• Jamie McClanahan

The Way of Wisdom Through the Spirit of God (I Cor. 2:10-16)



What does it mean to REALLY know someone? As of October 18th, 2020, my wife Crystal and I will have been married 6,651 days. Wow, that is 18 years, two months, and 15 days. I could fill notebooks with what I have learned about her and from her over this period. I could organize it and present it chronological or in other ways. However, you would still not know her the way I know her. Why? Because I know her in the context of a relationship. To really know someone is more than just absorbing and organizing information about them. It is to be with them, to love them, and to trust them.


In the same way, we cannot honestly know God apart from a relationship with him. If we are to understand his heart and head, we must spend time with him in close proximity. God wants to reveal himself and his purposes to us. He has shown us the way of wisdom through his Word. The Word is dual in meaning, for it means the Word of God, the Scriptures, and it refers to the central character and subject of the Scriptures, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:1). God's real wisdom for humanity is found in the true story of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration of humanity through his Son Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Scriptures and the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul captures this understanding of Jesus as central to all wisdom in Rom. 11:36. He writes, "For from him [Jesus] and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever."


Once a person receives the Lord Jesus, the Spirit of God immediately enters them and begins a work of regeneration and sanctification or becoming more holy or Christlike. Furthermore, we grow in Christ as we press into the Word of God and enter his presence in prayer individually and corporately.

One of the supreme mysteries of knowing God is the mode of God revealing wisdom. God indeed reveals himself through nature, his Word, and prayer in the faith community's context. However, we gain a beautiful and mysterious glimpse of how God reveals himself to us in I Cor. 2:10-12. Paul writes, "these things [wisdom in Christ as described in vs. 6-9] God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God."


Wow! What a mind-blowing truth? God reveals the depth of his being to his Spirit, and his Spirit reveals it to us who are Christ Jesus. God wants us to understand the "things freely given us" as it pertains to Jesus' righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

These things are not acquired by human wisdom and but only revealed through the Spirit of God. Now, I must be clear; God is not revealing a 67th book of the Bible. We must not add to God's revelation of Scripture. He is merely revealing what he has revealed so that we understand it for our growth in Christ. Not all will understand this truth revealed through relationship or because of our union with Jesus. However, these truths can be understood by those who are spiritual and who have received the Spirit of God.


The final verses in this section define the contrast between the natural and the spiritual man. The natural man is one who is deficient in the Holy Spirit and is not a believer in Jesus. He considers spiritual wisdom foolish. One man describes the person without the Spirit of God as "a child incapable of communicating with a parent, unable to understand the parent's mind or intentions." One consequence of lacking spiritual knowledge is the ability to apply true wisdom in judgment. The spiritual man should not expect the natural man to form conclusions about him to be trustworthy. Paul writes, "The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one." The wisdom of God in Christ is beyond the contemplation and absorption of the natural man. However, the spiritual person is to have the mind of Christ and can experience the beauty of knowing God. However, in his discovery, he will agree with Paul, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"—


Imagination is a gift of God. The secular usage of imagination is just a distant echo of God's proper use for his redeemed people. According to this text, one reason we were given imagination is to meditate on the relationship of the past, present, and future blessings of God through Jesus.

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