Tonight I would like to speak to you out 1 Corinthians Chapter 2, where the Apostle Paul is speaking to the church of Corinth about wisdom. But this is not the type of wisdom that is conjured up through human thought or reason; it is a supernatural wisdom that a believer receives that only comes from God through His Spirit.
As I have said many times here, many believers tend to live more in the physical state of mind, which is viewing only what is happening around us as a reality that at times we think cannot change, other than living in the Spiritual, where anything, and everything is possible with God.
The Lord is attempting to get us to understand that He is a Spirit that He operates in the Spirit that He does not operate as a man does. He has power over space, time, and events and He wants us to operate in that same realm. He wants our thoughts to be His thoughts.
Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”
Just as God operates in the Spirit, He wants us to operate in the Spirit, because the Spirit is what moves the physical. This is a repeated statement from a couple weeks ago.
When we look at the Apostle Paul, when writing to individuals and to churches, he always exhorted the people to be engaged with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Romans 8:11. That same Spirit lives in us. Romans 8:9. But also when living us, we need to live according to the Spirit so our minds are set on things of the Spirit, Romans 8:5. All from the Apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans 8.
His words resonate with us today as it did back in his day to live by the Spirit for our own well being, but for other’s well being, because what is possible in the Spirit is endless.
In chapter 2 of 1 Corinthians, when the Apostle Paul presented himself to the people of Corinth, he knew that mere words would not have any affect on these people. Paul led by the Holy Spirit whom he knew well, took Jesus’ approach to reach the people.
He could not come with a brilliance of speech or earthly wisdom because these people were used to brilliance of speech and earthly wisdom. Man’s wisdom.
Corinth was the most industrious and modern cities in Greece during the time of the Apostle Paul. The Romans controlled the city then, but not just Romans and Greeks lived there. It was a multi-cultural center with knowledge from many parts of the continent.
When the Apostle Paul arrived in Corinth, he saw a huge metropolitan area heaped in paganism, and worldly wisdom. When he says in 1 Corinthians 2:2, that “I didn’t think it was a good idea to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” he was using Godly spiritual wisdom because he knew the people were used to hearing educated men speak. Paul wasn’t to be just another educated man who entered into Corinth to tell the people something.
Paul entered in with something that beyond words. It actually set up his words. He did not come in as a pompous orator; he came in with humility, following Christ’s example, displaying to the people powerful demonstrations of Spiritual power. A demonstration of power that was supernatural. Healings and setting people free from earthly bondage.
This opened the door to the Apostle Paul’s message of Jesus Christ, the power of His resurrection, about God raising Jesus from the dead for all mankind for the remission of sin.
When the power of God showed up, all the Apostle Paul had to say was, “this was the resurrected Christ who did this.”
Men have been speaking their wisdom, earthly wisdom, from the beginning of time.
We have read about some of those in school, particularly the Greek ones, Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato, Greek philosophers and teachers who taught about ethics, and the highest forms of good, that only came from human knowledge. Their philosophies came from the earth.
They spoke out about spiritual things, but their spiritual speaking was not from God, the creator of the Universe. Their spiritual dialogs came from created things.
Created things possibly from the earth, or even from the heavens, but not from the Lord God himself.
When the Apostle Paul opened the door to see God through demonstrations of the Spirit, he was able to speak the truths of the Word of God. When the Corinthians saw Jesus at work, then heard who Jesus was, that open door was for them to believe. So as the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:4, “faith was not based on men’s wisdom, but God’s power.”
So it was clear that people were not persuaded by a smooth speaking person but by the power of God.
The Apostle Paul knew people enough to know that well spoken words only hold your attention for a while, then people run off to the next thing because well spoken words do not change the heart, or heal a heart, or bring healing to the body or freedom from spiritual darkness.
Because of the relationship the Apostle Paul had with Jesus, he knew that Jesus was so much larger than his own educated words, and the Apostle Paul was educated, but he deferred that speech in humility to Jesus so he could display His love through supernatural power to the people. The people would see the truth of it, that there is a God in heaven, and that Jesus was His Son. Then Paul would speak. When he did speak, it was Holy Spirit driven dialog from the Father.
The Apostle Paul said, “however, we do speak wisdom of the mature.” The Apostle Paul had deep words from God, but those words can only be realized or understood through the Spirit. These are words that have come out of Eternity. And the Apostle Paul then made the point that words that are spoken today from man and not from God, is the “wisdom of this age.” Big difference. They are not God’s words.
God’s wisdom and understanding can only be gained through a relationship with His Son, and only through the Holy Spirit, and the Apostle Paul did call God’s wisdom a mystery, but only a mystery to those who don’t believe. To the believer, it is revealed.
In 1 Corinthians 2:10-13, “Now God has revealed these things to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. 13 We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.”
The Apostle Paul made a couple points here. One, we need the Spirit to know God, and understand Him. To know His ways. Through the Spirit we receive wisdom to understand the deep things of God. Unless we operate in the Spirit, we will only know God at a surface level. For me, I want to know everything. In the Spirit, we are then able to speak the deep things of God because we have understanding, so we speak deep spiritual things to others and they understand. That’s why people think at times we are crazy or nuts about what we say. They don’t understand it. And they can’t. God says, “Do you want to know me and my ways? Then be friends with the Holy Spirit, He will guide you.”
There appeared to be three steps with the Apostle Paul when dealing with people who did not know Christ. First, he demonstrated the Spirit’s power. Second, he preached Jesus Christ and people believed because they recognized the truth of what the Apostle Paul said, and then third, he taught them. Discipled them. He did basically what Jesus did, and that is what we should be doing.
The people were now in a position to understand the deep things of God because the Spirit of God was in them.
In 2nd Corinthians 2:14, the Apostle Paul continues, “But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
We can understand if we want to.
