Family lesson for October 26: The Spirit Provides Wisdom
October 3 2003 by Mary Fillinger , 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

Family Bible Study lesson for October 26: The Spirit Provides Wisdom | Friday, Oct. 3, 2003

Friday, Oct. 3, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for October 26: The Spirit Provides Wisdom

By Mary Fillinger 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

Paul often used himself as an example. His preaching at Corinth had been plain and practical. Paul had come to make Jesus real to these people. He wanted them to understand completely that the way of salvation is through the cross of Jesus.

Contrast in Wisdom 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 The real contrast was between Paul's simple preaching of the cross and human wisdom, which some were trying to distort. Paul did not want the Corinthian believers' faith to rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Salvation is God's work as He delivers people from sin by the way of the cross. Paul depended not on his own human skill or prowess, but upon God's spirit and power. He was not afraid of men; he was afraid that these believers would put their trust in someone other than Jesus.

Deeper Truths 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 Having put a disclaimer on any human wisdom, Paul was quick to declare that in teaching mature Christians, he did engage in what he calls wisdom. However, this wisdom is something altogether different from the worldly wisdom in which the proud Corinthians reveled. Earthly rulers of whatever rank, though in significant positions, do not know anything of this wisdom apart from Jesus, and are thus doomed to destruction. This wisdom, which Paul shares with believers who have progressed in the faith and so have attained a certain degree of maturity, is a wisdom from God. It had been a mystery, even as salvation through Jesus' atoning death on the cross had been a mystery. But through God's Holy Spirit the deeper truths of the believers' experience had been made known to Paul and to others (v. 10).

A growing believer's experience does not limit itself to the initial features; it presses onto maturity. The riches of a believer's discipleship are beyond human computation. Paul quotes from Isaiah and possibly other ancient sources when he seeks to evaluate the incalculable blessings of the life of the believer. Verse nine applies to the here and now as well as to blessings that extend into eternity.

Wisdom through understanding 1 Corinthians 2:11-16 It is evident that, through the Holy Spirit, believers may have insights and understanding that unbelievers do not have. Verse 11 states that even for believers, our understanding is limited, simply because we are human beings. Neither can our thoughts be known by another human individual. God knows all that is within us, but we do not fully know God, His ways or His thoughts. Yet, believers can know something of God's thoughts because the Holy Spirit provides us with such understanding. Furthermore, the Spirit helps believers understand God's gifts. People whom the Holy Spirit teaches are able to interpret spiritual truths. Those who possess merely human wisdom cannot understand such truths. Again, Paul draws a sharp contrast between human wisdom and the wisdom God gives to people who respond to Him.

The unregenerate or natural man is absolutely unable to discern or understand spiritual blessings. Conversion and regeneration must precede understanding, since they must be spiritually discerned (v. 14). Under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit, the deeper insights into our riches in Jesus are unfolded to the maturing believer, who is thus enabled to comprehend and to enjoy the growing blessings God bestows. That believer has the mind and spirit of the Master. That which is meaningless or foolish to the unbeliever has great significance to the growing believer. The Holy Spirit enables Christians to receive, to understand, and to convey the true wisdom that comes from God.

The unity of the believers is crucial in reaching a lost world for Jesus. The cross remains at the heart of the church's witness. The good news of Jesus' death and resurrection for sinners unites those who embrace it as a unity of believers. Spiritual people are those who are saved by God's grace and in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. Spiritual maturity comes from the Holy Spirit's working in a person's life. Believers are to have the mind of Jesus.

We are to have His compassion and concern for people. We are to give of ourselves in His spirit to people who need His grace.

10/3/2003 12:00:00 AM by Mary Fillinger , 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 | with 0 comments
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