1 Corinthians 2:6-16 - Wisdom from the Spirit

1. Did your parents ever tell you about something, “You’ll have to wait until you’re older”? How did you feel then? How do you feel about Paul addressing this section to “the mature” or to “mature believers?” Are you a mature believer?

2. In Verse 7, Paul speaks of “the mystery of God” [the NIV says “God’s secret wisdom”] that has been hidden. What is this hidden secret? (1 Peter 1:10-12)

A: Quite simply, it is God’s offer of salvation to all people. Originally unknown to humanity, this plan became crystal clear when Jesus rose from the dead. His resurrection proved that he had power over sin and death and could offer us thgis power as well.

1 Peter 1:10-12 (Contemporary English Version): Some prophets told how kind God would be to you, and they searched hard to find out more about the way you would be saved. The Spirit of Christ was in them and was telling them how Christ would suffer and would then be given great honor. So they searched to find out exactly who Christ would be and when this would happen. But they were told that they were serving you and not themselves. They preached to you by the power of the Holy Spirit, who was sent from heaven. And their message was only for you, even though angels would like to know more about it.

3. Has God’s secret plan now been revealed to everyone?

A: No. It is available to everyone, but it is still hidden to many people because they either refuse to accept it, choose to ignore it, or simply haven’t heard about it.

4. What point is Paul making by his quote from the Old Testament (Isaiah 64:4) in Verse 9? (Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21:1)

A: We cannot possibly imagine all that God has in store for us, both in this life an in eternity. He will create for us a new heaven and a new earth
Isaiah 65:17. “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth,
      and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
Rev 21:1. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.

We will live with God forever. It won’t be boring, it won’t be a centuries-long church service, it will be something that, as this passage says, you cannot possibly imagine. But until then, his Holy Spirit comforts and guides us. Knowing the wonderful and eternal future that awaits us give us hope and courage to press on in this life, to endure hardship, and to resist temptation. This world is not all there is; the best is yet to come.

5. Philosophers were respected as people who could search out deep truths; in contrast, how does Paul say the truth of the Gospel is discovered (verses 10-13)?

A: Those who believe in Christ’s death and resurrection and put their faith in him will know all they need to know to be saved. This knowledge, however, cannot be grasped by even the wisest people unless they accept God’s message. All who reject God’s message are foolish, no matter how wise the world thinks they are.

6. From the references to “wisdom” in this passage, what differences do you see between human wisdom and God’s wisdom?

A: God’s wisdom is revealed only to those who believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection. It is available to everyone, not only to people who have a high IQ or college degree. God’s wisdom sounds foolish to those who do not have the Holy Spirit in them. God’s wisdom cannot be earned.

7. Why did Paul’s words here carry authority? (Verse 13)

A: Paul’s words were authoritative because their source was the Holy Spirit. Paul was not merely giving his own personal views or his personal impression of what God had said. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote the very thoughts and words of God.

8. Do you know any people who can’t understand your decision to follow Christ or think that it is silly?

A: Just as a tone-deaf person cannot appreciate music, the person who rejects God cannot understand God’s beautiful message. He can’t hear what God is saying and it all seems foolish.

9. What do you think Paul means in Verse 16 when he says “we have the mind of Christ”? Is he saying that we are on the same mental level as God? (Philippians 2:5-8)

A: Okay, I’m not absolutely sure what Paul is saying here.

I think he is saying that no one can comprehend God but through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, believers have insight into some of God’s plans, thoughts, and actions—they, in fact have “the mind of Christ.”

He also may be saying that our attitude should be like that of Christ.

Philippians 2:5-8. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

By the way, the Old Testament quote is Isaiah 40:13.

10. Are you personally spending enough time with Christ and the Gospel to have his very mind in you?

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