The Problem Of Human Wisdom
1 Corinthians 2
Wisdom is the right use or the right exercise of knowledge. Wisdom then is discerning or judging what is the most just, most proper, and most useful means to an end result.
Knowledge is a clear and certain perception of things that exist, or the truth and the facts of those things.
We cannot have knowledge of that which does not exist!
The truth is that God has a perfect knowledge of all things that exist but human knowledge is very limited and is mostly gained by observation and experience.
Therefore there are great problems that come from human wisdom!
Humans simply cannot ever know all the things of God!
The problems of divisions in the church at Corinth was caused by an underlying ignorance of the purpose of true preaching.
In last weeks lesson we had this verse:
1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
If we trust human wisdom, then we can never know God!
The truth is, that the Preaching of the Word of God was never meant to be a popularity contest!
The truth is, that if we walk in God’s wisdom we will enjoy God’s blessings!
*****1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
Preaching then should be more about the message than the act of proclaiming that message!
We should not forget that Paul was a highly educated man. Paul studied the Old Testament at the feet of Gamaliel the most noted Doctor of the Mishna in Israel during his day.
The Mishna was a collection of all Jewish traditions and explanations of the Scriptures.
Paul was saying that he came to Corinth and he spoke neither oratorically nor philosophically.
The salvation message of God is simple and it does not require a great speaker!
What is the testimony of God?
1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
The message of the Gospel is a simple message and not hard to understand and it seems this is why it is so easily tossed aside and rejected but the truth is the most always the simplest answer.
What is the truth of the Gospel?
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
What was the message of the Apostle Paul?
*****1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Paul did not mean for anyone to set aside all human knowledge.
Paul meant that Jesus Christ and Him crucified would always be the central point and the essence of all his knowledge the rest of his own life as a minister of God.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Salvation can begin immediately to all those that accept this one point in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and there is no more important point to be made in all of Scripture!
Each sinner in need of a Savior has see Christ Jesus as that Savior!
The Apostle Paul preached what he believed!
Sadly many in the pulpits today do not even believe the Word of God that they preach and it effects the message that they have in a most negative way!
The truth is “faith” produces “faith”!
And without “faith” we cannot begin to please God!
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
It is these truths that made this mighty man of God so humble in the pulpit!
*****1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
The proper state of mind to preach the “Gospel” must always be the opposite of self-confidence!
The success of the “Gospel” does not depend on the skill of the preacher, but wholly on the the work of the Holy Spirit!
The act of saving faith is not by reason of, and not by arguments addressed to it’s understanding, but solely on the power of God and the truth that is accepted in the heart of that one that hears it!
Rom 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
The preacher that knows all these things will trust that the Lord is by his side and any needed strength will come from the Lord by His Holy Spirit!
*****1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
If we remember the Book of Acts, Paul came to Corinth from Athens. In Athens Paul had spoken as many of the philosophers had on Mars Hill.
Philosophical messages do not lead to much results.
A preacher must not ever preach down to those listening.
The message of the Lord must reach out to those who have a need!
When Paul arrived in Corinth he kept the message of the Lord simple!
It is the message of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that remains the most important message of salvation!
Paul did not come to Corinth to persuade men through words of wisdom or enticing words.
It is not important for any preacher or teacher to compete with philosophers or mighty men of wisdom who twist and turn words to meet their goals.
The Word of God is not in competition, the Word of God is simply the truth!
It is important for the man of God to teach the facts of the cross!
It is important for the man of God to stay out of the business of the Holy Spirit because it is only the Holy Spirit who can lead those that hear the “Gospel” to the Lord!
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
We cannot become Christians until we allow the “Cross of Jesus Christ” to make it’s impression upon us!
If we cannot realize that Christ died so that we can live, we have missed the importance of the Word of God!
The world we live in is becoming more and more resistant to the Laws of God!
The world we live in is ignoring the warnings of God!
