Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” 10 God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. 14 The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (RSV)
People of today are fortunate. We live in a world where new useful findings are made almost on a daily basis. These findings and discoveries cover a wide spectrum of knowable phenomena. We are discovering more about humankind and the world around us. Some of the scientific breakthroughs are simply breathtaking. They only confirm the awesome honor bestowed on humankind by the Creator. Yet with all the new discoveries, it appears that the more we know about ourselves, the more there is to know. It is hard for any individual to claim that he knows everything about himself. We keep learning things about ourselves that surprise us. What is happening here? Simply put, the human person is a mystery and he remains a mystery to himself. Each day he must humbly seek to better understand himself and the phenomena around him.
Enough about us. Let us turn to God. If we struggle to even grasp who we are, how do we comprehend the God who made us? Let us recall a line from the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus: “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (Jn 3:12). How can we relate to God when we can hardly comprehend earthly matters? How can we understand his ways? Who knows the mind of God? Let us recall the Lord’s words addressed to Isaiah: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (55:8-9). If this is the situation, and it is, then how can we have a fruitful relationship with God? This brings us to our theme today and the reading (above) from 1Cor 2:6-16.
The answer is the Holy Spirit who has been poured on all who believe in Christ. No one can hope to know the ways of God without the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God who knows the mind of God and reveals his purposes. Without the counsel of the Spirit, it is impossible to perceive the mind of God and his ways. There are secrets, or better still mysteries, which are reserved and disclosed to only those who possess the Spirit of Christ. It is the supreme unmerited inheritance of the children of God in Christ Jesus. Paul puts it beautifully: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1Cor 2: 9-10). To be clear, there are many things we can know about ourselves, our world, and even about God with the “natural” knowledge the Creator has given us. Yet there are things which only those who possess the Spirit of God through adoption in Christ can comprehend. That constitutes unmerited grace given to those who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is the distinctive mark of believers in Christ.
When we receive the Holy Spirit, we benefit from his divine counsel. This divine counsel produces in us supernatural insight into the things of God, because it allows us access into the very mind of God. As Paul again points out, “And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit. The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1Cor 2:13-14). That is a powerful teaching and an awesome truth. It is the counsel of the Spirit that enables us to grasp divine truths about God, ourselves, and the rest of creation, discerning the events of our lives from a heavenly perspective. In short, access to the counsel of the Spirit produces an attitude of faith in the Christian which allows him to judge events according to the mind of Christ. Because the Spirit lives in us to reveal the mind of Christ, we have access to a kind of understanding which our human mind cannot even dream of. Because we are taught by the Spirit we are able to communicate the mysteries of God with uncommon wisdom and exceptional clarity. It is what Paul calls the mysteries of God hidden from the sages and rulers of this world.
Finally, the counsel of the Spirit allows the Christian to interpret the events of his life in the light of faith. Questions of pain, suffering, death, human existence, the problem of evil, joy, favors, and so on are discerned according to the mind of Christ. More importantly, the Spirit’s counsel provides understanding into Sacred Scripture, enabling us to comprehend (not exhaustively, though. Perfect knowledge of God will occur when we see God face to face in heaven; see 1Cor 13:12) the Word of God and submit to the authority of Scripture with holy trust. There are many sayings of Jesus, for example, in Scripture which are hard to take. But the Spirit enables us to embrace the message of Christ by faith.
Dear friends in Christ, it is a great privilege to gain insight into the mysteries of God. We are blessed to have the Spirit of God counsel us. I pray that at all times and in all events of your life you would seek the counsel of the Spirit. Always remember what Paul says in 1Cor 2:16, “We have the mind of Christ.” Earnestly seek the counsel of the Spirit that you may grow in understanding the mind of Christ. As a child of God anointed with the Spirit, it is your right to seek the counsel of the Spirit. Expect to find what you seek, because God is faithful. God bless you.
Invitation to pray:
Lord Jesus, I acknowledge you as Lord and Savior. I bless you for the gift of your Spirit. Thank you for revealing your mind to me through your Spirit. Wash me from all my sins. Let me always seek the counsel of your Spirit that I may know and love you more and more. May your name be forever praised! Amen!