Summary: Corinth was a congregation blessed with a multitude of gifts from the Spirit of God... and yet Paul told them they were unspiritual.
OPEN: I suspect that almost everyone knows who Bert and Ernie, the Cookie Monster and Big Bird are. They were among the muppet stars on a popular children’s show: Sesame Street. During the filming of each show, some lucky parents were allowed to bring their children on stage and be part of the program. Following one of the shoots, a man named Carroll climbed out of the Big Bird suit to the amazement of one of the little kids on the set.
"Mom," the stunned toddler yelled, "Do you think Big Bird knows he has a man inside of him?"
Did Big Bird know he had a man inside of him??? Of course he did. BUT there is a bigger question for us to consider today: do we realize (as Christians) we have something inside of us?
Jesus told His disciples that when He left, He would send “the Comforter” (or the Holy Spirit): “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:8)
Acts 2:38 promises us that whoever repents of their sins and is immersed in waters of baptism will receive the “gift of the Holy Spirit.” Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
Ephesians 1:13 & 14 tells us that that Holy Spirit is the seal of our salvation. It marks us as being owned by God. “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession-- to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14
In fact Rom. 8:9 tells us “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
The Holy Spirit is our “Connection” with Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the part of “God” that is part of us.
I. That’s why Paul writes what he does to the Corinthians:
Reread 2:12-16. In this passage, Paul tell us that when we have the Spirit of God within us, we have the “mind of Christ.” The Mind of Christ. What’s does Paul mean by that?
What he means is that with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we Christians have the ability… the potential to think like Jesus. However, without the Spirit of God there would be a lot of things about God that we could not understand.
IILUS: Three atheists sat in a hotel lobby of an old time hotel. One of them said "I will not believe anything that I don’t understand.” “Neither will I” said another. “Nor will I,” said a 3rd
Now it just so happened that they were overheard by an old Christian farmer sitting close by and he smiled as he overheard the comments of these three men: “Gentlemen,” he said, “on my way to town this morning I saw some geese in a field eating grass; do you believe that?”
The men shrugged "Well, certainly," they replied.
“ Well, I also saw pigs eating grass; do you believe that?"
"Of course," Said the 3.
"I also saw sheep and cows eating grass; do you believe that?"
"Of course," was again the reply.
"Well, the grass turned to feathers on the backs of the geese, to bristles on the backs of the swine, to white wool on the sheep, and to hair on the cow; do you believe that, gentlemen?"
"Certainly," they replied.
Then the old man smiled again as he asked… "But do you understand it?"
II. Because we have the Spirit, we can know things about God that the World cannot
ILLUS: A representative of the gas company phoned the owner of an expensive new home to make an appointment for the service man to come in and light the gas pilots and adjust the furnace. The owner said he’s better meet the man, or he’d never get the furnace going. The caller insisted that his people were well trained and would have no trouble.
"You don’t understand," the owner said, "When your man tries to adjust the furnace he’ll go out of his mind. The thermostat in the entry hall is a dummy for my wife to play with. Only I know where the real one is hidden.
The Spirit helps us to KNOW where the secret things of God are hidden (2:12). However, without the mind of Christ (i.e. the Spirit within) there would be a lot of things we couldn’t understand. We wouldn’t be able to understand the nature of God… why He does the things He does, or why He did what He did in the days of the Old Testament. We wouldn’t comprehend the deeper secrets of the Bible, or the beautiful truths God wants to share with us.