Corinth, We Have A Problem Chapter 2-3
Paul continues his theme of telling the Corinthians that he is not coming to them with eloquent speech or words of wisdom, but he wants them to know the message of the cross.
V. 1-2) This may seem redundant or limited in thinking, but can you really preach the cross too much? See the Greeks and Jews could probably talk about a ton of different subjects all day long and so could Paul. Paul was a self described Pharisee of Pharisees. He had the upbringing of a scholar. But he wanted the Corinthians, and us, to understand that any problem that we have had, currently have, or ever will have was taken care of at the cross! There is nothing more important!
V. 3-5) Paul could have easily impressed the Corinthian church with his wisdom. He spent 18 months with them. They knew who was writing them. Again, Paul wants the Corinthians to see the power of God and not of Paul. Its easy to say “Man look at Chaplain Hill, he’s awesome” or “Man look at Steven Furtick, he’s awesome”. Like I said last week, we need to start saying “Look at what God is doing through Chaplain Hill. Look at how God is using Chaplain Hill” etc.
We Have a Wisdom Problem
We Have a Wisdom Problem
Use problem with education system illustration here
The mature that Paul is referring to here are those that are saved and those that can discern between what is right and wrong. I.e. those that can handle the spiritual steak.
All Christians have the same status, but they show their maturity by their readiness to respond to teaching concerning the implications of “the word of the cross” for life together.
V. 7) We don’t understand everything God does. We never have and we never will. God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.
V. 8) Paul goes on to say that if we would have been able to comprehend the things that God does, they never would have crucified Jesus.
V. 9) We have no idea what God has planned for us. We have no clue where God is going to take us in the next year, 5 years, 10 years, etc. But we do know this. His plans for us are to prosper us. His plans for us are all going to work out if we love Him. We know He is going to get all the glory out of everything we accomplish according to the plans He puts in place for us.
V. 10) All wisdom that we have is revealed to us by God.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
You can study commentaries, books, theological studies, and doctrines your entire life. You can gain all this human knowledge, but if the Spirit of God doesn’t reveal it to you, you’re not gaining wisdom.
Understanding the deep things of God can only come from revelation from the Holy Spirit.
V. 12) There are blessings that we have that we never even consider. The breath in our lungs, the organs in our body that help us function etc. We have received the Spirit of God as a helper as Jesus said. He helps us understand the deep things of God.
V. 15) A spiritual person judges all things means that a Christian is someone who inquires into God’s ways. He seeks revelation from God.
Unlike the natural person, the person with the Spirit is able to bring his or her questions and challenges to God by the Spirit and discover how the wisdom of the cross applies to his/her situation.
V. 16) No one can know the mind of God. But we can have the mind of Christ. This is to have a mindset of Christ. How can you have the mindset of Christ? By listening to the Holy Spirit’s instruction.
In chapter 1, Paul begged us to be of the same mind. We can all accomplish that by having the mind of Christ. We get the mind of Christ by listening to the Holy Spirit.
V. 1-3) Paul moves on from unity and onto speaking on the maturity of the Corinthians. He tells them when he was with them, he had to feed them spiritual milk. Although he would like to give them spiritual meat, they wouldn’t be able to handle it right now because they don’t even have the basics of the faith down. They’re still, at this point, idolizing teachers instead of the One they’re teaching about.
We can’t stay on spiritual milk forever. Eventually, we have to move onto spiritual meat, otherwise, we’ll never mature.
V. 5-8) What Paul is trying to do here is shift their undying allegiance from teachers to God.
Paul is not trying to diminish the role of Pastors, but the Corinthians were putting them on such a high pedestal because of their good preaching that they weren’t giving God the glory. Teachers and Preachers will get a reward someday, but the glory goes to God.
V. 9) God doesn’t want to build a big church, he wants to build big people!
V. 10-11) If you’re going to be a Christian, your foundation has to be Jesus Christ.
V. 12-15 What are you going to build on that foundation of Jesus Christ? Is it going to be human wisdom or Godly wisdom? We’ll all find out on the day of judgement.
V. 16-17) To destroy God’s temple is to impact a person’s spiritual well-being negatively.
V. 18-22) Paul summarizes the everything he has talked about up to this point.
19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Everything belongs to God, God gives Christ everything, and Christ shares everything with us because He is our good good father.