Paul’s Message of Wisdom
When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and
impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you
I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you
in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain.
Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the
Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom,
but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world,
who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his
plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before
the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had,
they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures
mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches
out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. No one can know a person’s thoughts
except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s
own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can
know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom.
Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain
spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from
God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only
those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can
evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For,
“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach him?”
But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.