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Upcoming Events
NOV

18

SUN
Mission Ardmore
6:00 PM to 6:45 PM
Outreach to Newcomers to Ardmore
NOV

20

TUE
Men's Bible Study
8:00 AM
Every Tuesday at the downtown McDonalds, 8:00 a.m.
NOV

21

WED
Midweek Activities
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Preschool, Children, The Mission (Youth Worship) and Adult Bible Study, Weekly Worker's and Officers Meeting
Bible Search
Rightly Dividing the Word
“Eye Has Not Seen”
1 Corinthians 2:6-16
 
I guess one of the things that bugs a Biblical purist like me is to hear verses being misused. On more than one occasion, I’ve wanted to stand up in the middle of a sermon and correct a preacher for misapplying a particular verse.  The text before us tonight is one that I find especially bothersome. 
 
In fact, it was the impetus for this current series.  I hear it misused quite often at funerals to speak of heaven, but as you will discover as we work our way through it, it has nothing to do with heaven.  And that’s why it is so irritating, because as is the case with several of these verses, the devil has scored a victory through a Bible verse being misused that keeps us from seeing and applying the truth of God’s Word. 
 
Now it is of the utmost importance that we apply God’s truth to life.  But there is a pattern that must be followed if we will effectively live our faith.  The pattern is that God’s power comes through God’s wisdom and God’s wisdom comes through God’s Word. 
 
Did you get that? God’s power, transforming power, sanctifying power, enabling power all of God’s power comes through God’s wisdom and God’s wisdom is revealed in God’s Word. 
 
We desperately need to know God’s Word because that’s where the power to live life is found. 
The very first place we experience that is with salvation.  Faith, we are told, comes by hearing and hearing, by the Word of God.  That means God saves but He does not save apart from the gospel.  And what is true of salvation is true of every other parcel and part of our life.  God sanctifies, but not apart from the Word of God.  God comforts, but not apart from the revelation of truth that gives us reason for comfort.
 
So God’s power to transform, God’s power to change comes through God’s wisdom and if we’re going to be changed, then that wisdom has to be accessible to us.  It can’t be some arbitrary kind of experience that you may or may not have or you may have to guess at.  God’s power comes through God’s wisdom and God’s wisdom is revealed in Holy Scripture. 
 
That’s foundational. And that’s what we’re going to see here in this chapter.  The Bible is the Holy Spirit speaking. Now the Bible isn’t the only place or the only way the Holy Spirit spoke.  But it is through the Bible that He now speaks.  That’s really important for you to understand.
 
The Holy Spirit spoke when Scripture was written.  But the Holy Spirit also speaks when Scripture is read and if Scripture is understood it is because the Holy Spirit is speaking.  So we know we are hearing the Spirit speak through His Word and we have the privilege of understanding it because we have this resident teacher living within us who guarantees we can understand what we read and hear. 
 
 
 
 
Now, with that foundation in mind, I want you to listen to what we read in
 
1 Corinthians 2:1
 
Notice Paul says he wasn’t like every other orator or speaker or politician or teacher who comes along with their own ideas.  I didn’t come that way. I didn’t come as an orator who was more interesting, more dramatic, more dynamic that other speakers.  I didn’t come to you with human wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
 
Instead, Paul says, I bring God’s message and it is completely different and separate from the messages of the world.  It has nothing to do with superiority of speech or human wisdom.  Then he goes on to talk about the very heart of that message, the cross, Jesus Christ, Him crucified.
 
verses 2-5
 
Again it isn’t about the power of the orator. The power of God comes through the wisdom of God and the wisdom of God is made available in the Scripture.  It is contained in that external Word, those 66 books that make up the Bible, that is outside of us.
 
Now at the time Paul was writing, he had an incomplete Bible.  The 39 book of the Old Testament had been completed; the books of the New Testament were in process.  But the principle is the same.  In fact, the New Testament writers understood they were writing Scripture.  At least Peter did. 
 
Listen to what he said in
 
2 Peter 3;15-16
 
So Peter knew Paul was writing the Bible, and Paul says, “I don’t come to you with human wisdom. I don’t come to you with cleverness of speech. I come bringing the testimony that comes from God concerning Jesus Christ so that your faith would not rest in the wisdom of men but on the power of God.”
 
