Summary: Exposition of 1 Cor 2:6-16 regarding the true wisdom spoken to the mature
Text: 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, Title: Ditch the Life Jacket, Date/Place: NRBC, 8/1/2010, AM
A. Opening illustration: Family Circus on Tues of the little boy walking into the ocean with dad in front of him walking backwards into the ocean; telling him not to go out “so far,” us unwilling to wade past out knees at Old Orchard Beach in July,
B. Background to passage: Division in the church over wisdom and teachers. Last three paragraphs were undermining the division by destroying the reverence that the church had for worldly wisdom and accolades by explaining that the world will see us, our message, and Paul as foolish. But our faith is not supposed to be in wisdom of the world, or in men. At the end of all this, Paul goes back and clarifies, stating that it is not wisdom the he is against (note that the wisdom of God has already been identified as Christ, the gospel, His saving work, vv. 24-30), just wisdom of the world. Therefore Paul explains to them why his teaching has been what’s its been, and explain that there is a place for the wisdom of God in the church.
C. Main thought: The wisdom of God is revealed to those who are mature in their faith.
A. The Hidden Wisdom (v. 6-9)
1. “The hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” That is a mouthful. Paul says, if you want to find wisdom, it is not in that stuff that you are all puffed up about (remember they are boasting in spiritual matters). The wisdom of God has been a hidden mystery for ages, God only reveling it to those He chose, and those who love Him. Paul and I are going to deal more thoroughly with carnal Christianity in a few weeks. The wording here indicates something that has been revealed over time, and also the context dictates something that would be permanent, and stand through time. the word mystery means something that has been hidden. So that at the “fullness of time” God would send forth His Son to be born of a woman and save mankind. Christ is this hidden wisdom (we will talk about that in a couple f weeks). And all this is done for OUR glory…puzzling. Probably in the sense that our redemption will ultimately result in our glorification and life with Him.
3. Illustration: There’s a Methodist minister named J. Gordon Melton who has an interesting hobby. He collects lists of church denominations in the United States…there are a few "peculiar" groups in his list such as: • "The Church of the Mystery of Universal Wisdom". They believe they can communicate with aliens and they seek guidance from flying saucers.
4. You can be involved in “spiritual” things (vs. natural) and not be “spiritual” (led by the Spirit). If you understand the wisdom of God (Christ and His saving work), know that you didn’t come up with it on your own. Thank God for it. To attain the wisdom and mystery of God, dwell upon the cross. God sovereignly chooses the time, place, and means for revealing. By the way, this doesn’t remove our responsibility to pursue it, nor the normal means for attaining, such as bible study, prayer, and the preached word. Note that there are three groups of people here: the mature, the immature, and the natural, and sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the two, even as we evaluate ourselves, which is a cause for alarm, but normal. Here it is clear that God only reveals it to believers. But it is also clear that some believers can’t get the wisdom of God because of their immaturity (which they are culpable for, because the Spirit dwells in them (if they are really saved). Which group are you in? All of us would say “the mature,” but what would God say about you? Ask Him.
B. The Revealer (v. 10-12)
1. We get a couple of theological truths from this passage about the Holy Spirit. Remember that the wisdom of God is revealed in Christ and His work, which the Spirit was very much a part of. But also we must understand God the trinity to understand Christ or His work in Christ. First, we see the minister of the Holy Spirit toward us: the revealer and teacher. Paul says that the Spirit searches the deep things of God. He is encouraging them to pursue the wisdom of God in depth, rather than simply at the surface. And so we see that the Holy Spirit is the key, which resides in us. He is the illuminator. And His subject is “the things that have been freely given to us by God.” Second, we see the deity of the Holy Spirit. Paul uses the illustration of only a man’s spirit truly knowing the man. And that explicitly states that the Spirit is a part of God, for He searches and reveals the deep things of God. Therefore the Spirit is part of God; same substance, different person. Finally, we see the inspiration ministry of the Spirit. Paul implies and teaches that the Spirit is revealing God through the writings of the apostles. Some would dispute this, but there is scriptural evidence. And the main way that the Spirit has revealed God and His work is through the bible. Thus, the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture is also implied/taught. This is a crucial doctrine, and it’s importance to all the rest of our faith is foundational.