Friday, October 10, 2014

God’s wisdom versus the world’s wisdom


Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the way he spoke to them and it is interesting to see how aware he is of the process.

4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.  (1 Cor. 2: 4-5)

Paul’s initial preaching was all of Christ, using testimony so that the Spirit could testify.  This meant that the people’s conversion and faith would be spiritually based rather than based on rhetoric.

Once conversion takes place, whoever, Paul’s preaching gains something more--

6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:  (1 Cor. 2:6-7)

Conversion by the Spirit gives us access to hidden wisdom that comes from God, which Paul calls “the wisdom of God in a mystery.”

Paul says this is spoken among them that are “perfect,” but I don’t think he means “flawless,” but instead “whole and complete.”

This kind of wisdom is hard to grasp by a carnal mind and seems foolish, but it makes sense for those prepared for it.

In this context, Paul gives a description of this hidden wisdom--

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.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  (1 Cor. 2:9-10)

We usually think of v9 as referring to the glory of the celestial kingdom, but in the context of Paul’s discourse we also see it refers to the wisdom from God that we gain after conversion.  It would be a shame if we were to cease to learn from the Spirit and to cease to search all things.

One of the things these verses explain is why certain principles of truth can seem so obvious to members of the church and yet the rest of the world seems completely oblivious to it, and if they are informed of it, they think it silly or they are threatened by it.

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. (1 Cor. 2:13)

How many principles are founded in the wisdom of God!  Chastity.  Fidelity.  Sacrifice.  Obedience to prophets.  Continuing revelation.  Priesthood authority.  Eternal families.  Vicarious ordinance work for the dead.  I could go on and on.  You can’t justify these adequately using only man’s wisdom because man’s wisdom only deals with mortal life and temporal consequences, whereas the full consequences of these principles stretch into the eternities, which fallen man knows nothing about.  (Also, we’ve been told that this life is a time of probation, so consequences are delayed in order for us to practice living by faith.)  In order to grasp them, you have to start with faith in Christ as the Savior.