Questions for Littles: What kind of wisdom do Paul and his partners not speak (v6)? To what are the rulers of this age coming? Whose wisdom does Paul speak (v7)? When had God ordained it? For what purpose? How many of the rulers of that age knew that wisdom (v8)? What wouldn’t they have done if they had known it? What hadn’t man’s eye seen, ear heard, or heart considered (v9)? Through what (Whom!) has God revealed them (v10)? From where, alone, can come the knowledge of the things of God (v11)? So, whom must believers receive if they are to know the things of God (v12)? So, what wisdom does Paul speak (v13)? For what kind of people? What kind of person cannot receive them (V14)? Why not? How are they discerned? But who has the resources to judge all things (v15)? What is the expected answer to the question, “who has known the mind of the Lord” (v16)? What is the surprising actual answer at the end of that verse?In this week’s Epistle reading, we learn about the most glorious thing that we can know, and about the only way that we can know it.
Sometimes, I have heard people take v9 to mean something like when 1John 3:2 says, “It has not been revealed what we shall be”—that is, about some future glory. But that most certainly is not the case here. Rather, the Holy Spirit is saying here that what the rulers of this age did not know is that God had prepared to give Himself, the Lord of glory, for those who love Him.
This is the extraordinary that eye hadn’t seen, ear heard, nor heart considered. No, God had kept the details of this glorious gospel gift hidden from the eyes and ears and minds of men.
This is the most glorious thing that we can know. The Lord of glory has given Himself for sinners! Even with the access and instruction that we have, we do not really wrap our minds around this: the Lord of glory was crucified for me! For this, we must have the active working of the Holy Spirit.
When we say that “the only way we can know” this amazing gospel truth is by the work of the Spirit, we mean more than just that the Spirit has to come up with the words.
Certainly that is true, which is what vv10-12 are all about. ONLY the Spirit knows the things of God. ONLY THROUGH the Spirit has God revealed the truth to us. And the greatest part of that truth, the heart of that truth, is “the things that have been freely given to us by God.” Behold how good and generous is our God that the height of the revelation of His glory would be how He has given Himself for us!
But just as the work of the Spirit is the only way that we could have had the Scriptures, so also the work of the Spirit is the only way that we can come to believe them. The natural man does not receive them. Rather, the Scriptures are spiritual for spiritual (how v13 literally ends): Holy-Spirit-given words for Holy-Spirit-helped people.
And how does the Holy Spirit help us? By giving to us that which is Christ’s. Not only Christ’s words, as promised in John 16, but also even Christ’s mind, as we see here in v16! The Lord gave Himself for us once for all at Calvary, and He continually gives Himself to us by the working of His Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord!
How does your habit/practice of Bible reading reflect the necessity of the Spirit’s work in it?Suggested songs: ARP119C “That I May Live and Keep Your Word” or HB260 “The Spirit Breathes upon the Word”