Summary: In our passage today, we are told that Jesus spoke the wisdom of God in a mystery.
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit - part 2
THE GREAT EMPOWERED DETECTIVES
1Corinthians 2:7-16 August 6, 2000
By Pastor Rick MacDonald
I have always loved a great mystery. As a child, I used to watch Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone on Sunday afternoons. What makes a mystery so intriguing, is that it can be solved. The same is true in movies. I like the “Pelican Brief” because of all the intricacies required to solve the mystery. But in our passage today, we are told that he spoke the wisdom of God in a mystery. Today, we are going to look at this great mystery, and see how it is solved in our lives, as the Great Empowered Detectives.
A mystery, as recorded in scripture, is the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, but hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly.
In the OT, mystery occurs only in the Aramaic sections of Daniel, where some of God’s mysteries were revealed to Daniel and King Nebuchadnezzar.
In the NT, mystery refers to a secret that is revealed by God to His servants through His Spirit. As such, it is an “open secret.” Mystery occurs three times in the Gospels. Jesus told His disciples, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God”.
Most of the occurrences of the word mystery are in Paul’s letters. Romans 16:25 says the gospel itself is a “mystery which was kept secret since the world began”. This mystery was revealed by God through the prophetic Scriptures to Paul and the church.
I. Mysteries Hidden FOR Believers (1 Corinthians 2:7)
A. this means that God reveals his plan gradually to men as their spiritual comprehension increases.
1. “Mysteries” of the Christian faith, doesn’t mean that such things can’t be understood, but they are only disclosed to the initiate members of a new order.
B. God had the plan of redemption in mind before the creation of the world, and it would have remained unknown had He not revealed it in Christ.
1. Believers live by a secret, the essence of which is Christ and His glorious purposes for the world.
2. Israel knew of Messiah, but rejected a redeemer because they refused to understand the mystery.
C. In non-biblical Greek musterion is knowledge withheld, concealed, or silenced. In biblical Greek it is truth revealed (see Col. 1:26).
Mysteries also refer to: Prayer - Marriage - Gifts of the Holy Spirit
1. Future resurrection of Christians (1 Cor. 15:51). 2. Summing up of all things in Christ (Eph. 1:9).
3. Inclusion of Gentiles in the church (Eph. 3:3-9). 4. Future salvation of Israel (Rom. 11:25).
5. The phenomenon of lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:7). 6. Godliness revealed in Christ (1 Tim. 3:16).
II. Mysteries Hidden FROM Rulers (1Corinthians 2:8)
A. This asserts that Satan (“the god of this age,” 2 Cor. 4:4) and the demons of hell (“principalities and powers,” Col. 2:15) were completely confounded by the Cross.
. This is a profound disclosure of Satan’s limited ability to anticipate the tactics of Almighty God.
2. Satan thought the Cross would end his problem, instead it ended him!
3. It is the reminder that God’s sovereign power and omniscience are always the insurance of the believer’s ultimate victory in Christ.
III. Mysteries Understood BY Believers (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
A. The quotation from Is. 64:4 (v. 9) implies three ways of knowing:
1. Perceptual knowledge (eye, ear) through observation and sense experience.
2. Conceptual knowledge (heart, mind) by reason and intellectual inquiry;
3. Spiritual knowledge (love) by moral and personal affinity.
B. Two elements are necessary to know the things of God:
1. A revelation from God by the Spirit,
2. An appropriate spiritual response by man (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).
NOW THE HEART OF THIS MESSAGE:
IV. Mysteries Spoken THROUGH believers (1 Corinthians 14:2)
A. My background: I was taught that tongues was of the devil, because those who taught me didn’t understand the mystery.
B. But if tongues is a mystery, and they mysteries ARE NOT for the rules of this age, then how can tongues be of the devil?
C. Paul’s assertion clearly establishes the primary purpose for tongues as the gift of the Spirit for private worship.
D. It is a unique God-ward and not a man-ward gift, unless interpreted so the hearers may understand (v. 5).
1. Tongues are intended for personal prayer and praise to God (v. 14).
a. Therefore, they can take on a strictly spiritual form of expression, since man is not the goal.
b. The place of their operation is not the mind, but the spirit (vv. 14-18). They are an enablement of the Spirit for non-conceptual communication directly with God, who is Spirit (John 4:24).
1. Pray in the Spirit (vv. 14-15)