Scotts thoughts: Chapter 2

Posted 10 Aug, 2009 10:10 AM by Ron

So, basically, this whole chapter is about wisdom. Paul is continuing from chapter 1 where he shows that Jesus is the very wisdom of God given to us in human form. Simply stated, Paul is showing that the way God chose to do things is not the way the world does things. Let’s look at what is going on in chapter 1. Paul gives a brief greeting, and then gets right down to the reprimanding about divisions in the church. He is wasting no time with this, so we know that the issue has to be a big deal. I would imagine that the issue in the church at Corinth is not that these people are disciples of Paul, or Apollos, or Peter, or whoever, but rather that they were arguing about who was more right, or maybe even who had more authority. They all wanted to be associated with the top dog. They were all power grabbing!

So Paul steps in and says, “this attitude is not right! Look at Jesus on the cross! Does that look like a power grab? Does that look like Jesus was trying to jockey for authority or status? That is how the world does things! We are supposed to act like Jesus, not like the world!”

So, now, think of chapter 2 as a continuation of chapter 1 (imagine the numbers are not there). Paul is still in mid thought at the beginning of this chapter.

1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.[a] 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

In verses 1-5, Paul is giving an example of what this wisdom looks like. Even Paul did not come with ‘wise or persuasive words.’ Paul’s power and authority came from God, through Paul. This is so that there would no doubt that any of this came from Paul alone. Bumbling, stumbling Paul proved that the power he had was not his own, but came from God. He showed that our faith should be in God and not in how smart we are, or how eloquently we speak.

6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Paul is saying that the world’s wisdom is not the same as God’s wisdom. If the world had understood what God was doing, they would not have killed Jesus. But, since they did crucify Jesus, it is clear the world had no clue who Jesus was or what God was doing. So, it follows, that the wisdom of the world does not, can not, and never will be the same as the wisdom of God. The wisdom of the world is ‘coming to nothing.’ God’s wisdom has been secret, in that, no one knew about it, until Jesus. God had planned that wisdom to be revealed for us (for those who love him)!

9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"

This secret wisdom is something so new and different that no one has ever even dreamed of it. It’s mind blowing!!

10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

The emphasis in this verse is to us. The rulers of this age, in all their power and authority, could not understand God, or what he was doing. But God gave that understanding to us!

11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.

Paul draws on an example from everyday life. No one knows what thoughts and feelings you have from day to day except for you. No one can know all of those things except for you. Paul is saying that is also true with God. Only the spirit of God can know what God is thinking and feeling. God has given us his Spirit! We can understand the things that the world cannot because God gave his spirit to us.

13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.

Paul is wrapping up with this verse. What is he is saying is something like, “all the stuff that I just explained to you, those are the things that we talk about. We talk about spiritual things. We talk about things from God.”

14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Those who don’t have the spirit won’t be able to understand the things we talk about. He can’t understand them because he has the mind of the world, and the things we talk about come from the Spirit of God. It’s all going to be nonsense to him.

15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:

When we receive the Spirit of God we are able to understand what it is that God has done, but that doesn’t mean we no longer understand worldly wisdom. We still retain the knowledge of the way the world works. But, because we have the Spirit of God we can understand all things (spiritual and worldly). However, the man with worldly wisdom can’t claim to understand and make judgments on the spiritual man because they don’t have that Spirit of God.

16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

This verse is a little tricky, and some of it gets lost in translation. A better way to say this would be, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may teach him (The Lord) to others.” What Isaiah is saying is, “Who can really teach others about God or about what he is saying? Who knows enough about God to honestly be able to give that information and instruction to other people?” Well, we do! We have the mind of Christ, which is the Spirit of God. We can talk and teach about what we know because we have been given that Spirit of God. How awesome is that!? We have the mind of Christ. We can understand God! God has given us the change to really understand him, or at least understand how he works.

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Posted 18 Jul, 2009 02:54 PM by Ron

One month until quizmania at Kankakee 1st! only $10 per person for the day! bring a friend or two and learn more about quizzing on the chicago central district! registration forms are in the column on the left!!!

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Power of God...1 Corinthians 1:18

Posted 29 Jun, 2009 09:26 AM by Ron

Lets go a little deeper in to 1 Corinthians looking at verse 18: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The Message translates it this way: The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense..

What is this verse trying to say? We've been having discussions in the forum, and I want to encourage all of you to get involved. Lets talk together about this verse and what it means to our lives. Discussion will take place in the forum under SCRIPTURE HEADINGS and then this blog title.

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A little history.

Posted 18 Jun, 2009 05:10 AM by Ron

It's too early to start really studying Corinthians. But its not too early to start understanding why Paul wrote these letters.

First, we need to know what Corinth was like. It's like party central. Mardi Gras year round. No rules, no moral code-that's how they like it. It was a HUGE trade center. All kinds of things passed through Corinth. The Greeks had a proverb about the city which tells a great deal about its moral decay: “It is not every man who can afford a journey to Corinth.” Those who were worldly wise used the verb “corinthianize” to describe an act of immorality. “Corinthian girl” was known to be a synonym for prostitute.

The christians in corinth have taken to being "culturally relevant" and have joined in on the parties. They fight. They argue. They party. They ignore all that Paul had taught them about what it meant to follow Christ. So, Paul writes them a letter to remind them. and he starts it out in a peculiar manner.

To the Church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified and called to be holy-together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; their Lord and ours. Grace and Peace to you from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

REALLY?? We just saw the things they were doing. Wouldn't a more fitting introduction be: To the idiots in Corinth, who are too busy partying and fighting to pay attention to the truth they were called to in our Lord Jesus Christ. May God have mercy on your pitiful souls.

Why does paul start out his letter in such a positive and affirming way? What is he trying to do?

We all know what it's like to not be good enough, to screw up and get in trouble. The church in Corinth was in some serious trouble. But instead of just yelling, Paul reaches out to them, and says "Grace and Peace to you". They know they've screwed up, and Paul starts out his letter letting them know that God is still extending his grace and peace to them. In those opening verses, he affirms them and lets them know that there is still hope. That God can still reign in their lives, regardless of their recent behavior. He gives them identity: the CHURCH OF GOD.

Isn't it awesome to know we serve a God who loves us, even when we screw up? He expects us to correct the behavior, to learn from our mistakes (as we find out soon enough when Paul launches into the problems in Corinth) Even when we mess up, God still calls us His.

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