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Summary: A hitherto hidden wisdom revealed in the Apostolic preaching of the Cross.

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THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CROSS

1 Corinthians 2:1-16

Paul is at pains to stress the very different manner in which he teaches when compared with the peddlers of the wisdom of this age. This does not mean that he lacks wisdom, nor that he is any less capable than the rhetoricians: but that he does not rely upon manipulative speeches, or worldly wisdom, when preaching Christ crucified. The Apostle had come to Corinth in fear and trembling, desiring converts for God, not himself (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

The Apostles speak of a different kind of wisdom which had hitherto been shrouded in mystery, but which now (in the gospel age) is being revealed to those who will hear. This remained hidden to the rulers of this world: otherwise they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:6-8).

Paul refers to Isaiah 64:4, which confirms the hitherto hiddenness of God’s dealings (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Only the Holy Spirit can know the deep things of God, but with the coming of the Holy Spirit they have been revealed (1 Corinthians 2:10-12).

This is in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that God would give us the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13) - and with Him all good things (Matthew 7:11).

Paul again emphasises that the Apostles did not use words taught by worldly wisdom, but rather the words which they were taught by the Holy Spirit. Thus they were enabled to interpret spiritual things by means of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13).

We can only grasp the significance of the message of the Cross when we receive the discernment which comes with the new birth. The same Holy Spirit who searches the deep things of God is at work in our hearts also (1 Corinthians 2:14-15).

Paul refers to Isaiah 40:13, which asks ‘who has directed the Spirit of the LORD?’

“Who has known the mind of the Lord?” asks the Apostle. Then he makes the audacious comment: “But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Elsewhere, Paul prefixes his discussion of the humility of Jesus with, ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 2:5).

This is not super-spirituality, but a daily taking up of the Cross and following Jesus (Luke 9:23).

It is only possible to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16) because we have the Holy Spirit.


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