Articles

First Corinthians - Part 8

Introduction

Last time we looked at the mystery of 1 Cor. 2:7. 

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (1Co 2:7 KJV)
7  ἀλλὰ λαλοῦμεν σοφίαν Θεοῦ ἐν μυστηρίῳ, τὴν ἀποκεκρυμμένην, ἣν προώρισεν ὁ Θεὸς πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων εἰς δόξαν ἡμῶν· (1Co 2:7 TBT)

Before the ages God had pre-marked out the strategy He would use in destroying the enemy and accomplishing the redemption of all that would respond to His call. This was a mixture of prophecy and hidden wisdom.

Today we will look at the the remainder of the chapter.

The Structure 1Cor. 2:6-3:2

Below is the structure given by CH Welch for the passages we are now to consider. The structure is a great help in seeing the scope of the passages and will guide us in the interpretation of the word of God.

Knowledge

The world rulers were unaware of the depth of the truths that God had hidden from them, for if they were knowledgable they would not have been complicit in having the Lord crucified.

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Paul then moves to a quote from the book of Isaiah 64:4:
 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

This is from a section of Isaiah 63.15-64.12 where Isaiah on  behalf of the people of Israel prays to God that He would look down and come down. Isaiah rehearses in the prayer the fallen state of Israel and looks to the time when God would remember them:

6 ¶  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7  And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
8  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
9  Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.
10  Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.

The Answer

The answer comes in chapter 65.1-66.24 -- this talks of blessing on the elect and  judgment on those who rebell against the LORD.

8 ¶  Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
9  And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

This seed will remain even in the midst of great apostacy:

Isa 65:9  And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
Isa 65:23  They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
Isa 66:22  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

Again the context is a blessing for the elect of Israel in a context of apostacy. But there is more here -- at the beginning of chapter 65 Isaiah quotes the LORD

1 ¶  I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.
2  I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
3  A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;

Part of this passage connects well with Deut 32.21 which is a part of the song of Moses (32.1-43) where Israel's history and prophecy is laid out, lets read around the context:

19 ¶  And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.
20  And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
21  They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22  For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23  I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.

 

Here is a more complete picture -- a prophetical picture -- this is not "The Mystery" hid in God but hard fast revealed prophetical statements that we all can read and understand. Israel is failing and God is dealing with the Gentiles in a way to provoke the tree to fruitfulness.

Paul quotes from Isaia 65.1 in Rom. 10.20-21:

18  But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
19  But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
20  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.
21  But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

This works so well with the Acts -- the knowledge of what God has prepared for Israel's elect ( those that wait for Him) is unimagineable -- it is a wonderful calling and can only be comprehended through the Spirit of God. Paul continues in 1 Cor. 2:10

The spirit of man and the Spirit of God

 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

They have been revealed unto the apostles. The deep things must come by being perfected and this would entail having the Spirit of God. Having the Spirit is not synonymous with being perfected. Paul takes our understanding of the spirit further:

 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
 13  ἃ καὶ λαλοῦμεν, οὐκ ἐν διδακτοῖς ἀνθρωπίνης σοφίας λόγοις, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν διδακτοῖς Πνεύματος Ἁγίου, πνευματικοῖς πνευματικὰ συγκρίνοντες.

The gist of this is very simple and profound. We cannot expect a person to know the things of God simply because he or she has man's wisdom or because he or she is "smart" or because he or she has such and such a degree or many degrees confired by institutions of higher learning. A person must have the Spirit of God in order to know the things that are freely given to us of God. Right division in the hands of someone that has not the Spirit of God will come to naught. PAul prays that a spirit of wisdom and revelation would be given to the Ephesians that they might know the distinctive hope proclaimed today. God's method of learning is comparison -- spritual things with spiritual. This must be what we do under His example and guidance. 

 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
 14  ψυχικὸς δὲ ἄνθρωπος οὐ δέχεται τὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Θεοῦ· μωρία γὰρ αὐτῷ ἐστι, καὶ οὐ δύναται γνῶναι, ὅτι πνευματικῶς ἀνακρίνεται.

The natural man is the "soulish",  ψυχικὸς is an adjective -- the natural man is connected to the world through the spirit of man and all that pertains to the aspirations of the soul with this life. The natural man is unable to grasp the things of God and it is no surprize to us when natural soulish people reject what is said on a spiritual plain to them. It is simply foolish.

 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 
 15  ὁ δὲ πνευματικὸς ἀνακρίνει μὲν πάντα, αὐτὸς δὲ ὑπ᾽ οὐδενὸς ἀνακρίνεται.

Of course we should judge for in so doing we bring Gods judgment on an issue, there is a great need to train our families on good judgment. This is where right division will come into its own. The spiritual family will look for God's judgment and will for this age.

 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1Co 2:8-16 KJV) 
16  τίς γὰρ ἔγνω νοῦν Κυρίου, ὃς συμβιβάσει αὐτόν; ἡμεῖς δὲ νοῦν Χριστοῦ ἔχομεν. (1Co 2:13-16 TBT)

Having the mind of Christ means far more than simply having knowledge -- the mind of christ is seen in His subjection to the will of the Father. This is what PAul says in Php.2:5ff

5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Conclusion

The apostles and chiefly Paul had the deeper things revealed to them and with the mind of Christ would be judged of no man. We too, in as much as we are brought to perfection can have the prospect of the mind of Christ. The deep and hidden wisdom  put before the Corinthians would remain only in prospect while they were babes.