Then notice what he says in
 
Verse 6
 
So here Paul is addressing those who are saved.  They are mature, not in the sense that they are perfect, but rather they are complete.  They have been saved and made complete in Christ.  By the way, that’s all of us who are saved. 
 
And he says, “Those of us who are saved speak a different language from the world.  It’s not the wisdom of the world.  It’s not even connected to the wisdom of the world.”  Paul is drawing very clear lines of demarcation between the Word of God nad its wisdom and the testimony and wisdom of the world.  On the one hand, we have that which is divine and on the other, that which is human.  Or we might say, that which is Christian and that which is non-Christian. 
 
And just to be clear, Paul says, “I came divine wisdom.”  By the way, this is a repeat of what he’s already said in
 
chapter 1:18-25
 So all of that to say the world of lsot, unregenerate sinners, no matter how smart they claim to be or how intelligent the world deems them, even the rulers and the top leaders and the best minds and the debaters and the brilliant and the elite are not going to ever be a source for spiritual wisdom. 
 
In fact, that don’t have a clue about how things really work or what is really important or how to make sense of any of it.  They can’t because God’s power comes from God’s wisdom and God’s wisdom comes from God’s Word.  It has to come down from heaven.   
 
Now, while that relives the world of any responsibility, it increase the church’s because as those who are mature or complete or saved, we are responsible to know it and believe it and live it and obey it and proclaim it. 
 
Now let’s think logically for a moment.  Paul says I speak the wisdom of God among those who are mature.  So the wisdom of God is available to us, right?  But if it is available and we are responsible for it, then it must, not only be available, it must be understandable. 
 
And, in fact, it is. 
 
 verses 7-8
 
Now let’s just follow the flow here.  Paul says no one outside of those in Christ, including the brightest minds in Judaism, understood this wisdom of God that he preaches.  The evidence of that is they crucified Christ.  They wouldn’t have done that if that had understood what was happening.
If the Jews would have understood, they would have embraced Jesus as Messiah. If the Gentiles had understood, they wouldn’t have executed Him.  So Paul says, “We’re preaching truth, but we know people don’t understand it.”
 
In fact, he says it is a mystery.  What does the word “mystery” mean?  Probably not what you think it means.  We tend to think of a mystery as something that is hidden, but Biblically it means not only that it was hidden, but it has been revealed or uncovered.  It was something unavailable until something happened to make it knowable.    
 
Paul says, “We’re speaking secrets impossible for man to know unless and until God reveals those secrets.”  In other words, God has some secrets that are known only to Him and they revealed by God only when God chooses to reveal them and only to whom He chooses to reveal them. 
 
And that foundational truth is at the very core of what this text before us is all about.  Listen, when we talk about the Bible, we’re talking about truth that cannot be known, is not attainable, is not available, is not discernible to the natural man, even the most learned among us. 
 
It does not originate with their thinking.  In fact, it is alien to them.  It is the wisdom that is from God.  It is the testimony, as he says in verse 1, of God.  It is the wisdom that comes down from above.  It is the mystery now unfolded.
 
It is the mystery of the New Testament which was hidden until Jesus and the Apostle showed up.  It is the message of life in Christ.  
And in relation to that, all human wisdom is nothing.  All the human wisdom in the universe can make no contribution to the wisdom of God.  This is provided only in Scripture and Scripture is understandable only to those who have the resident truth teacher, the Holy Spirit.
 
And with that we come to verse 9 which is a quote from Isaiah. 
 
Verse 9
 
Now understand, what “God has prepared” is not future.  It’s not heaven.  It’s not what’s awaiting us after we die.  It’s what we have right now made available to us in our Bible.  And in regard to that, what God has prepared is inaccessible outside fo a relationship with Christ that brings to us the Holy Spirit. 
 
All that God has prepared is unavailable by empirical research, it is unavailable by intuition.  You can’t see it and hear it.  You can’t feel it.  It is unavailable through human resources
 
God’s truth comes down from heaven and it is external to man.  It is outside of us.  But for those of us who are believers, the truth teacher has been placed inside of us and that changes everything because all of that is leading up to verse 10 and verse 10 is the game changer. 
 
