Monday, 14 April 2014
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10
“But God” is given as a contrast to “the rulers of this age” who are emblematic of all the learned, wise, noble, mighty, etc. These people may have worldly advantages over others, but apart from understanding the work of Christ, they are devoid of the most important knowledge of all. Despite everything they can accomplish, they cannot attain, the precious facets of the “wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.”
However, those who hear and receive the message can attain them because He “has revealed them to us through His Spirit.” Again, a verse arises which is often manipulated and used in a way which is unintended by Paul. This verse is not speaking about a sudden illumination in the individual concerning a spiritual revelation apart from the Bible. Rather the Bible is the key to understanding these things because it was authored by the Spirit for our benefit.
Albert Barnes wisely notes the following three points concerning what is being relayed in this verse –
“(1) That people by nature are not able to discover the deep things of God – the truths which are needful to salvation.
(2) that the apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit; and if so, then the Scriptures are inspired.
(3) that all Christians are the subjects of the teaching of the Holy Spirit; that these truths are made known to them by his illumination; and that but for this, they would remain in the same darkness as other men.”
God spoke in times past through the apostles and prophets concerning the truths of Christ. As Peter explains in his second epistle to us that, “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20, 21
These writings are, as Jesus Himself says, what testify to Him. It is the Bible which is to be our standard concerning all spiritual matters. To rely on the Holy Spirit for spiritual matters without reading and knowing the Bible is a category mistake. It can only lead to bad theology which will, by necessity, devolve into heresy.
Because the Spirit is the one who guided the prophets and apostles as they wrote, we have the very depths of the wisdom of God revealed to us in the Bible. And the reason is given by Paul – “For the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God.” Everything within the Godhead is available to the Spirit of God.
This tells us a few things about the Spirit:
1) He has all the knowledge of God (omniscience)
2) Only God is omniscient
3) Therefore, He is, like the Father and the Son, an independent Person within the Godhead; but in no way separate – thus the doctrine of the Trinity is confirmed.
When Paul says that the Spirit “searches all things” it doesn’t mean that He is looking for something. The word erauna is used. It indicates a continuous, complete, and detailed knowledge and enlightenment of “the deep things of God.” Those things that are to be revealed by God in the Bible are from the eternal mind of God. Though some parts of the Bible were penned by Moses and some by John 1500 years later, and many authors in between them, they reflect a wisdom that is fixed, firm, unchanging, complete, accurate, harmonious, etc.
Because this is so, let us take special care to pay attention in our church gatherings. If something is spoken or taught that contradicts any portion of the Bible, then it cannot be of God. If God says that no more than three may speak in tongues and there must be an interpreter, then any presentation of tongues which doesn’t match this is not of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible explicitly states that women are not to teach or have authority over men. Therefore, if a church has a female pastor, though she may be knowledgeable, eloquent, or uplifting, she is not being directed by the Spirit and the meeting is not authorized by God. In our pursuit of God, we must allow God to be God and be attentive to His words lest we be found disobedient.
Life application: God has spoken and His word is written, other than what is recorded there, what more do we need for the development and practice in our spiritual life? The answer can only be, “Nothing.”
Lord God, if the Bible is Your word, then surely it is sufficient to instruct me in all aspects of my spiritual life. What more do I need than what You have spoken? Surely You have given sufficient instructions for those things. So Lord, help me to understand Your word and be obedient to it. To Your glory I pray. Amen.