I say that, because, yes there are the things of God that are easily understood, but there are those things that we must put effort to seek Him out to have understanding. As we seek Him, he will reveal Himself to us more and more. He freely wants to give it. But to receive an answer, we must operate in the Spirit to receive it.
This brings me to a point. Back in the Apostle Paul’s day, he and other Apostles and Evangelists and preachers of the word, when they brought Christ to the people, when people received Christ as Savior, they did not hesitate to pray for people to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Water Baptism was also done, but Spirit baptism was a priority.
Those presenting Christ knew that the outpouring of the Spirit with a sign of speaking in other tongues would elevate a believer into faith and power to witness. And with that faith and power, have dialog in the Spirit for revelation. The Apostle Paul had received it, and continued in it, and he knew all believers needed that revelation and power too.
That is why we believe that here too. There is power that comes from the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Power not only to profess Christ, but a supernatural power that indwells in us to believe, and operate as guided by the Holy Spirit with all wisdom and power.
Just from my own experience, and knowing the experiences of others, those who pray extendedly in the Holy Spirit have a heightened awareness in the Spirit, receive supernatural knowledge and wisdom for all situations, and manifest miracles. Something I do not see that in others who have not received the Baptism. There may be people out there, but in my almost 40 plus years as an adult operating in the Spirit, I have not seen it.
Jesus knew that the wisdom of the age, our own human wisdom, would not be enough for us to survive against the pervasive darkness in the world. As our Savior, He set us free with His blood, but He also sent us the Helper, whom He called our Advocate “who will teach us all things and remind us of everything that He taught us” from John 14:26.
Jesus said “who will teach us all things.” The Holy Spirit would give us answers, and show us everything. When you look at the Apostle Paul in his encounters with the people of Corinth, it was that Holy Spirit who guided him in the process to bring people into a believing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Paul knew what he was talking about because he experienced the Holy Spirit directly after his conversion, and you see from his writings. He had the knowledge of heaven.
When you add the knowledge of heaven, and belief in the power of heaven, you bring heaven into your situations. It is just life for the empowered believer. The Apostle Paul did that through signs, wonders, and miracles, then the teaching of the word of God he received from the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul expressed the folly of human wisdom in 1 Corinthians 3:18. “No one should deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age, he must become foolish so that he can become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God,”
We were created to rely on the wisdom of God from God, just as we were created to rely on God for everything that we need. He is our Father. Adam rejected God when he sinned by believing a lie given by the serpent in Genesis 3:5 that he could be like God.
Adam found out quickly that he was no match for Satan alone, or that he could live on his own. It is surprising how we try to live on our own, and we are surprised when we fail. We may be prosperous by earthly standards, but we fail in the heart. The heart does not lie. It knows our situation.
We need our Father in heaven so we can live. We need His Son for our salvation. We need the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to live a Godly life holy and acceptable to Him, and to be a light to others.
Our freedom in life can only come from having knowledge of God through His Spirit. His Spirit that enlightens His Word in us. We can only give that freedom we have received to others as we respond to the Holy Spirit as He leads us in Jesus name. We must loosen ourselves from the bondage of man’s wisdom, to be wholly led by the Holy Spirit, which is God’s wisdom. And truly when we completely expose ourselves to Him, nothing will be impossible for us to accomplish, and nothing will be kept from us concerning the mysteries and knowledge of God.
The Apostle Paul as well as the Apostle John who comes to mind are those who exposed to us the heights we can reach in Christ if we purpose ourselves to ask, then listen. We can void out all the noise and voices out there that want to consume our minds with fruitless thoughts.
We can in the name of Jesus be focused on heavenly ideals with heavenly thought. These two are prime examples, and we may know people who are that focused. They live in the amazing and so can we, I guess for us the question is, “what do you want?” What do we want? I have to ask my self that question, “what do I want?”
Personally, health for me and my family. A house over our heads, and pay the bills. Personal relationships to be maintained, but growing with no strife.
Thousands of believers operating in the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. Widows and Orphans being ministered to. Meaning those in need. And see the Church of Jesus Christ operating as He intended in the full power of the Holy Spirit.
The family part can be easy, but the rest, well what do I believe?
Holy Spirit...... I need wisdom and revelation to fulfill the purposes you have called me to. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I need to operate in the Holy Spirit like the Apostle Paul being fully engaged with the Holy Spirit to hear Him, and do what He has set before me to do. Not get sidetracked.
Remember when Jesus said, “I only do what the Father does.” Well we only do what Jesus has done, and that being said, we do with wisdom and understanding through the Spirit.
We are Spiritual people. We can’t forget that. We need to live that way. Paul said in Romans 8, that if we live by the flesh, we will die by the flesh, but if we live by the Spirit we put to death our flesh and live. And in that life from my perspective, we will operate in that glory to glory life spoken about in the Word. And I believe we all want that, but what will we do to get it?
The Apostle Paul when bring Christ to the Corinthians because of their high thought and wisdom of the age, and the paganism that was rampant in this vital city, had to rely on the Spirit within in Him to cancel out the dark thought of the age.
We need to do the same. Our day is no different than his day. We have voices that say “hear me” even in the church that do not lead to Jesus, so we need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, but also we as Paul must operate in the power of God. We can do that, if we believe.
Remember the supernatural power of God trumps human thought. It cannot stand up against it. So we must as His children, go to Him, expose our heart to Him, and know Him as the loving Father He is so He can change us from the inside out to operate in the fullness of His word.
It will take inner strength, we must want it. It will take perseverance. But God is not one to leave you hanging when you pursue Him. He is waiting at the door. When you open it. Watch out, because you will being going on a wild ride. One that you would never expect. Because God the good Father, blesses those who put their trust in Him.