Verse 10
 
 
 
See why it’s not talking about heaven? Whatever these things are in verse 9 that eye has not seen and ear has not heard, that the human heart has not imagined, God has revealed to those who have access to the Spirit. 
 
So how can we know the things that humans can’t understand?  Paul gives us three words to help with that. 
 
The first is
 
1. Revelation
 
Notice what we read in
 
Verse 10
 
“God has revealed them to us”. 
 
What things?  The things, in verse 9, that God has prepared for those who love Him.  The things that eye has not seen nor ear heard nor have entered into the heart of man.  He’s talking about the content of the Bible, the truth itself. 
 
And notice, God has revealed them “to us”.  That’s the ones who “love Him”.  He’s talking about the saved.  Isn’t that amazing?  He has not revealed them to the world’s philosophers or to the seminary professors or the university elite.  He’s not revealed them to the ancients of the world who spend their days studying deep philosophies. 
 
In fact, in more than one place in Scritpure, God makes sure to tell us He has hidden them from the  wise and learned.
Instead, He has revealed them “to us”.  We are privileged and blessed as the people of God to have unique insight and understanding through the Holy Spirit of the revelation of God. 
 
After all, verse 10b, “the Spirit searches all things, yes, even the deep things of God.”  Whenever I read that, I think of Romans 8:26 and 27 where it talks about the Spirit making intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered and that God knows the mind of the Spirit because He always prays according to the will of the Father. 
 
Think about that:  the Trinity is perfect in its knowledge.  There is nothing hidden from God that is known to Jesus.  There is nothing the Jesus is aware of that the Spirit is not in on.
 
 That means the Spirit is in full possession of everything that God is and everything God does and everything God knows and because He is resident within us, we have the privilege of having a completely informed, fully in the know agent who makes the truth of God known to us. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God, or the depths of God and He alone is able to reveal God to us. 
 
There is not anything in God that the Spirit does not know, does not always know, has not always known.  This is not distant knowledge, this is not discovered knowledge, this is immediate knowledge. He never has to say, “Let me check on that and get back to you”, or “I’ll have to see what God thinks and let you know”.  He knows the will of God because He is God and wills what the Father wills and what the Son wills.
The Spirit the depths of the knowledge of God, collects all the revelation of God, and deposits into hands.  It’s an amazing truth. 
 
In fact, in verse 11 he compares it to a person who has self-consciousness.  That’s what distinguishes us from vegetables and animals.  A man, because he is a man, knows how man thinks.  The spirit in the man knows the man.
 
In the same way, the Spirit within us functions.  Just as you’re the only one who really knows what’s going on in your mind, so it is with the Spirit of God who knows God fully and perfectly. 
 
The Spirit of God is the one who knows the deep realities, purposes, plans of God and He revelas them to us.  That is revelation. 
 
And every time you pick up your Bible, you have in your hand the revelation of the Spirit of God. Plus, you have the Spirit disclosing to you all the deep secret things known only to Him.  Revelation is the act of God by which He makes known to us what was otherwise unknown, undiscoverable and unavailable.
 
The second thing is
 
2. Inspiration
 
While revelation is the content of the Word of God, the means by which the Spirit communicates the revelation is inspiration. 
 
verses 12-13
 
 
So what is inspiration?  To put it simply, it is taking the revelation and putting it in words.  Inspiration is the means by which the secret things of God, the depths of God known only to the Spirit of God, are conveyed to humans.  That’s exactly what Paul says in verse 12. 
 
We gather a little more information about that process in
 
John 14:26
 
Why was it important for the Holy Spirit to teach them all things and to bring everything to their remembrance?  It was so they could write it down for us.  That’s the promise of inspiration.
 
Notice
 
John 15:26-27
 
The Holy Spirit is going to come upon you and the Holy Spirit is going to reveal to you the truth and you are going to remember it and recall it and you’re going to write it down and give testimony to Me in that way.  That’s inspiration.
 
John 16:13
 
The Holy Spirit will not only tell you what you will remember from the past, He will reveal to you what is coming in the future.  This is the work of inspiration.
 
