Summary: Paul gives a roadmap to maturity. God's desire and goal that is revealed throughout the New Testament is maturity. Maturity is likeness to Jesus Christ. We as the church need to ask is wisdom working are we becoming more like Jesus.
Intro: What signs are the Corinthians showing? Division, arrogance, an extreme focus on what they can do? They are immature believers. Paul desires that they will grow and mature. God also wants us to grow and mature and the way that happens is God’s wisdom and the working of His Holy Spirit.
Paul gives a roadmap to maturity. If you go to UAMS hospital you will find a map that says you are here. So why does Paul give us the opportunity t find out where we are? God’s desire or goal for our lives and the life of this church is maturity. Why? Immature believers hurt both believers and non-believers. We see that in the lives of the Corinthians. If we stay in our infancy then we reduce the ability of the church to impact peoples. Paul is contrasting worldly wisdom and Godly wisdom and their results. Worldly wisdom leads to immaturity, division, and hurt people hurting people. Godly wisdom leads to maturity, humility and an atmosphere of healing.
I. Real wisdom Reveals God (1.1-5)
Paul was not concerned with the method that the message of the cross was delivered because it is not the performance of the preacher but the power of the Spirit that awakens us to God. This is not a reason to be lazy in preparation or presentation of the Gospel but the power lies in God’s Holy Spirit using His Holy word to penetrate our hearts.
A) Jesus crucified reveals our need for repentance
The problems we have in our church family, your family, your job have to do with a turning away from God and His design for our lives. Repentance is a change of mind and direction of your life after a revelation of God.
B) Jesus crucified reveals our need for rebirth
1 Corinthians 2:12 When you are reborn you receive the Spirit of God. Why do we need this rebirth? That we might know the things freely given to us by God. He freely gives us Himself. Jesus was crucified by the free grace of God. It is by grace you are saved, not of yourselves it is the free gift of God. He gives us love, power, wisdom. He adopts us and gives us His fatherhood. He gives us forgiveness, answer to prayers, guidance for decisions, comfort in pain, discipline, strength in weakness. God gives Himself and in that everything is tied up.
II. Real wisdom reveals man
A) The natural person (2.14)
Why do husbands and wives cheat, why do people fight, children fuss, employees steal? Why are people rude, inconsiderate etc? Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3 to see the kingdom of God you must be born again. The natural person has never been born into the kingdom of God or been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. We cannot expect people that are sinners to act any other way. 1 Corinthians 2.14 the natural man does not receive or welcome the things of God. How can I know if I am one of these people? What is your focus? Is it things that don’t last? Are you in bondage to material things, messed up attitudes, or immoral actions?
1 Corinthians 2.9 Human senses cannot understand the things of the Spirit. The gospel is foolish to natural people especially those hurt by so called church folks. Some of you are here today and have felt the loving, inviting tug of the Holy Spirit to receive Jesus and based your decision on a church person instead of the person and work of Jesus.
B) The spiritual person (2.15)
1) Has a reception of revealed truth
2.13 “explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.” A Spiritual person sees the kingdom of God. The spiritual person welcomes the truth of God even if it calls them to change their life or lifestyle. There are no excuses just acceptance. When God says obey the law of the land we don’t say oh he didn’t mean that. Let your yes be yes and you no, no. You character should be such that your word means what you say. Honesty, integrity, work ethic, forgiveness, compassion, joy, peace, self-control. These things are the truth of who God is.
2) Has an application of revealed truth
2.15 “the spiritual person evaluates, or judges all things.” This is speaking of discernment. This person’s way of thinking is transformed by God’s word and His Spirit. In other words you can see through this world’s illusion. It is like some people’s ability to see past a fancy sales pitch.
C) The carnal person (3.1)
This is the person who has been born of the family of God but is not walking in the freedom promised through the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises to freely give us freedom from sin. That sin no longer will control us.