Focal Passages: I Corinthians 2:1-16
Early on, son Steve was wise beyond his years in his suspect of human knowledge and man’s wisdom. At six he argued with his brothers of a word’s existence that proved not to be in the dictionary. Steve simply commented, “Just a guy wrote that.” At age nine in church, Steve looked up at me after we heard a “preacher illustration” and said, “Dad, does he expect us to believe that?” Fortunately, God’s Spirit convinced Steve of his need to get saved in Christ and receive His Spirit. That’s when Doubting Steve became wise in Spirit.
Paul taught and wrote pure gospel to the Corinthians. But they slipped away from God’s wisdom. They got enticed and divided by listening to mere human words of eloquent men. It affected Christian unity negatively. In comparison, we could say Paul saw the Corinthians arguing over whether they were Calvinists or Arminians. One of my fine pastors confessed to being a Calvinist. I asked him if he was a five-point one or a four-point one — or what as over against “whosoever will may come.” He wrote back: “I’m probably about 50-50.” Humans lack wisdom. But when we take our salvation experience and go to God’s Word for spiritual wisdom, He’ll give us what we want and need.
Paul was writing to get the Corinthians back to the Spirit’s wisdom rather than the rational wisdom of man apart from God’s Spirit. As someone said, “If a man lacks knowledge, let him go to college; if he lacks wisdom, let him go to God.” My self-educated dad was wise. Denied formal schooling himself, Dad really wanted me to go to college. Because of that and my own sense of God’s calling, I went to college. On my first visit home, with my new college smarts, I unwisely corrected Dad on a word he misused. Dad looked at me and said, “I’ve met a lot of educated ignoramuses in my life.” He taught me that mere human knowledge doesn’t make a person wise. I learned that man’s highest wisdom is lower and on a different dimension from the wisdom of God’s Spirit (vv. 10-16).
Paul determined not to argue philosophy or debate beliefs. He came convicted to preach Jesus Christ crucified and to testify (vv. 1-5). Any results from Paul’s preaching would be a demonstration of God’s wisdom and power and truth — not because Paul was a great preacher. Paul urged the Corinthians to get back to the focus on Christ and His Spirit rather than follow ways of mere men. A mature Christian has the mind of Christ and God’s wisdom in Him only through the Spirit (vv. 15-16). Unless a person gets saved, he’s not really wise — not in a spiritual sense. True wisdom is to trust Christ with our hearts, our minds and souls and to obey Him as long as we live.
In July 2012 physicists claim to have proved the “God particle” that completes the physics model. Now, they seemingly know everything about nothing. If scientists get behind the God particle, they will meet God — as He reveals Himself to them. I know of a scientist par excellence who is also a Christian believer. His science didn’t make him wise, but it pointed him to God’s Spirit in Christ — as the Bible does.
In choosing to trust God in Christ and receive His Spirit, the scientist became Spirit-wise. Let us become wise believers of God in Christ through His Spirit. Then we’ll testify rather than argue. And no experience is ever at the mercy of one who merely has an argument. Be wise!
— Godwin, a retired pastor and publisher, is a member of First Baptist Church, Hendersonville.