The world we live in ignores the God who provides the air we breath and the food we eat and considers God too feeble to be of much help in this world!
But, there are still those in this world that understand the act of self-sacrifice!
God sacrificed Himself so that we can live!
Once we understand the “Mercy” and the “Grace” of God and His desire to save us from sin and destruction and instills in each believer the hope of true life eternal, then salvation is in the asking of God for forgiveness.
Without faith we cannot please God!
The only secure place for faith lies in the Power of God!
Men have theories that change as new things develop.
True science changes when new facts are discovered.
Politicians sell out their influence for money and power!
Philosophy and religion are just man-made words and ideals!
But the “sure” Word of God can be depended on!
What is faith?
Heb 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
1) The substance of faith is in the promises of God!
Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
2) The evidence of faith is in seeing in our mind what the eye cannot see.
3) The things that are not seen are the invisible and spiritual world of our Holy God!
When we can get that mental picture of Heaven in all it’s glory, then that desire to go home to be with our Savior will remain with us all the days of our life!
Isa 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
*****1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
We know that there are no perfect Christians but Paul is referring to those who are no longer “Babes In Christ” and have moved on to those who are maturing in Christ.
Even a Babe in Christ, though saved, have not reached a point where they can comprehend the wisdom of the Word of God!
The word “world” normally would mean the “Cosmos” which means the material aspects of our world.
Paul uses instead the word “Aeon” which means “the world in it’s moral and intellectual aspects”.
Paul is saying there is a wisdom that is much higher that that of any man!
Our salvation was purchased by the Son, the Lord Jesus!
Our salvation was planned by the Father, Our Heavenly Father!
Our salvation is eternal because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!
To the Church we know we live in the Church Age.
In reality there are only two ages, this Age we live in now and the Age that is to come.
The Age of now began with Adam and will end with the Second coming of Christ.
Most of us will only see a small portion of this Age because we can live only a short period of time.
The Age that is to come is when God Himself will take control of this world and remove all sin and make all things right!
Only for the Christian, the Age that is to come can already be realized and in a sense we are already living in that Age that is to come now after accepting the truth of the Scriptures!.
Only for the Christian do these two Ages over lap!
Only in this Age are the princes of this world allowed to govern and rule under the limits that God has set!
It is obvious that in the end all the rules and the ways of mortal men will come to nothingness!
In all these years of mankind, none have been able, to overcome the truth of God and they never will!
1Jn 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
No mere man can obtain the wisdom that is God’s only!
*****1Co 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
All human wisdom and philosophy of the world’s so-called intellectuals will eventually come to mean nothing.
True wisdom is that wisdom that is centered on Jesus Christ!
This is the wisdom that existed in the heart of God before the world began!
Pro 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
Pro 8:23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
Pro 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.
Pro 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
The carnal mind cannot understand the deeper truths of Christianity!
Even a brand new Christian still has a carnal mind and still a “Babe in Christ”.!
Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
A full grown Christian is one who is no longer a “Babe in Christ”!
In the government of Israel and that government of Rome had truly accepted the wisdom of Christ Jesus, they certainly would never have crucified the “Lord of Glory”!
Act 3:17 And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
Act 3:18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
The wisdom of this world can only lead to the death of those that follow it!
In reality then, can this carnal worldy wisdom ever be very wise?
The wisdom of the world has never been able to accomplish the needs of this world in over 4000 years!
*****1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
The truth is, that no matter how wonderful we think Heaven will be, the truth of Heaven goes far beyond the imagination of all mankind!
This world we live on still has many beautiful places that have escaped the results of sinful men and it was the Lord who created this entire Cosmos.
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
It is this same Creator who has gone to prepare a place for all those that love Him!
Joh 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
We can only get a glimpse of these things if we are endowed with the Holy Spirit of God!
*****1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
We know the Word of God came to us by the Holy Spirit!
2Pe 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”.
So what we can know of the beauty of Heaven, we can only find in the written Word of God and most of the things we know about Heaven were revealed to the Apostle John and recorded for us in the Book of Revelation.
