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Summary: Through a study of 1 Corinthians 2:1-16, Paul will show us where to find the true secret wisdom and real spirituality.

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Spiritual Discernment

1 Corinthians 2

Would you like to know the secret to true wisdom? Would you like to find the keys to deeper living, to higher-level spirituality? From ancient times people have sought some kind of deeper, hidden special knowledge or insight that offers the key to understanding life, the insight that provides happiness and makes sense of the world. The ancient Gnostics were obsessed with this quest. We are on the same search today –the book, The Secret, is still on bestseller lists. From Oprah to Kabala to Scientology, people are driven to find some secret wisdom. Thrillers look to the past for the lost Ark of the Covenant; science fiction looks to higher knowledge from aliens on other planets. More and more people are turning to the supernatural and are intrigued by the mysterious as seen in wildly successful shows such as Lost.

At Christ Fellowship we are in a new series called Spiritual Wisdom in a Foolish World. Come back with me to ancient Corinth in Greece to read a letter written to people also in search of spiritual wisdom in the wrong places who formed elitist groups based on certain teachings. We do the same today. People form groups based on some new spiritual guru’s latest bestseller and seminar seeking with levels of advancement in spirituality. It can get silly.

In Corinth, what they thought was wise, ends up being foolish. Paul takes us back to deep roots of our faith to show us how to live for Christ in a corrupt culture. He urges us to live Christ-like lives by the power of the Spirit as a unified church. We’ve looked at our spiritual identity and spiritual power. Today we embrace spiritual discernment. Paul will show us where to find the true secret wisdom and real spirituality.

In modern Christian circles some groups use buzzwords to express their take on what it means to be mature or really spiritual. Have you ever had someone ask you if you were “full of the Spirit”? Have you got the “second blessing”? Does your church believe in the “full gospel?” The Corinthians had catchwords for their positions. Paul uses their buzzwords and reclaims them by re-defining them in light of Christ and the Holy Spirit. In his using their language but filling it with his own content, Paul refutes them. He uses terms that the Corinthians employed to justify their spiritual elitism (“wisdom,” “mature,” “secret,” “spiritual”) and shows that when these terms are properly understood they include that which is available to all believers, not just the super-spiritual.

The problem in Corinth was not that some Christians did not have the Spirit. It was, rather that though all the Corinthian Christians had the Spirit, they are not living as spiritual persons ought to live. Our problem today is not that we don’t have what we need to live Christ-like lives, but that we are not embracing what has been given. We are instead are misfocused in unfruitful directions.


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