved, gifted, and having a purpose. We also experience feelings based upon lies. The feelings are also true, in that we are actually feeling and experiencing them, but the source of those feelings are lies. We could call those “little t truths.”
What do you believe about your world, others, and yourself? One of the fundamental goals of reading the scriptures is to begin to believe “big T Truths” about life. As you read the scriptures this week, ask the Spirit to give you the ability to hear HIS voice over the other voices.
Worldly and spiritual wisdom (2:1-16)
Paul reminds the Corinthians that when
he was among them he did not try to impress them with any great show of learning. He preached the plain gospel without trying to
make it attractive to any one class of people
During his time in Corinth, Paul had been physically weak and lacked his usual boldness. As a result his preaching was not at all impressive. Yet this was no great disappointment to him, because he wanted his converts to stand in the power of God, not to become attached to the preacher because they were impressed with his style (3-5).
Although the gospel does not depend
that is no reason to look down on it
as though it were something inferior.
Christianity has a superiority and dignity of its own.
"It is based on the wisdom of God, which makes all human wisdom appear weak and insignificant (6-7). Lack of this wisdom was what caused people to crucify Christ. On the other hand, those who have this wisdom enter into blessings that the ordinary people of the world cannot understand. The only ones who can understand these things are those who have the Spirit of God" (8-10).
Just as a person’s own spirit, and no one else’s, knows what is going on inside that person, so the Spirit of God, and no one else, knows what is going on within God. Therefore, only those who have the Spirit of God can know the mind of God (11-12). They receive instructions from God through the Spirit and pass on these instructions to others, not by means of worldly wisdom,
but by the same Spirit.
Those who receive the instruction will likewise
through the work of
that Spirit within them
Ordinary people of the world reject the things of God as foolish,
because they do not have his Spirit and therefore
do not have the means of understanding them (14).
Those who have the Spirit of God are able to form judgments
on all things, because now that
Christ has changed their
they see things from Christ’s
point of view.
But those without God’s Spirit are unable to form judgments
on things of the Spirit, and therefore are unable
to judge spiritual issues in the lives of believers (15-16).
Paul means that ordinary man cannot receive or give a revelation from God, because God has not selected him and filled him with the Holy Spirit.
Only the apostles and certain other writers of the
were so selected and guided.
Man cannot see or know the things that
relate to the kingdom of God,
without being regenerated first by the Holy Spirit.
"The application of this in its primary context is that none of the brilliant orators of Greece had the slightest knowledge of the wisdom of God, such wisdom appearing to the sophists as foolishness."
In 1 Corinthians 2:9, the apostle Paul made a statement that has thrilled and intrigued believers for many generations:
“But as it is written,
‘What no eye has seen, no ear has heard,
no human heart has conceived’—God has prepared these
things for those who love him”
(1 Corinthians 2:9, CSB).
As part of a more extensive teaching about the
difference between human wisdom and the
wisdom in the message of the gospel,
Paul borrowed from the
book of Isaiah:
“For since the world began,
no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you,
who works for those who wait for him!”
(Isaiah 64:4, NLT).
The believers in Corinth were relying on human wisdom to deal with problems in the church.
They were valuing worldly intelligence and philosophy above
the Christian message.
Paul taught that God’s wisdom is revealed by the Holy Spirit
(1 Corinthians 2:10, 12–14)
and only understood by the spiritually mature.
If the world’s rulers had understood the message of the gospel, they would never have crucified Christ:
"Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten.
No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it
for our ultimate glory before the world began.
But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had,
they would not have crucified our glorious Lord”
(1 Corinthians 2:6–8, NLT).
Paul summed up mature Christian wisdom as the
message of the gospel:
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those
who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved
it is the power of God”
(1 Corinthians 1:18, NIV).
Wisdom is the message
Jesus Christ crucified.
Long before the world began, the heavenly Father chose to
send His Son to die on a cross and become the way of salvation.
And in His inscrutable wisdom, God planned to bring along
all those who love Him to share in His glory.
This is what no ordinary human eyes have seen—the revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ.
No unregenerated ears have heard and received the truth
in the gospel
message of salvation.
No unenlightened minds have perceived
the mysteries of God,
for they are beyond human thinking.
True wisdom that pierces the senses can only be
received and understood through a
special revelation from the Spirit of God:
“For his Spirit searches out everything and
shows us God’s deep secrets”
(1 Corinthians 2:10, NLT).
Just as the Corinthians relied on worldly wisdom,many Christians today still search in all the wrong places for discernment and insight.
We think we are making wise decisions,
all the while ignoring the counsel of God’s Word.
Just as Paul wanted the Corinthians to grow up into maturity,
God calls us today
"to grow up in every way into him
who is the head, into Christ”
(Ephesians 4:15, ESV)
God wants to do so much more for us, in us, and
through us if we let Him have His way:
“Now to him who is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that
is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and
in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
Many Christians apply 1 Corinthians 2:9 as a promise of future blessings in heaven. This application has merit, but our heavenly home was not the immediate context of Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 2:9 or of the prophecy in Isaiah 64:4.
The primary meaning of eyes have not seen what
God has planned for those who love Him
points to the mystery of the gospel,
which is not understood by natural means.
The human mind cannot comprehend it because
God’s Spirit alone reveals it.
Paul rightly applied Isaiah’s words to support his case that only the spiritually mature can grasp the mysteries of God. Those who see from an earthly perspective with human eyes have not seen
all the blessings God has prepared for His children.
More beauty and worth are in
message of the gospel
than anyone can comprehend apart from
The unsaved truly do not know what they’re missing. But there are still unseen wonders that even mature believers are yet to apprehend.
Such is the richness and depth of
God’s plan of salvation.
If we apply what no eye has seen to what awaits us in heaven, we can correlate it to many rewards promised in Scripture. James speaks of one such anticipated marvel that God has prepared for those who love Him: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
Even though God has revealed some of His glory to us (1 Corinthians 13:12), the human mind cannot fully grasp the marvelous blessings God has in store for His children. Since the Bible does not tell us a lot about heaven, limited details dim our view. Whatever wonder we’ve seen before, heaven’s guaranteed to be better. Whatever joyous news we’ve heard already, heaven’s news reaches far beyond. Even the most incredible wonders we can dream up fade before the realities God has planned for those who love and follow Him. We know it will be the most incredible experience of our lives to be with the Lord in heaven, but for now, we can only imagine how outstanding it will be.
The unimaginable blessings and
Glories of Christ Revealed can not be forsaken