Friday, 11 April 2014
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory… 1 Corinthians 2:7
“But” is given to contrast “the wisdom of this age” and also “the rulers of this age” which he had just mentioned. Those so noted are, despite their high status now, those “who are coming to nothing.” Many arguments and philosophies come and go which attempt to answer how we got here, why we are here, what our purpose is, and even how we can control our surroundings and our destiny. But without including God in the equation, the ruminations are futile and ultimately lack true wisdom because they lack the final answers. Understanding this, Paul says “But…”
On the other hand, and completely different from their futile contemplations, “we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery.” As noted in the preceding verse, “we” is speaking of the true believer in Christ. It is not speaking of the “mature” in Christ, nor the “learned” in Christ, but all Christians. This is because all Christians possess the necessary starting point and finishing point of all wisdom – Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word. This then is not referring to “deep knowledge” but simply the gospel message which Paul has been referring to all along and which is summed up in verse 2:2 – “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
It is true that there is much deep and intellectual study which can be obtained from the Bible and the many disciplines it reveals, but every one of those disciplines finds its true meaning and fullness in Christ. Apart from Jesus, the most intellectual person on earth can pick up the Bible and find interesting things – interesting patterns of many sorts for example, but they cannot be properly understood without knowing Christ personally.
Because of this, Paul calls it “the wisdom of God in a mystery.” A “mystery” in the Bible is something that was once concealed, but is now revealed. It is not something attainable only to certain enlightened people, but something which is attainable to all who are found in Christ; that Christ died for our sins and was resurrected for our justification.
This truth is “the hidden wisdom of God ordained before the ages for our glory.” And this is the “mystery” which is rejected by those who think that they have all of the great answers available without God. They become so blinded by their own intellect, power, understanding, or nobility that they cannot see the work of Jesus for what it truly is. And thus, they are excluded from the wisest information of all. And yet, it is wisdom that truly even a young child can grasp. This wisdom from God turns the world upside down. This is the wisdom from God which Paul speaks of.
Life application: Don’t get sidetracked by folks who use Paul’s terminology concerning the wisdom of God to place themselves above others as if they have secrets others can’t perceive. Paul always brings his theology back to the cross of Jesus Christ. If you have this knowledge, and have accepted Jesus’ work based on it, then you have the most important knowledge of all.
Lord, I know that big computers can track my every phone call, my every text and email, and even my location. If a crummy machine made by man can do this, how much more You, who created all things, must know about me – my every fault, my heart’s desire, my thoughts in the night. It is both terrifying and uplifting at the same time. Apart from You there must be terror at such knowledge. In Christ, You have washed away the bad and are attentive to the needs. My God! How great You are. Thank You for Jesus who covers my sin and reconciles me to You. Amen.