Summary: Spiritual truths can only be known by those who are born again believers!

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1 Corinthians 2:6-16

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In this passage, Paul writes to the church of Corinth to explain how to discern what was wisdom from God versus that of this world. There were many false teachers. Were the Roman philosophers and their plethora of many gods correct concerning Christ? Was He truly but one god amongst many whose teachings were primitive? Were the Guardians of the Jewish Law correct when they said that Christ was not the Messiah but was yet to come? Even inside of the church, which leader’s teaching should they follow, after all many of them seemed to vary in their opinions? Being close to so many divergent points of view one cannot help but sympathize with a church left wondering how they could tell which one had the truth concerning Christ verses whom was a false teacher! Paul’s statement that one can only discern truth through aid of the Spirit of God is profound and has reaching implications for today’s society.


To interpret this passage correctly one must first understand some of the historical reasons why Paul wrote to the church at Corinth. Plagued with denominational politics, doctrinal disputes and liturgical preferences, one should not be surprised that this letter was addressed to the spiritual babies at the church of Corinth (3:1-2). Living in one of the most prosperous cities in the ancient world, one that prided itself on their lavish lifestyles and tolerance to new ideas, had a profound affect on church unity amongst those who embraced the divergent thoughts of both the Roman and Jewish cultures. Surrounded by numerous pagan religions meant that Christianity was constantly being challenged by the Roman philosophers of their age. To make matters worse factions formed that gave their allegiance either to Paul, Apollos, Cephas or perhaps Christ Himself. While the church of Corinth could boast that they were materially rich, they remained spiritually immature because they had given into the influences that did not know the truth concerning Jesus Christ.


We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

1 Corinthians 2:6-7, NIV

Paul begins his argument concerning wisdom by pointing out the fact that there are two types of wisdom. First, there is a wisdom that only the mature speak. There is disagreement about what Paul meant by the term “mature.” Some scholars believe mature means those Christians who are no longer babies in Christ (1 Corinthians 3:1) but instead have attained a higher level of spiritual maturity. Other scholars claim that since Paul does not talk about the babies of Christ until chapter three, he most likely is referring to any born-again believer. Either interpretation is possible but the “we” that begins this passage seems to favour the mature being Paul and the apostles. Paul later will explain in more detail this type of wisdom.

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