These things were therefore revealed to us by the Spirit of God!
*****1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
We are all individuals and no two of us are alike. We can be close friends but there is no way that I can know all the things of your life without you telling me.
Each person has his own body, soul, and spirit.
The spirit of man could be said to be our self-consciousness.
Our spirit is the substance in which thinking, knowing, doubting and the power of motivation subsist!
God not only has a spirit, God is Spirit!
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Our own spirit has the power of understanding what kind of people we are.
In much the same way the Spirit of God understands the nature of God.
Each of us understand our selves better than anyone else could possibly understand us!
And likewise it is only the Holy Spirit that can know the great depths of the wisdom of God!
To know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and to be endowed with the Holy Spirit, is proof that God wants us to know everything about Him!
*****1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
The very moment we trust in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit enters into our body!
1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
We are at that time baptized into the “Body Of Christ”!
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
At that very moment God places His seal of ownership upon each believer!
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to all that call upon the Lord Jesus for salvation!
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
It is the Holy Spirit that makes our liberty possible!
2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
To all that trust in the Lord, we then become citizens of Heaven even the remaining days on this Earth!
Joh 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
We can never be caught up in Satan’s bondage ever again because we have a new Father, a Heavenly Father, who is more like a dad than any dad of this Earth!
Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
BUT, No one can know these things without knowing the Holy Spirit of God!
*****1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
We can see that the Apostle Paul claims that his teachings are not really his.
Paul’s teachings were God’s because his words were taught to him by the Holy Spirit and this lines up with what the Lord Jesus taught!
Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Jesus promises us the Holy Spirit would be our guide to all the truth of the Scriptures!
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Just as the Apostles Paul was taught by the Scriptures, then we must begin at the same place. We must become familiar with the Scriptures.
Joh 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
You see it is only by the Holy Spirit that we can compare spiritual things with spiritual!
The Holy Spirit becomes our personal householder!
Mat 13:52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
But those that reject the Word of God can never know these things this is the problem of humanism!
*****1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The natural man who cannot accept the truths of God then cannot appreciate spiritual truths!
Without understanding the truth of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the natural man only sees foolishness in those that believe and foolishness in the Word of God!
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Jude says these are those persons who exalt themselves above the truth of God!
Jud 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
It may seem strange but no matter how intelligent these people are, they will never understand the things of God until they accept the Lord Jesus Christ!
That is the one real thing that most of the world rejects but it is the only means of salvation and the only means into the family of God!
Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Joh 16:9 Of sin, “because they believe not on me”;
The only sin that cannot be forgiven is the sin of rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ, ALL other sin can be forgiven!
On the other hand, those who are “born again” and “spiritually mature” can discern and understand all the deep things of God!
*****1Co 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
These spiritual are all those that follow the lead of the Holy Spirit!
These are the same ones who can judge every situation as God would judge it!
These are those who judge by the Word of God!
1Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
We are to be witnesses and not judges but the truth is that God judges all people by His own Words and therefore things that go against the Word of God we are to also point out to others!
This not as much being a judge as it is pointing out the truth!
We cannot be judged by the natural man or any other man because we have already been judged by a higher power than mortal men!
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Anyone that passes judgment on a “born again” child of God is passing judgment on God Himself who is the only true Judge of all mankind!
*****1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Though it is impossible for anyone to have the mind of Christ, by the Holy Spirit we can understand all the words that Jesus spoke and are recorded in the New Testament.
We also have the completed Word of God in the 66 books of the Bible!
The truth is, that the Word of God does not have to be analyzed and to be understood.
The Word Of God Only Has To Be Believed!
To have the mind of Christ means to look at our world through our Savior’s point of view and accept what He says as the complete truth!
Having the mind of Christ does not mean we have the ability to instruct God nor change any of His Word!
Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
The things of God are unsearchable except through the Words He has given to us!
God teaches us all we need to know in this world we live in now!