Sunday, 13 April 2014
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
This is one of the many verses which is more often than not misapplied by those who quote it. It is not speaking of the future state of the Christian in heaven. From the surrounding context, we see that it is speaking of the same continuous thought which Paul has been writing about for quite a while – the wisdom of God displayed in the gospel message.
Turning again to Scripture, Paul loosely cites Isaiah 64:4 –
“For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.”
“But” surely confirms the analysis of the preceding verse which indicated that if the rulers of this age knew that Jesus’ crucifixion would prove that He is Lord, they would never have crucified Him; thus they would have attempted to thwart God’s plans. The “rulers of this age” were mentioned twice, in verses 6 and 7, as being those who lived by “the wisdom of this age” which is referred to in detail in chapter 1. Paul is giving a contrast to that very notion, one hinted at in the Old Testament.
Paul speaks of “the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” It is evident that the “rulers of this age” didn’t love Him and continued to fight against Him during Paul’s time; and for the most part, they still do to this day. Therefore, it is likely that had they known the fullness of the plan of Christ in advance, they would have worked to undermine it. But God kept the details hidden, veiled in seemingly obscure passages within the Old Testament. They only become evident in hindsight.
Even those who love Him were unable to clearly see what was coming. Jesus explained much of His work to the apostles and yet they couldn’t understand what He was saying. The plan was so incredible that it could never have been comprehended. Even after the resurrection, Thomas doubted the words of the other apostles, seeking tangible proof before he would believe.
The true blessedness of the gospel is set apart then for those who have not seen but still believe. It is by grace through faith that we are reconciled to God. The many wondrous facets of the gospel then are “the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. It is the current state of the believing soul that is being referred to in this verse, not the future heavenly state.
Life application: In order to avoid misusing verses, ensure that the context of the verses you cite is always considered. By doing this, the hearer won’t be misdirected by an improper use of what God intends.
Heavenly Father, there is no more wondrous state for me to consider than the one I find myself in now. I am a sinner saved by grace, having faith in the work of another – a sinless Lamb. The eternal wonder of heaven’s glory cannot be more astonishing than the place in which I now find myself… reconciled to You through the work of Jesus. Thank You for my Lord, Amen.