6We do use wisdom when speaking to people who are mature in their faith. But it isn't the wisdom of this world or of its rulers, who will soon disappear. 7We speak of God's hidden and mysterious wisdom that God decided to use for our glory long before the world began. 8 The rulers of this world didn't know anything about this wisdom. If they had known about it, they would not have nailed the glorious Lord to a cross. 9 But it is just as the Scriptures say,
“What God has planned
for people who love him
is more than eyes have seen
or ears have heard.
It has never even
entered our minds!”
10God's Spirit has shown you everything. His Spirit finds out everything, even what is deep in the mind of God. 11You are the only one who knows what is in your own mind, and God's Spirit is the only one who knows what is in God's mind. 12But God has given us his Spirit. This is why we don't think the same way that the people of this world think. This is also why we can recognize the blessings God has given us.
13Every word we speak was taught to us by God's Spirit, not by human wisdom. And this same Spirit helps us teach spiritual things to spiritual people. 14This is why only someone who has God's Spirit can understand spiritual blessings. Anyone who doesn't have God's Spirit thinks these blessings are foolish. 15People who are guided by the Spirit can make all kinds of judgments, but they cannot be judged by others. 16 The Scriptures ask,
“Has anyone ever known
the thoughts of the Lord
or given him advice?”
But we understand what Christ is thinking.
This is one of those passages that takes your breath away.
When we become Christians we learn to think in a completely new way. Ordinary human wisdom is warped, because it comes from fallible and sinful human beings, who position themselves at the centre of the universe. To them, Jesus Christ was nothing more than a condemned criminal.
Christians understand how with God at the centre of their lives the whole world takes on meaning. It’s like when Galileo realized that the earth isn’t the centre of the solar system. Science was changed forever. Only when we make God the centre of our universe (with all that that entails) can we begin to understand real wisdom. (This isn’t to say that human wisdom is useless. Far from it. It just can’t answer the big questions of our existence.)
Even so, how could we ever discern the mind of God? Only because God has chosen to share it with us. The word “mysterious” in v 7 is a translation of the Greek word for “secret.” What God kept as a secret he revealed to the prophets and made fully known when Jesus rose from the dead. When we become Christians God gives us his Spirit, and his Spirit lights up our minds with his thoughts. Without this enlightenment, God’s “wisdom” makes no sense at all.
Mind blowing? You bet. I’d be crazy to write these things, were it not for the fact that this is exactly what Paul is saying in this passage, and it proves true in experience.
Are you a Christian? Then read these verses again and pause to reflect on how Jesus Christ has changed the way you think. Or are you totally confused when you read about these two kinds of wisdom? I plead with you to find someone – an older Christian, maybe your pastor – who can meet you where you are and help you understand the life changing things God has done for you.
Father, I am amazed that you enable us to think your thoughts. Thank you for showing us that the man whom the Romans condemned as a criminal is king of the universe! We worship him. Amen.