Read 1 Corinthians 2
1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 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 with great fear and 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 human wisdom, but on God’s power.
God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit
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 declare God’s wisdom, a mystery 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. 9 However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
“But we have the mind of Christ.”
Say what?! Besides the resurrection of Jesus, this might be one of the most mind-boggling things said in Scripture. What does it mean to have the mind of Christ? More than that, why has Christ given us access to His mind?
For starters, as Paul says in today’s reading, this is a gift of the Spirit of God in us, only given to believers. And, as such, it means we look different than the outside world. Worldly wisdom doesn’t match up with the godly wisdom we’ve inherited through God’s Spirit. What is acceptable and pleasing and common sense to non-believers makes no sense to us as believers. And vice versa–what our minds are centered on as believers seems like foolishness to the outside world.
Having the mind of Christ also gives us many benefits: it allows us to control our thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5), experience peace in anxious times (Philippians 4:6-7), know God’s character and will more deeply (1 Corinthians 2:10-13), and have an eternal perspective (Colossians 3:1-2). However, God gives us this access into the mind of Christ not solely to build us up, but rather, to build up His Kingdom.
Because ultimately, what it comes down to is this: when you are like-minded with someone, you are united and together with them in purpose. God has given us access to the mind of Christ so that we can unite with Him on mission, so we can run faster and further because we are on the same page as Him. We don’t have to get pulled sideways or taken out by what the people around us are doing or thinking; we believe, think, speak, and act according to Christ–no one else. The mind of Christ equips us for the task God has for us.
Just because we’ve been given the mind of Christ, doesn’t mean we always access it, though. How have you benefited from the mind of Christ? In what area do you need to access it more?
Paul, arguably the world’s greatest evangelist, said that he came preaching the message in weakness and with fear and trembling. How does Paul’s humanity give you comfort? How have you seen God work through your weakness before?
Did You Know?
Many preachers employ speaking techniques such as emotion, entertainment, and personality in order to grow an audience. Paul says early in this chapter that he came preaching Jesus Christ crucified without persuasive words or eloquence and in much fear and trembling. His goal was not to grow a crowd, but rather to grow disciples. Christianity wasn’t a popularity contest to Paul.