 
 
And through this process of inspiration, the Apostles and those associated became the instruments the Holy Spirit used to write down the truth we have contained in Scripture
 
And to remind you how important that is, look at
 
2 Timothy 3:16-17
 
That is a beautiful way to refer to the work of the Holy Spirit in inspiring the writers. 
 
Another verse that comes into the discussion is
 
 2 Peter 1:21
 
In other words, they spoke and wrote from God.  So you have revelation, which is the body of truth that the Holy Spirit has taken, searching the deep things of divinity. And then you have inspiration which is the means by which the Spirit transmits that truth to paper, or to script.  It’s written down.
 
The result of it is that the Scripture is authoritative.  It is without error.  It is comprehensive.  It is complete. It is infallible.  It is sufficient.  It is spiritual truths set forth in Spirit-given words.
 
That means those who are committed to the Scripture are never more in communion with the Holy Spirit than when you’re reading Scripture. 
 
That leads to a third and final aspect of the Spirit’s ministry and that is
 
 
 
3. Illumination
 
verses 14-16
 
This is the objective.  This is the fulfillment of Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Your Law.” 
 
The revelation is the truth that the Spirit of God has determined to reveal.  Inspiration is the means by which it is transmitted to print and now we possess it. 
 
Illumination is the work of the Holy Spirit to make its meaning known, to make Scripture understandable. 
 
Even if we have a Bible, even if we have revelation bought down to us through inspiration, verse 14 reminds us,
 
Verse 14
 
Isn’t that something?  Even though we have the deep things of God, and even though they’re given to us in print, and we hold them in our hands, in a natural condition, they mean nothing to us. 
 
That’s what we read chapter 1.  The gospel is foolishness.  It’s a stumbling block.  The natural man can’t grasp it or understand it because it is spiritual truth that is spiritually evaluated and spiritually understood. And he’s spiritually dead. 
 
That’s why you get the looks you get when you bring Scripture into a conversation with those that don’t know the Lord.  It’s foolish!  What does the Bible have to do with anything?
Verse 15
 
People who show distain to the Scripture are just acting natural. This is how natural people act. They may have a certain respect for the Bible which they don’t understand, they may even try to live up to some of its well-known moral laws or principles of honesty and decency. But they have no respect for it. They don’t comprehend it.  Even the best of men can’t make a true judgment of Scripture. 
 
But we see the contrast to that in
 
Verse 15
 
The one who is spiritual, that is he who has been given spiritual life and who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, gets it.  That’s why I say I will trust the evaluations of a third grader who’s been in a Batpist Sunday School over the opinions and ideas of the most learned among us who don’t know Christ. 
 
Christians have the answers to what ails the world.  We get it. They don’t. We understand.  They don’t know “come here” from “sic ‘em”.  And what is so amazing is it, the higher you go, the more lost they are.  The higher up the educational ladder you climb, the more they demonstrate their ignorance. 
 
But Christians who are rightly related to the Word of God and in touch with the Spirit of God get it!  And Paul says, “We are rightly judged by no one.”  What does tha mean? It’s very simple.  What that means is the world, even the elite and educated of the world, are so unable to understand the Word of God that they can’t rightly assess our value in the world. 
 
They can’t assess us because they don’t understand us. They don’t understand this so they don’t understand us.  They can’t appraise the Word of God accurately and they can’t appraise the people of the Word of God. 
 
verse 16
 
Now we come back to where we started.  The only way you can know God’s mind is to know what God has revealed about His mind in Scripture.  And if you are a natural person, and do not have life in Christ, and do not possess the Holy Spirit, you can’t understand the Scripture and you can’t understand the people who do understand the Scripture. 
 
On the other hand, and I love how this ends, “We have the mind of Christ.”   It’s all so clear to us, isn’t it? We could fix the world, if only they would listen!  They don’t have the truth, they don’t have the Spirit and because of that, they don’t have a clue.  Indeed, eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of a man the things God has prepared for those who love Him”, but God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. 
 
For whatever reason, the mind of God, in its vast unfathomable wisdom has been gathered up by the Holy Spirit and written down for us to read.
Not only do we have those words in a book, we have the resident truth teacher that teaches us all things.  And we don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to see what it’s all about.  We have access right now to all that God has chosen to reveal to us. 
 
Let’s pray.
 
 
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