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Paul to the Corinthians

By Tim Naab


Paul begins in Chapter 1 with his reason for writing to the church in Corinth;

  1. To Preach the Gospel 1 Cor 1:17
  2. In order to destroy the wisdom of the wise 1 Cor 1:19


With this in mind, chapter 2 reveals an important point that Paul was making. Paul continues in Chapter 2 with the purpose he stated in chapter 1. He informs the church in Corinth that he spoke to them in simple terms rather coming with “excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.” and he, “determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (v. 1-2).  Paul explained to them the real wisdom which is the “hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” (v. 7) Again, this is Christ and Him Crucified. Paul explained that this was “hidden” in that “none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (v. 8) Paul was explaining that true wisdom was the Gospel and that this wisdom exceeded the ability of men to comprehend because they were not spiritual but natural men.


Now let’s look at 1 Cor 2:9-16;

  9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Just as there are consequences to physical death so are their consequences to spiritual death. Physical eyes can not see nor can physical ears hear nor can the heart understand physical things when dead. This holds true for the spiritual dead. They too can not see, hear, or comprehend spiritual things. Notice that God HAS prepared “things” for them that love Him. (Things:  (1) the Gospel (2) in order to destroy the wisdom of the wise.)


10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

The revealing of these things are given by the Spirit and it is given “unto us”. “Us” being those who have been made spiritually alive in Christ. (Things:  (1) the Gospel (2) in order to destroy the wisdom of the wise.)


11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

No man can know anything of the Spirit of God as a natural man. He can only know what is in him, “the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:” The natural man does not know the things of God, only the Spirit of God knows. And v.10 informs us that, “ God hath revealed them unto US by his Spirit” (Things:  (1) the Gospel (2) in order to destroy the wisdom of the wise.)


12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

WE, the redeemed, have received the Spirit of God that we might know the things that are freely given.  (Things:  (1) the Gospel (2) in order to destroy the wisdom of the wise.)


13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Again these “things” we speak that the Holy Ghost teaches us by comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Not in man’s wisdom (natural men)  Paul said in 2 Cor 10:12 but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. Natural man can only compare themselves with themselves like looking in a mirror to judge your own appearance. When a natural man compares himself with himself, he has a fool for a model. (Things:  (1) the Gospel (2) in order to destroy the wisdom of the wise.)


14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The unregenerate can not receive anything spiritual, neither can he know anything spiritual. The natural man thinks spiritual things are foolish and for the unlearned. The reason for this is that he is not spiritual. Some would argue that a natural man has been given this understanding because John 1:9  That(Jesus) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” This is only understandable in context to John 1. John also said in v.5 “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”  Paul said in Eph 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Notice Paul did not say here that you were in darkness but that you were darkness. Think of it like this; a man born physically blind stands in the same sun light as a man that can see, yet he can not see the light nor comprehend it unless he is healed of this blindness. Just as a man who is spiritually dead can not see the light “which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”  The instant a blind man is healed of his blindness, he no longer “hopes” to understand the light, he now has “faith”, assurance, knowledge, understanding, of light. (Things:  (1) the Gospel (2) in order to destroy the wisdom of the wise.)


15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

Here Paul is comparing the natural man to the spiritual man. The spiritual man now understand these “things”. This qualifies him to  judge or discern spiritual things. The natural man can not discern spiritual things. Again, the man born physically blind can not discern the light from the sun even though he is illuminated by it. The blind man can not make a judgement on how bright or white this light is, but the man who can physically see can judge it because he can compare it to darkness. This is the same in the spiritual. Therefore, a natural man can not judge a spiritual man. (Things:  (1) the Gospel (2) in order to destroy the wisdom of the wise.)


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

Only those who have been healed of spiritual blindness can be instructed by God because we have the mind of Christ given in these; (Things:  (1) the Gospel (2) in order to destroy the wisdom of the wise.)



Paul's message in chapter 1 and 2 was to preach the Gospel. We must understand that the "things" he refers to as knowing or not knowing is the Gospel. Paul is very clear in presenting the truth of the Gospel which is a spiritual thing and can not be received nor even known by the natural, spiritually dead, man (1). This being true, God must first make a man alive spiritually in order to know and receive spiritual things, which is the Gospel. Since man can not raise himself from the dead, spiritually or physically, then it must be God that decides these issues (2).  God is a God of purpose and since Jesus said in Matthew 19 that He lay down his life for His sheep and some do not believe because they are not my sheep, then particular redemption is truth (3).  Once God raises a man to new life, the first thing man does is to desire to believe and does believe (4). If then God is the one who chooses then He must have also predestined it seeing He is the creator. This means that this choice of God is what He ordained and His gifts and calling are not revocable thus He will keep us saved (5).

  1. Total Depravity (natural man can not receive it)

  2. Unconditional Election (God raises to life whom He chooses)

  3. Limited Atonement (Lay His life down for His sheep)

  4. Irresistible Grace (Spiritually live man will choose God)

  5. Perseverance of the Saints (God does not change)

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