Lesson 8

Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

2:10 But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 2:11 For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God's Spirit. 2:12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God. 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. 2:14 Now the natural man doesn't receive the things of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can't know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 2:15 But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one. 2:16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?" But we have Christ's mind.  

Today's Lesson 

Paul had written the Corinthians that they had been very blessed by God. God had made sure that they lacked for nothing. But, having confirmed God's gifts to them, Paul also went on to say that the Corinthians had then started to quarrel among themselves. There were divisions among them. They counted too much on the wisdom of men and not enough on the wisdom that God gives through Jesus Christ our Lord.


God speaks the words of wisdom to the mature. He reveals His wisdom through His Spirit. In this passage, Paul adds to our understanding of who the Spirit of God is and what His role in our lives is. The first principle that Paul lays down is that the Spirit of God is of God. The Spirit knows the things of God because He emanates from the Father just as the Son knows the things of God because He emanates from the Father.


God gives us His Spirit in order to teach us. The Spirit brings us the things of the Father by instructing us in the ways of the Son. That does sound complicated to us. We often wonder why God does not show Himself to us directly. But we also must learn that when we experience the Spirit and the Son we experience the Father as well. The Spirit is God. When we experience the work of the Spirit in our lives, we are experiencing God directly. The Spirit is not a lesser version of God. He is not God-lite. The Spirit is divine and holy even as God is holy.


At the end of this passage Paul makes a provocative statement. The spiritual discerns the things of God because God's Spirit lives in them. For this reason they are not to be judged by anyone. God has already judged them. Just as a lesser court does not take up a case that a higher court has already decided, so it is that the man that has already been judged by God should not be judged by another. Who am I to question the judgments of God? And, if we have been judged and accepted by God, then we have the mind of Christ.


The role of the Spirit is to bring to us the things of the Son. The Spirit of God does not magnify Himself or His gifts. His purpose in our lives is to make the Son of God live in our hearts. In this way we have the mind of Christ when the Spirit of God lives in us. For Paul, the idea that God's Spirit lives in us is the same as the Son lives in us and is the same as that the Father lives in us. God is one. When God is, He is there completely. God cannot be separated up into little parts.


That's exactly the lesson he is trying to hammer home to the Corinthians. The gospel is not to be divided and quarreled over. God is one and the gospel is God's message to the world. Hence, it stands to reason that the gospel is not to cause divisions but to unite men. Where divisions arise it is because of the sin of men, not because it is God's purpose or plan. The purpose of the gospel is to announce to the world that in Christ God is offering salvation to the entire world. The gospel brings men and women together and unites us with our creator. Sin drives us apart. Sin divides us.


We have the mind of Christ. Let us live together as those that have been united with Christ. Let us judge no other Christian. God has already judged them. Let us stand united in Christ.


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