1 Corinthians 2
1And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
2For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
3I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling,
4and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
Paul made a point of not waxing wise or eloquent when he delivered the gospel to those in Corinth. He was smart enough to impress the “wise” and to use his own human abilities to influence people to follow him. But that was not his mission. He did not want to self-exalt. Rather, he chose to simply declare a simple message about Christ which would seem foolish to most of the listeners and make him look like a fool to them. He determined to know only Christ and the gospel so that Christ would get the glory and attention. When we simply rely upon the Word of God to do its work, we let God get the glory for what only He can do anyway. When we share the gospel there is good reason to feel afraid and tremble, but we must trust God and preach it boldly anyway. Paul did this. He did not try to cleverly persuade the Corinthians with human reason by appealing to various lusts of the flesh or by trying to get them to accept and like him. Rather, he preached the truth about Jesus in demonstration of the Spirit and of power because it takes the power of God to declare the truth of God without our human egos getting in the way. There is power in the Word of God going forth through a human vessel who seeks no glory but the glory of God. The fruit of this is that those who do repent and respond in faith have a faith that rests upon the power of God which has convicted their hearts rather than on the work of a man who has influenced their impulses and drawn out their fleshly ambitions. The gospel crushes pride and selfish ambition, and only a “fool” would accept it. But God saves some and glorifies Himself which gives us reason not to lift up ourselves but to exalt His name and praise Him for His grace. There just was no reason for the Christians at Corinth to associate themselves with Paul rather than Christ because Paul reminds them that their faith rests upon Christ not upon the abilities of some man, himself included.
6Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away;
7but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;
8the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
9but just as it is written,
"THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM."
It is not that Christians are stupid, ignorant, or naïve. Christians ought to grow to maturity and be extremely educated in the Word such that they have wisdom to be able to defend their faith and know what and why they believe. True wisdom is found in Christ, and it is just that this wisdom isn’t perceived by the world as wisdom. To the world this wisdom is hidden, and it is mysterious. Yet it has been revealed to us who believe because God loves us and wants to shower His blessing upon us. Our glory is that God loves us and chose us to be His. This does not mean that we deserved His love, but it means that we have been given glory. Our glory is that the Lord of glory indwells our hearts in our feeble vessel of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7-8). The rulers of this world rejected the wisdom of God and crucified the Lord of glory. They didn’t see the truth right before their eyes, but for those who receive Christ, we get to see all that God has prepared for us because of His love for us. The world can’t see it, hear it, or understand it, but those who have Christ in their hearts comprehend the truth about Christ.
10For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
It is by the Spirit of God that we understand true wisdom. The Spirit searches out all things because, being God, He knows all things. It is difficult to know what other people think, but each of us know what we think in the depths of our hearts and in our spirit. In the same way, the world cannot understand the thoughts of God because they don’t know the Spirit of God. If they knew the Spirit of God, then they could have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). True wisdom and learning comes only through the Spirit by faith in God through Christ.
12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,
13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
15But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.
16For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM? But we have the mind of Christ.
We have the Spirit of God, not a worldly spirit, such that we can understand what is given to us by God. These are the things we teach and share with others even though they might think it is foolish. When we are led and filled with the Spirit, we are able to speak spiritual words of spiritual wisdom. Only through a relationship with Christ can such wisdom be thought about, mentally processed, and verbally communicated. Without the help of the Spirit, we are on the outside of true wisdom looking in. The things of God require the Spirit of God, and so those who are not spiritually reborn but in their natural sinfully depraved state cannot understand wisdom. Those who are spiritual are able to understand all things which are spiritual and given by God to understand. Yet the spiritual ones are not understood by the world but are rather regarded as fools. This makes sense given that the natural man cannot know the mind of the Lord. God alone possesses all wisdom, and man in his natural state cannot instruct God. Yet in Christ and by the Spirit of God, we are able to think as God thinks in terms of wisdom and Biblical morality and understanding. Spiritual insight and discernment comes only by the Spirit of God through being reborn into a relationship with God through Christ.