Thursday, 17 April 2014
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 1 Corinthians 2:13
Again, Paul continues to build on his previous thoughts. “These things” refers to the “the things that have been freely given to us by God” from the previous verse. The Spirit was upon the apostles, including Paul, for the reception of the word of God. In this, he shows that they were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as they spoke out the message of Christ. Those words which were put to pen and compiled for us became the word of God, the Holy Bible.
It is this cherished book that is “not in words which man’s wisdom teaches.” No other book has its source directly in God. Instead they have their source in the created rather than the Creator; man’s wisdom is involved. But those prophets and apostles whose work is included in the Bible “spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
As “man’s wisdom” is excluded, only the truth of God remains. It is true that the styles of the individual writers of the Bible come through, but each word was selected by God, moving harmoniously with the writer so that His perfect intent is realized. When a musician plays from a sheet of music, his style may come through, and yet the musical notes were each selected by the composer. If the musician is faithful to follow the score, then the style and intent of the composer will be known, despite who the musician is. So both the musician and the composer can be discerned at the same time.
If Eddie Van Halen were to play Bach, anyone who knew Van Halen’s style could say, “That is Eddie Van Halen.” At the same time, anyone who knew Bach’s writing style could say, “That was written by Bach.” In the Bible, man’s wisdom is excluded, but the words of the divine Author and the style of the human writer remains. Thus the Bible can be, and is, the word of God.
Finally, in Paul’s words today he says that this process is noted as “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” This is an immensely complex phrase which is highly debated concerning its exact meaning. Many possibilities exist as to how Paul’s words are rightly translated. One possibility which seems appropriate based on the next verse would be “Explaining spiritual things to spiritual persons” (Adam Clarke). This will continue to be evaluated in verse 14.
Life application: God’s word is sealed. The prophets and apostles have received God’s revelation which has been recorded for us and which is our guide for life and conduct as Christians. Extra-biblical revelation is not only unnecessary, it would be a diversion away from the very word which God has given us. Don’t be swayed by those who claim prophecies or “a word” from the Lord. The Lord has given us His word – did He somehow miss something? No!
Lord God, You have given us Your word; I will hold to it alone. You have sent Your Son to reveal You to us; I will look to Your Son. You have told us He is our One Mediator between us and You; I will pray through no other. Thank You for Your word which tells of Your love for us in Christ my Lord. And thank You for Christ my Lord. Amen.