Sunday, December 7, 2014

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 4 – God's Wisdom

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians
Part 4 – God's Wisdom
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
We are examining the second of the epistles authored by the Apostle Paul, I Corinthians.

Paul begins this letter to the church in Corinth with an explanation of who is truly head of the church and teachings, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul then explains that as a church, or Body of Christ, we are to put our trust and faith into Jesus, not men, because it is in Christ where the power and wisdom of God is.

Today we will see Paul telling us that his wisdom did not come by worldly teachings or knowledge, but by the Holy Spirit, and that the only way to understand what God's thoughts are, is to hear from the Holy Spirit.


SCRIPTURE REFERENCE I Corinthians 2
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—





10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?”


But we have the mind of Christ.


                   I.            I DID NOT COME WITH ELOQUENCE OR HUMAN WISDOM
a.      When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
                                                                         i.      For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

                                                                      ii.      Paul knew that eloquent speech and human knowledge would not set the captives free.

                                                                   iii.      If the cross is properly preached, the Holy Spirit can do the work in the hearts and lives of believers.


b.      I came to you in weakness
                                                                         i.      Paul did not rely on his abilities to speak or preach or teach...rather, he trusted in the Lord.

                                                                      ii.      He even avoided delving into philosophy, which was all the rage of his day.


c.      My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words
                                                                         i.      but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power

                                                                      ii.       so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power



               II.            WE DO SPEAK WISDOM AMONG THE MATURE
a.      not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing
                                                                         i.      we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

                                                                      ii.      Only those spiritually mature can understand these things.


b.     Hidden from those without the Spirit
                                                                         i.      None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord


c.      As it is written (Isaiah 64:4)
                                                                         i.      “What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”

    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

                                                                      ii.      these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

                                                                   iii.      We cannot come to knowledge of God through the worldly ways of learning.



            III.            GOD'S WISDOM IS REVEALED THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT
a.      who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them?
                                                                         i.      In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

                                                                      ii.      Man cannot learn of God through scientific investigation, or human reasoning, but only as the Spirit of God reveals such to the believer.


b.     What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
                                                                         i.      This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

                                                                      ii.      What is the spirit of the world?

1.      Ephesians 2:2-3 "...you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest."

2.      Satan

                                                                   iii.      The Scriptures teaches us that the evil one uses the world to tempt, pressure, distract, frighten and deceive us into sin. He does so in several ways.
1.      One tactic the evil one has used with much success is to tempt us with the attractions in this world - worldly pleasures, material wealth, status, power and fame. In Titus 2:12, Paul refers to them as “worldly desires” and in 1 John 2:16, the apostle John terms them as “the lusts of the flesh”.

2.      We will either strive for the Spirit of God, or we default to the spirit of the world.


c.      The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
                                                                         i.      The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments

                                                                      ii.      we have the mind of Christ

                                                                   iii.      Those of us, who have the mind of Christ, can see things of the world as God sees them.

                                                                 


CONCLUSION

Like Paul, we need to share the gospel, not with eloquence or human wisdom, but to proclaim your personal testimony about God as Paul did, in weakness, not with wise or persuasive words, but with demonstrating the Spirit's power so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power.

Do you see that in the scripture?

1 Corinthians 2: 1-5

Paul is saying that your personal testimony MUST demonstrate the spirit's power, so listeners will see the power of God, and put their faith in him!

We need to have a mind like Christ, so we may obtain the Spirit of God.

Proverbs 23:7 "...For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is..."

Where your mind goes, your body will follow.

Set your mind on what is above, higher things, things of God. Romans 12:2, be not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind.

2 Corinthians 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

The scriptures do not say we wont have worldly thoughts, rather, when you do, cast them down, for anything that raises up against the knowledge of God, is of the world. We can change the way we think, and renew our minds to be like Christ. When we do this, having a mind like Christ will change the way we live, because we will begin to see things for what they truly are, rather than what the world tells you they should be.



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