Summary: Paul gives the Corinthian church a fourth answer to the division in the church. That answer basically is that the church should revolve around the wisdom of God that is revealed by the Holy Spirit, and nothing else.
One of the greatest causes of division in a church is pride. Pride, arrogance, superiority, thinking too highly of oneself—no form or shape of self-centeredness has any part in God’s church. The Corinthians had an intellectual pride that was becoming deeply rooted in the church. This pride based on human wisdom was about to rip the church apart. So Paul gives the Corinthian church a fourth answer to the division in the church. That answer basically is that the church should revolve around the wisdom of God that is revealed by the Holy Spirit, and nothing else.
READ v. 6. God’s wisdom is only for those who seek to be mature before God. Paul clearly says that he spoke wisdom among the mature. He is speaking of spiritual maturity—those who are concerned about being acceptable to God and about being destined for perfection in heaven. A person like this is a person who focuses his life upon the wisdom of God, not of man.
People of today in general have little if any interest in God and His wisdom. They want to live and walk as they please, not as God directs. God’s wisdom is not the wisdom of this age. The rulers Paul is referring to are the scientists, educators, judges, executives and religionists of that day just to name a few.
The wisdom of this age that Paul speaks of is the journey to find the truth and meaning of life but doing so without including the wisdom of God. All the rulers that Paul is speaking of were seeking answers using the wisdom of the world.
It’s amazing how God proves such rulers wrong. The more the scientists try to disprove the Bible, the more God proves His existence. The wisdom of this age says there is no God—that He doesn’t exist. The wisdom of this world is here today and gone tomorrow but the wisdom of God is forever. So Paul tries to impress upon these Corinthian people that all this worldly wisdom is coming to nothing.
READ vv. 7-9. I love this promise from God. READ v. 9 again. God’s wisdom is the wisdom of God Himself and is proclaimed as a secret. This doesn’t mean that God’s wisdom is strange and mysterious but rather that it involves facts that cannot be known by man, at least not by man’s natural reasoning. God’s wisdom has to be revealed. It is mysterious in that it can never be known unless God reveals it.
This gets some people into trouble. A minister, for instance, is shown God’s vision. God reveals that mystery to the minister. But do you know how difficult it can be to convince a congregation of what God has revealed to him or her? People think that since God didn’t reveal it to them it must be made up. But I don’t think God is interested in revealing the mystery of His wisdom to someone who isn’t one of His or isn’t close enough to God in their relationship.
Well what is this wisdom of God? Simply put, it’s the gospel of God—the good news of Christ and Him crucified. The gospel tells how God reconciled Himself to the world and how man is to be reconciled to Him. It’s the very wisdom that every man must possess if he wishes to know God and live with God throughout eternity. The wisdom of man cannot explain this or prove it in an experiment so they discredit it.
The leaders of this age don’t know or understand the wisdom of God. They don’t understand or accept the origin of God and life, the nature of God, or the end of life as we know it. They are at a loss as to where we come from, why we are here, and where we are going.
There are two clear proofs of this fact:
1. Paul says in v. 8 that if the leaders had known the wisdom of God they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory.
2. The leaders of the world have never seen nor heard the truth. The truth has never entered their minds. We know this because Paul states that “the thing which God has prepared for those who love Him.” That truth is that man and his age had been created in perfection but man has corrupted himself and his age through sin. So man has to repent and turn back to God if he wants to live with God. For those that refuse to do so:
- Their eyes couldn’t see the spiritual age.
- Their ears couldn’t hear the spiritual truth.
- Their hearts couldn’t conceive the spiritual truth.
READ vv, 10-13. So God’s wisdom is revealed only by God’s Spirit. Paul says that no person knows what is really going on within a man except the man’s own spirit. So it is with God. No man really knows God and the things of God except the Spirit of God. The things of God which we see are only seen because God revealed those things to us.