1 Corinthians 2:1-16 ESV
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Paul talks about the differences between the wisdom of the natural man and the man filled with God's Spirit. And not in trying to understanding or share the gospel with our natural mind but as revealed by the Spirit within us. My daughter who lives in Tucson has a friend who says he believes in God and he reads the bible, thinking he is understanding it and is saved because of his own understanding. He has been trying to convince our daughter that Jesus is not God or the one who saves us. The only way to be saved is to follow the old testament laws and to obey the laws the best we can. The better we do, the more pleasing to God we will be. This is a classic example of the natural man, or the man who doesn't have the Holy Spirit in him. He is unable to see or understand the gospel since he refuses to believe Jesus is the gospel, the good news. Paul says these people are doomed to pass away. Our daughter is concerned for her friend since, she says, He is a good guy and wants to do what is right. Scripture is so clear that the only way to the Father is through Jesus, He tells us He has become a stumbling block to those who try to understand it or do it through their own wisdom. Jesus is the foundation upon which we put our whole being. Until we go from being that natural man to being men and women filled with His Spirit we cannot understand the truth no matter how much we read the bible. Our daughter telling us about this person is a good reminder that there are many who are still blind to the truth even though they may say they believe in God. We can see the answer in John 3:16 and John 14:6. God so loved the world that He sent His only Begotten Son...and Jesus saying, I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father but by me. How does it get any clearer? Without Jesus we are lost forever but with Him we have life forever.
Today is Good Friday and a time to reflect on what God did for us through His son, Jesus. I want to make sure I never just assume that because someone says they believe in God and are saved, that they understand what that means. I want to always be ready to share the truth with them from the power of the Spirit within me rather than from my own wisdom. I have always loved the Christmas season with the lights, music and family and the fact that we celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world but this time of year, Holy week and Easter, have absolutely become my favorite time of year, remembering and thinking about what Jesus actually did for us, because of His great love for us. Because of that truth we can be assured of our true identity, being His children forever and knowing that nothing can ever separate us from Him, having the power of His Spirit in us.
by Ken Edgerly