Lesson 7

Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

2:6 We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing. 2:7 But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory, 2:8 which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of glory. 2:9 But as it is written,

 "Things which an eye didn't see, and an ear didn't hear,
      Which didn't enter into the heart of man,

 These God has prepared for those who love him."

Today's Lesson 

Paul determined to preach nothing to the Corinthians except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He contrasts what God has done in Christ with the wisdom of the world. Man seeks after wisdom in order to distinguish himself from other men. We want to be smarter and wiser. We want to be right. That's one of the primary problems that had arisen in Corinth. The church was dividing up into groups. Each group wanted to be wiser than the other. Each group wanted to be right.


But, God's wisdom runs counter to this trend. God's wisdom brings people together, not splits them apart. God's wisdom sacrifices itself to advance someone other than itself. God's wisdom, while making no sense to us, is the creative and organizing principle of the universe.


It is this wisdom that Paul spoke to the Corinthians. There is no contradiction between this and where Paul wrote that he only wanted to preach to them Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God. So, when Paul tells the Corinthians that he speaks God's wisdom to the mature, even then Paul is talking about his Lord, the crucified one.


God's wisdom is a mystery. Paul often spoke about God's mystery. He goes on in this passage to define what he means. A mystery is something that has always been true but has been hidden so that it could not be seen. Paul writes that if the mystery had not been hidden, Jesus would not have been crucified.


These mysteries are hidden from those who are not in Christ because only the Spirit of God can reveal them. Those who do not have the Spirit cannot understand the things of God. God's wisdom is hidden from them. But, it is hidden because they refuse to see. Those who reject God cannot see Him. When we refuse to accept that there is any God that has authority over our lives, we cannot see what He has accomplished.


So that is why Paul can speak the wisdom of God to the mature. These are the men and women who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. These are the people who seek after God, who want to know God's meaning and purpose for their lives. To everyone else, the wisdom of God is a mystery that they cannot understand. The wisdom and mystery of God is Christ.


Are you beginning to understand the mystery of God? Is Christ becoming clearer to you?


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