Summary: Are you spending quality time with your Creator and having an intimate walk with Him? Considerable time in the presence of God will facilitate us not only to be spirit filled but have the mind of Christ.
Opening illustration: It has been said, “Any idiot can be complicated; but it takes genius to be simple.” Indeed, the most effective oral and written communicators are those who take profound truths and make them simple. This has bearing on every area of our lives. When we communicate with others either individually or corporately, we must be clear and simple. The well-known acronym K.I.S.S. (“Keep It Simple Stupid”) applies here.
Introduction: Although the apostle Paul is a deep thinker, he always strives to bring his great learning down to common folks like you and me. However, the passage that we will be looking at has endured a most unfortunate history of application in the church. Almost every form of spiritual elitism, “deeper life movement,” and “second blessing” doctrine has appealed to this text; however, each of these is nearly 180 degrees the opposite of Paul’s intent. Unfortunately, this trend continues today. By appealing to “the deep things of God” and “secret wisdom” all kinds of false doctrines are being perpetuated and widely accepted. Therefore, we must be on the alert against this passage and others like it being abused. Our goal must be to understand why Paul has written this section of 1 Corinthians and how it applies to our lives.
What does the Spirit of God reveal?
1. Things no one has seen or heard (v. 9)
Paul explains that the reason these authorities crucified Christ was because they lacked the supernatural wisdom of the Spirit. Paul then cites Isaiah 64:4. This passage is not about heaven, although it’s often used at funerals. It is clear in the context of Isaiah 64 that it means life, here and now. God wants to reveal these things to us. He has done so out of love. Trusting Him for understanding and cultivating this love relationship with Him means that we will grow in greater and greater understanding of wisdom. Yet, without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark.
Consider how the revelation of God changes the course of a person's life. If those who killed Christ had the vision to know who He was, they never would have killed Him. Why? They would have had an entirely different perspective of the consequences of their actions. That foresight would have generated prudence in them, and they would not have permitted themselves to kill Him. Notice also how verse 9 shows us that what God has done gives us a perspective involving things not literally seen, yet in verse 10 they are nonetheless revealed.
2. Deep Godly things (v. 10)
The wonderful mysteries God has prepared for those who love Him are not knowable only by a select group of Christians. Any and every believer can understand and appreciate them because the indwelling Holy Spirit can enlighten us. However, without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark.
One can only know the deeper truths of Scripture through the indwelling Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit has the full knowledge and insight into God’s plans, purposes, or direction. This is the area that man will not be able to comprehend and because of the infinite nature of God, we are only able to scratch the surface of knowing God. To us the Bible is a very deep book but to God, it is a very simple book because of the unending wisdom and knowledge He possesses. Since the Holy Spirit is God, then we can easily conclude that He has the full knowledge and wisdom of God the Father, even though He is a distinct personality being the third person of the Godhead. One could probably write books on this subject but let us have faith that the same Holy Spirit, who indwells us, has the understanding of every mystery and every infinite thing. He understands everything.
I don’t care how well your spouse knows you or how long you have been married, no one knows you like you do. No one knows your private thoughts and those deep internals struggles you keep hidden. Because we have a spirit, we are usually our own best interpreter. That’s why when two people get into an argument, one of them will often say, “Don’t try to tell me what I mean. I know what I am saying!” Therefore, if you really want to know someone perfectly you would have to tune into his or her spirit. The Holy Spirit is tuned in to the deepest thoughts of God. He has access to the innermost workings of the Godhead. So, just as no one knows the deepest thoughts of a person better than his own spirit, no one knows the deepest thoughts of God better than the Holy Spirit.
Illustration: A group of Christians gathered in a church auditorium for an evening Bible Study. Some were talking while waiting for the study to begin. One man began to share with the leader about a church breakfast he’d attended. A well-known Bible scholar had been invited to speak at the breakfast. During the course of his remarks the scholar stated that he had recently gained new insight into a verse of Scripture that had puzzled him for years. “When I heard this,” the man said to the Bible Study leader, “I thought to myself, ‘If this scholar who has written commentaries and books and who has studied the Bible for years is just now understanding a verse of Scripture, how can I, an ordinary church member, understand the truth?”’