Sunday, 20 April 2014
For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16
In Isaiah 40, the Lord puts forth a series of rhetorical questions for us to consider. Paul uses the thought of Isaiah 40:13 to close out this chapter of 1 Corinthians –
“Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has taught Him?”
The answer is that no one can know the thoughts of the Lord unless He reveals them to us. As he said in verse 11, “Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” Because no one can know the things of God unless God reveals them to us, then without Him doing so, we are left with the most important questions of all unanswered and unknowable. Further, because He is God and thus the Source of all wisdom, no one can instruct Him. He alone is the bearer of all wisdom and knowledge. That wisdom and knowledge which we possess is only that which has been made available through His creation, of which we are a part.
Therefore, there is an infinite gap between the two unless the Spirit of God reveals His mind to us. And He has done so through the Person and testimony of Jesus Christ. The Lord (Jehovah) of the Old Testament is revealed in Him, so that by the Spirit of God “we have the mind of Christ.” In other words, Paul is tying the Lord (Jehovah) directly to the Person of Jesus; they are One. Because the Spirit of God has spoken through the prophets and apostles, whose words are now provided in the Bible, and because we have received Christ and understand that the Bible is speaking of God’s work in Him, the mystery is revealed. We have the mind of Christ.
The People’s New Testament sums up Chapter 2 this way –
“Two things are learned from this chapter: (1) There is a divine wisdom or philosophy. (2) This divine wisdom, or mystery, is an absurdity or perplexity to the world, but the wisdom of God to the saints.”
It should be repeated that though we have “the mind of Christ,” this doesn’t mean we automatically have all of it in its fullness. It means that it is available to us. It is up to each of us to study, contemplate, and meditate on the word of God. God’s revelation to us isn’t with a “spiritual hypodermic needle.” It is the Bible. This is where our instruction is to be derived from.
One other point of note concerning chapter 2 is that Paul began it by highlighting his ministry as one which proclaimed Christ and Him crucified. It wasn’t with elegant words to woo his audience, nor was it with persuasive words. It was in direct and simple language which accurately and responsibly handled God’s word. Let each preacher of the Bible put away the frills and the fluff and focus on God’s Word!
Would I describe a preacher,
* * * *
I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,
And natural in gesture; much impress’d
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds
May feel it too; affectionate in look,
And tender in address, as well becomes
A messenger of grace to guilty men.
William Cowper, The Task (1785)
Life application: To have the mind of Christ is to know Christ, but to have it in its fullness is to know the word which speaks of Him. Know your Bible.
O Precious God Almighty – use me to Your glory, keep me from bringing dishonor upon Your name, and lead me in paths of righteousness all my days – for Your name’s sake. With these things, You will be glorified, those around me will be edified, and I… I Lord will be satisfied. For Your name’s sake and to Your glory, this I pray. Amen.