Tuesday, 15 April 2014
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11
Paul is tying what he just said in with this thought. He has been writing about the wisdom of God which has been hidden and unknown to man until it was revealed by the Spirit of God. If the Spirit of God had not revealed these things (which are now found in the proclamation of the prophets and apostles, and which speak of the work of Christ – all as recorded in Scripture) we never would have been able to discern them. They belonged alone to God, in His eternal mind.
To show us something more easily understandable, he uses the thoughts of the individual man as a comparison. Nobody can get truly get into another man’s thoughts. All we can do is make deductions about what someone is thinking, but we can never know for sure the details and sum of his mind. The same is true with God. He has created, and we can make deductions about Him from His creation, but we can never fully attain to the thoughts of God – and we surely cannot speak for Him about what His thoughts are.
Only can the spirit in a man know the things of that man and in like manner, only the Spirit of God can know “the things of God.” Unless the man reveals his thoughts to another, they remain his alone. As this is true with someone just like us, and it is true with all humans who have ever lived, how much more God! Unless God reveals His intentions to us we cannot ever probe those things which are hidden in Him.
Paul is going to continue with this thought in the verses ahead, but it is important to remember that what He has been speaking about, and what he will continue to speak about, is the message of the gospel. He is not indicating that we have something available to us that is unavailable to others. He is not saying that because we have the Spirit, we are able to obtain a level of spiritual knowledge that others cannot. Nor is he saying that we can now “speak for God” in prophetic utterances. He is clearly explaining how the message of the gospel was unknown until it was known and that it is God’s incomparable way of bringing salvation to man.
Later, when speaking of those who are not in Christ, he will explain why they cannot perceive the gospel. It is not because they don’t have it available to them, but because they don’t have faith to receive it. When faith is exercised, they will receive the Spirit and the gospel will suddenly make sense.
Life application: Faith in the gospel is not a step into darkness, it is stepping into God’s revealed light. This light is found in the Bible which contains the words of the prophets and apostles. These words proclaim Jesus Christ. The things of God necessary for salvation have been revealed by the Spirit of God to us. Let us continue to read and cherish this treasure of wisdom and love all our days.
Lord God, I don’t need to climb the highest mountain to find You. I don’t need to cross oceans or walk in the hot and arid desert to get close to You. And I don’t need to sell all my possessions and give the money to the poor to be pleasing to You. What I need is to fix my eyes and thoughts on Jesus and place my faith in Him. And You have revealed Him to me in Your word. Thank You for Your word which shows me Your love for us in Your Son. Thank You. Amen.