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Saturday After the Fifth Sunday After Pentecost 1 Corinthians 2:1-16

June 30, 2018
By Bo Giertz

SATURDAY AFTER FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:7

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God's kingdom is one of forgiveness. It is where we receive boundless forgiveness and forgive without reflecting on our own perception of righteous justice. For the rest of the world, this is inconceivable and foolish. When the world is at its best, it professes "what's right is right." That's one of the reasons many of those who are wise in the flesh, powerful and respected, have a hard time accepting the Gospel. Just as many common people do!

Paul speaks here of man as he is by nature. In the original text it's called the "mentality" of man, and this word explains men with a normal, human mentality. They possess the spiritual equipment that normal human beings have. They lack, however, God's Spirit and all the knowledge and experience the Spirit can give us.

People like this can be religious, but not Christian. They can know as much about God as they can imagine without the help of Christ and the Gospel. They may have met God in nature and in their conscience; they therefore believe in a moral order of things. They're convinced that morals exist and that we obtain human value by being moral individuals; in other words, we become righteous through works.

It's very tempting to interpret the Gospel in such a way as this. Paul felt that temptation when he preached in Corinth among all those savvy people. He decided to stick to what was of vital importance, however offensive that would seem, and "know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2). It's this speech that is the power and wisdom of God. That speech is truly wisdom, a true and accurate description of the world, and a deep and realistic look on life.

However, that wisdom is unattainable as long as we don't get a glimpse of God's secrets. It's not something we can be aware of, it's something "no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined" (1 Corinthians 2:9). We often use those words to describe what will happen after the resurrection, when God makes everything new again. Here, however, Paul uses these words to describe something God has already revealed: the mystery of redemption, about Christ becoming man and dying for us and our becoming His members and receiving His righteousness. Paul says this is not human wisdom. He realizes that he and the other apostles can preach the Gospel because they have "the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God" (1 Corinthians 2:12). It's important for us today to reflect over what Paul says: the apostles preached the Gospel with words "taught by the Spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:13).

We Pray:

Beloved Holy Spirit, You who solely can teach us to see and comprehend God's wisdom, help us also to understand it. Instruct us, as only You can, by showing us who we are. Allow us to see the log in our own eye. Instruct us in the whole truth as to what separates us from God. Allow us to see the depth of God's plan of salvation, into the innermost parts of His fatherly heart that loved us so much that He gave His only Son so we could become His children. Give us the wisdom to understand God's secrets and become prisoners of His love. Amen.

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