I CORINTHIANS 2:12-16: “Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, and yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” CSB
OBSERVATION: Why is God’s Word so misunderstood? What is the reason Biblical values are held in such disregard in our day? How can the world uphold good as evil, and evil as good?
I will never forget the day when God opened my eyes. I was brought up in the church. Not only did I go to church every Sunday, I also went to a Lutheran grade school where I learned Christian doctrine and Biblical values. At 13, like all my companions, I attended classes to prepare for confirmation. And at 13 I too was confirmed in the faith and celebrated my first communion.
There was only one problem. I really did not understand anything. I believed in God and in Jesus Christ, but I did not understand the truths of the Bible. My father gave me a Bible for confirmation and would ask me if I was reading it. I felt guilty saying yes, because I really wasn’t. It was not that I did not try to read the Bible. Each time I picked it up and tried to read it I just did not get it.
I felt like I was reading something in a foreign language.
And so my journey continued. However, in High School, I began to party with my friends. I justified my actions as just having fun. My motto was – “I believe in God, but you don’t have to be a fanatic about it!” This was in the height of the Jesus Movement. Many of my friends had become “Jesus Freaks.” Yet, this would not happen to me! In fact, there was no need for it to happen to me. I was a Christian. I believed in God. And I went to church with my parents on Easter and Christmas!
However, as with any teenager, I began to face personal inward crisis. In these dark times of loneliness and despair I reached for my Bible. I would try to read it and the result was always the same – nothing! However, there was a turning point when God opened my eyes. It was at the height of my personal crisis.
When I finally cried out to the Lord, when I surrendered my life to Jesus as my personal Savior and Lord, something dramatic happened.
I reached for my Bible and began to read it. It was like I was given the ability to understand a foreign language that I had never learned. The words began to jump off the page and into my heart. And there was something different about the words I was reading. The words were alive! I cannot explain it, but the more I read, the more I became alive. All of a sudden life began to make sense. I was receiving a wisdom that was from above. A wisdom not from human sources, but the wisdom of the living God through the Holy Spirit which had been given to me.
This is what Paul is talking about in I Corinthians 2. It is what the Bible defines as the “Mind of Christ.”
- “Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God. We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.”
Many times we get so frustrated with people who don’t understand. And we forget – neither did we! Paul again reminds us,
- “But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. “
This is not to say that God’s truth is hidden or written in a special code. It is not. It is as clear as day. When Jesus taught He used earthly parables that were easy to understand. However, they only took root when they fell on the good ground of a heart that was surrendered in faith to Him. To the rest, they dismissed Him as simply another traveling teacher, or worse yet a deluded lunatic.
But to all who believed, to all who called upon His name, He opened their eyes to see!
Recently my brother in law found my original Bible. I had given it to him when he gave his life to Jesus Christ. When I turned its pages, when I saw the highlighting and notes, all of these wonderful memories came streaming back to my heart. There is no greater joy than to spend time meditating upon God’s Word. It is our source of hope and life. It is God speaking to us intimately and personally each and every day. And it is the only way we can continue to walk in the wisdom of God manifesting the mind of Christ.
- “The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, and yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
This spiritual understanding, the mind of Christ, is not given to the elite. It is not obtained through a theological degree. It is not earned through good works. It is freely given to all who lay down their life and receive the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ the Lord. It is given to the humble at heart, to the one with childlike faith. And the gift of the Holy Spirit is available to all who will believe.
Jesus is our Savior, Healer, soon coming King – and He is still our Baptizer in the Holy Spirit.
- “Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:36-39 CSB
Lord, wash me clean this morning through the blood of Jesus Christ. Baptize me anew with Your precious Holy Spirit. Open up your Word and help me discover the wonderful truths of Your heart. Heavenly Father – give me the mind of Christ!
In Jesus Name!