The church can take quite a cue from Paul’s preaching, especially on how to be effective for Christ in pursuing the deep things of God. The points below discuss attributes the church must emphasis when equipping saints (inspired by I Corinthians 2:1-16). Often, the church fails to strategically mark these components of Christian living in the way Paul illustrates in this passage:
What to strive for:
v.1 – Thirst for God’s wisdom
In opening, Paul references humanly wisdom, and how one must not become reliant upon it. Knowing the difference between Godly wisdom and humanly wisdom produces freedom. Though humanly wisdom is not wrong, it still must be seen as drastically inferior to that of God. Human wisdom involves knowledge that God has already made known and can be discovered without necessarily seeking Him. Godly wisdom possesses knowledge that only He can give at an appointed time (1 Corinthians 12:8 – the Spirit provides word of wisdom and knowledge).
Key question: So how do we tap into Godly wisdom? The answer is simple. We ask! (James 1:5)
Bottom line: True Godly discernment knows the difference between wisdoms and asks for both.
v. 3 – Humility (note Paul’s angle)
To be with people in weakness is to exemplify selfless courage. Such absence of fear combined with meekness represents genuine humility, which Paul is displaying here.
v. 4 – Operate in God’s power
Paul preached with Spirit and power (not “and/or”).
The power of God comes through the “demonstration of the Spirit”; otherwise wisdom becomes man-generated and thus, contains no real power.
Key question: What exactly is a demonstration of Spirit? How does it manifest?
The Greek word, apodeixis, refers to a demonstration being any way where it validates or reveals truth or presence (i.e. glory of the Gospel).
v. 7 – “Mystery” – not literally mysterious, but hidden from understanding until God chooses to show
1 Corinthians 2:9-11 (New Living Translation)
“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.”
v. 10 – Why is the baptism of fire/Spirit necessary? Because Holy Spirit baptism, though not dependant for salvation, boldly declares that we want to know the deep things of God! It’s one of the most important announcements we can make to the spiritual realm. Two elements must be in place to tap into the deep things of God: 1) A revelation from God by the Spirit (the Holy Spirit is like God’s mailman) 2) Man’s response (a.k.a. obedience)
v. 11 – Only the Spirit knows the deep things of God, so we have to be in fellowship and communion with the Spirit (Note how this testifies to the existence of the Trinity).