"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" The Hidden Wisdom Of God (2:6-16) INTRODUCTION 1. In 1Co 1:18-31, Paul wrote of the folly of trusting in human wisdom... a. For God chose to make foolish the wisdom of the wise b. And He chose to save man through a message that appears foolish to many 2. In 1Co 2:1-5, Paul thus explains the nature of his preaching when he came to Corinth... a. Appealing not through excellence of speech or of wisdom b. Proclaiming only Jesus Christ and Him crucified c. That their faith not be in human wisdom, but in the power of God 3. Yet that does not mean he did not have wisdom to offer; indeed, he offered them... a. A mature wisdom - 1Co 2:6 b. A hidden wisdom - 1Co 2:7 [The nature of this wisdom, and how it can be known, is revealed in our text (1Co 2:6-16). Note first of all, that "The Hidden Wisdom Of God" was...] I. UNKNOWN TO MEN IN THE PAST A. IT WAS NOT THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD... 1. A wisdom not known by the rulers of this age (world, KJV) - 1Co 2:6 2. As evidenced by their crucifixion of the Christ - 1Co 2:8 -- Further illustrating why we can not place all our trust in human wisdom B. IT WAS A MYSTERY, HIDDEN FROM MAN... 1. As God ordained before the ages (i.e., before the world began) - 1Co 2:7 2. Which He did "for our glory" (intending to glorify those who accept Him) - cf. 2Th 1:10 3. Pertaining to things man cannot perceive on his own - 1Co 2:9 a. Either through sight or sound b. Or through one's own inspiration -- Man left to his own devices cannot know all that God wants us to know! [Thus Paul contends that there is a mature wisdom from God that has been hidden from mankind. Yet in four distinct steps "The Hidden Wisdom Of God" has now been...] II. REVEALED THROUGH SPIRIT-LED MEN A. GOD PREPARED... 1. Things not seen, heard, nor entered into the heart of man - 1Co 2:9 2. Things prepared for those who love Him - ibid. -- The first step: God prepared things we could not discern on our own B. GOD REVEALED... 1. Through His Spirit, to the apostles and prophets - 1Co 2:10 a. As Jesus promised His apostles - Jn 16:12-14 b. As Paul professed in his epistle - Ep 3:1-5 2. Through His Spirit, who searches the deep things of God
- 1Co 2:10 a. Who alone knows the things of God - 1Co 2:11 b. Just as no man knows what is in the heart of another - ibid. -- The second step: God revealed through His Spirit what He wants us to know C. THE APOSTLES RECEIVED... 1. The Spirit of God - 1Co 2:12 a. Not the spirit of the world b. But the Spirit who is from God 2. Knowledge of things freely given by God - ibid. a. Which had been kept hidden from man for ages b. Which was now made known to the apostles and prophets of Christ -- The third step: the apostles received God's wisdom through the Holy Spirit D. THE APOSTLES SPOKE... 1. Not in words which man's wisdom teaches - 1Co 2:13 2. But in words which the Holy Spirit teaches - ibid. a. "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (NKJV) b. "combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words" (NASB) c. "combining spiritual things with spiritual words" (ASV) d. "interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual"(ESV) 3. And wrote them that others might also know - cf. Ep 3:3-4 -- The fourth step: the apostles' writings make known God's revealed wisdom [So "The Hidden Wisdom Of God" has been revealed through God's servants (cf. Ro 16:25-26). Yet it is a wisdom most appreciated by those who are "mature" (cf. 1Co 2:6). I.e., it is...] III. COMPREHENDED BY SPIRITUAL PERSONS A. NOT BY THE NATURAL MAN... 1. The "natural" man is one: a. "governed and influenced by the natural instincts; the animal passions and desires, in opposition to those who are influenced by the Spirit of God" - Barnes b. Who depends only on his own senses and own reasoning 2. The "natural" man in such a state: a. Does not receive the things of the Spirit, for they seem foolish to him - 1Co 2:14a b. Cannot know them, because such must be spiritually discerned - 1Co 2:14b -- This helps explain why many people think the Bible is foolish B. BUT BY THE SPIRITUAL MAN... 1. The "spiritual" man is one: a. "who is enlightened by the Holy Spirit in contradistinction from him who is under the influence of the senses only" - Barnes b. Who is open to the teaching of the Spirit revealed through the apostles - cf. Ep 3:3-4 2. The "spiritual" man in such a state: a. Is able to make judgment (discernment), for he has had his senses exercised concerning what is good and evil - 1Co 2: 15a; cf. He 5:12-15 b. Is rightly judged by no one (other than the Lord Himself) - 1Co 2:15b; cf. 1Co 4:3-4 -- Through the inspired Word, the Spirit leads one to true spiritual enlightenment CONCLUSION 1. We have seen that "The Hidden Wisdom Of God"... a. Was unknown to men of this world b. Was revealed through men led by the Spirit of God c. Is comprehended by those willing to heed what the Spirit has revealed through such men 2. To a limited extent, "The Hidden Wisdom Of God" has been made known to all... a. Through the gospel and preaching of Jesus Christ - Ro 16:25-26 b. Which Jesus wanted everyone to hear - cf. Mk 16:15-16 3. We should not assume because we are Christians that we fully comprehend such wisdom... a. There was more for which the Corinthians were not quite ready - cf. 1Co 3:1-3 b. There was more for which the Hebrews were not quite ready
- cf. He 5:11-14 4. To truly benefit from all "The Hidden Wisdom Of God" has to offer... a. We must stop being carnal, "natural" men, influenced more by our humanly senses b. We must grow in grace and knowledge by feeding on the Word - cf. 1Pe 2:1-2; Jm 1:21 Only then, by the grace of God, will we be capable of... "...attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." - Col 2:2-3 Do you desire the "treasures of wisdom and knowledge" found only in Christ? Then heed not the voices and wisdom of the world, but the voices and wisdom of the apostles of our Lord and Savior...!