1 Corinthians 2:6-16
God’s Wisdom: Not a Wisdom of This Age
Up to this point Paul has been speaking of human or worldly wisdom, a wisdom which these Corinthian Christians had foolishly thought they should pursue. Paul is now going to introduce them to God’s wisdom, the very wisdom which they as believers should have appropriated and cultivated. Be forewarned that Paul is not discussing a higher wisdom or “second blessing” which some believers receive over and above other believers; that is exactly the worldly concept of wisdom he has been opposing since the beginning of the letter, a secret wisdom only known to a select few.
But Paul indeed goes on to speak of a “secret and hidden wisdom of God.” And what is this secret and hidden wisdom, this mystery now revealed? None other than that of which he has already spoken: Jesus Christ and him crucified. It is this event that has defeated the rulers of this age both seen and unseen, for if they had understood what they were doing when they marched Jesus up that hill, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” But crucify him, they did. And the result now is that God is saving a people and giving them a new mind and a new heart through the Holy Spirit given to them. The problem of the Corinthians is that they don’t seem to think that the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit is enough; they want something more, like knowledge or wisdom, so called. They don’t seem to realize that in receiving the Spirit of God, they have indeed received all things (3:21). And so have we.
And so now with the Spirit dwelling within, the believer has an anointing that the unbeliever does not have, which does provide him with an ability to discern and understand the things of God provided for us richly in Christ Jesus. It is not something magical, though it is otherworldly. Put simply, it is the ability to understand the things of God and then the things of this world as God would have us. And how is that? Through the light of Scripture as the Holy Spirit enlightens our minds to understand God’s word. By doing this, we order matters in our lives differently from the world, we value the things that God values, we gladly part with worldly things while cherishing godly things. And the world does not understand this, because the world does not have the Spirit, and never shall. So the Christian way of viewing and doing things makes no sense to it and even threatens it. And so in many nations of the world, the Bible is banned and Christianity persecuted. But we know that we have been handed over to another world while this world passes away, “which God decreed before the ages for our glory.”