Problems Plaguing a Local Church, Part 5

In our message, HAVING THE MIND OF CHRIST (1 Cor. 2:10-16), the Bible continues to point us as Christians to heavenly things speaking of the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives. From passages like Ephesians chapter 1 we know these heavenly blessings of salvation come from our Triune God: the Father, who prepared them before time began; the Son, who carried out salvation at Calvary; and the Holy Spirit as He illuminates them to Christians today when we walk with Him (Eph. 1:3-14; 5:18; 1 Cor. 2:15; Gal. 5:16-18, etc.). “The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” that we read from last week in verse 9 are “the deep things of God” and the subject of this our message today (1 Cor. 2:9-10). Heavenly things are “inexpressible” and can only be shown to us supernaturally “through [the ministry of Holy] Spirit” as we walk with Him (2 Cor. 12:1-4; 1 Cor. 2:9-10, etc.). God, the Holy Spirit, as the sole author of the Bible is the only one competent to reveal its meaning, and He also alone is capable of searching “out everything and show[ing] us God’s deep secrets” for those who “diligently seek Him” (1 Cor. 2:10 NLT; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; Eccl. 3:11; Heb. 11:6, etc.).

Just as no one can fully fathom the thoughts of anyone else, it is also true no one can understand the thoughts of God apart from His Spirit being in them (1 Cor. 2:11 NET). As a man’s own spirit best understands his inner thoughts, so the Spirit of God alone grasps divine truths and shares it with those who walk with Him (1 Cor. 2:11 NLT; Eph. 5:18, etc.). In verse 11, the first word “knows” refers to innate knowledge while the second word “knows” refers to experiential knowledge (1 Cor. 2:11). Both are essential for knowing God and growing in His wisdom. God wants us to know Him- which also encompasses heavenly things- things of His coming kingdom that He has planned for us as we face the difficulties of life today (Eph. 6:10f; Rom. 8:28, etc.). He wants us to comprehend with all the saints the grace and love that will be revealed to us in Christ on that day when Jesus comes for us (1 Pet. 1:13; 2 Pet. 1:19; Rom. 8:18; Eph. 3:14-21, etc.). That is one reason why He has given ALL Christians “the Spirit who is from God,” so “we might know [these] things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2:12). The words “FREELY GIVEN” emphasizes this is all by grace (Eph. 2:8-9, etc.). Also, the fact that these are spiritual things underscores the point that only a Christian can understand the Bible which is a supernatural book from God (2 Pet. 1:21; John 6:63; 17:17, etc.). “The natural man” (AKA unbeliever)- like a blind man trying to enjoy beautiful scenery- remains clueless and incapable of perceiving such realities because he does not have the Holy Spirit of God not having come to the Lord His way (1 Cor. 2:14; John 14:6; Eph. 2:1-3; Col. 1:21; John 8:24, etc.). Only “the Holy Spirit [can teach Christians of these deep things of God, as He compares] spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:13). Notice this is not an automatic thing. Christians have to let God lead them if they want to be taught by Him (Gal. 5:18, 25, etc.).

The word “spiritual” in verse 13 is pneumatikós in the Greek and can be translated as either “explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (1 Cor. 2:13 NIV) or “explaining spiritual things to spiritual people” (1 Cor. 2:13 NET). While it is true the Holy Spirit as the author of Scripture is capable of explaining the Bible and revealing its meaning (i.e. “Spirit-taught words”), the better translation here for context is “spiritual people” as Paul was writing to “those who are mature,” that is, “he who is spiritual” in Corinth in an effort to get Christians who are “carnal” to repent (1 Cor. 2:6, 15; 3:1-3, etc.). Even though all Christians possess the Spirit being saved by grace and are heaven-bound and even though we all positionally have “THE MIND OF CHRIST” now as His children, we must walk with Him to be taught by Him “all things” from Christ’s point of view (1 Cor. 2:6, 15-16; James 1:22; Heb. 5:14; 11:6b; Phil. 2:5f; 1 John 1:9, etc.). Otherwise, we will be unable to perceive spiritual things and be stunted in our growth in Him (1 Cor. 3:1-3, 15, etc.). As mentioned before, heavenly things can only be seen and understood by the Christian who is “spiritual” because they are revealed by the Spirit as He forms Christ in us (1 Cor. 3:1; Eccl. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 12:1-10; 1 Cor. 15:50-54; Heb. 5:5-6:3, etc.). One evidence of Christian maturity is the believer’s consistent employment of Christ’s attitude and viewpoint in all of life (1 Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2:5f). A spiritually mature person not only possesses the Holy Spirit, but he “diligently seeks God” letting the Holy Spirit fill him and control his life (1 Cor. 11:31-32; Heb. 11:6b; Eph. 5:18, etc.).

In terms of application, child of God, is there anything today hindering your spiritual eyesight right now? If it remains unconfessed, the Bible refers to that as an “idol” and calls you “carnal” (1 Cor. 3:1-3; 10:14, etc.). Won’t you agree with God who is always right and confess your sin today so you can see the good things the Lord has planned for your life being filled with the fullness of God? (1 John 1:9; 2 Cor. 5:9-10; Gal. 5:22-23; Ps. 16:11, etc.).

But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (1 Cor. 2:9-10)