Saturday 04 May 2019

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. (vs. 11-12)

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 Saturday 4 May 2019

Psalm: Psalm 116


Despite their super-spiritual pretensions it is obvious from the first few chapters that the Corinthian Christians are afflicted with pride. Paul concludes the previous chapter with words which are clearly directed at the Corinthians, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord”. In addition to challenging the Corinthians’ self-congratulation on their spiritual wisdom, Paul addresses another effect of pride in Corinthians 1–3. Different groups in the church are vying with each other, each claiming spiritual authority through their identification with one or other of the apostles. Despite what they think of themselves the Corinthian Christians are not spiritual in the sense which really matters. They have shown that they share in the “wisdom of this age”, and have aligned themselves with “the rulers of this age” who have set themselves up as authorities against God.

In today’s passage, Paul speaks at some length about the things of God, which only the Spirit of God knows, before making bold statements in verses 12 and 13 that “we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God”. It is this which gives the ability to interpret “spiritual things to those who are spiritual”. But who are the “we” to whom Paul refers here? Reading chapter 2 it might at first seem that the Corinthian Christians are included, but that isn’t Paul’s intention. The chapter ends with the words, “But we have the mind of Christ”. It is a challenge to the Corinthians to examine themselves.

For us who have the benefit of being able to read Paul’s other letters in our copies of the New Testament, this should bring to mind Paul’s words to another group of Christians. Paul urges the Philippian Christians to “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). He goes on to describe how Christ humbled himself “and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross”. True spirituality is a spirituality of the cross, and true wisdom is the wisdom of the cross. It is something that the Corinthians evidently do not yet possess.


To Ponder:

  • Do we, today, need to have a greater sense of awe at the mystery of God and what he “has prepared for those who love him”
  • What does it mean for you to “have the mind of Christ”?
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