Lord's Day, August 31, 2003

Today is Communion Sunday

I Corinthians 2

Remedy is by Revelation of the Truth

Revelation is by the Lord of Glory

WHAT is revealed ?

I.  I Corinthians 2:1-5 THE EFFECTUAL FOCUS

ONLY Christ, ONLY Him crucified, ALWAYS by demonstration of the Spirit and power from Him – with FAITH in the power of God

 2. I Corinthians 2:6-9 THE ENDURING WISDOM

 Wisdom is to be desired, yet not from this world, vain in its resources. Rather must it come  from  God, who being open in fact, in the Gospel, remains closed to the blind (II Cor.  4:4), so that they actually crucified the Lord of glory Himself, who filled with wisdom, made an offering of Himself, according to a schedule drawn up in eternity (Ephesians 1:4), and infused into time.  As Isaiah 64:4, 65:17 and Psalm 31:19 show, God's preparations for man are filled with wonder, while Isaiah 64:4 in  fact adds this, that it is He: "who acts for the one who waits for Him", moving from the future to the present also.


 You might think these are the same, but they are not. Paul first notes the THINGS which God reveals and then the WORDS which interpret and express these things. BOTH are given to him by God by inspiration, and the result in revelation. Revelation UNCOVERS, and INSPIRATION transmits, God breathing into the recipient the words of His will. I Peter  3:2 and Matthew 4:4 even use the word for a  distinct single word, remata, in referring to  the word of God. Live by every WORD that proceeds out of the mouth of God, said Christ (Matthew 4:4).

Thus I Corinthians 2:9-13 shows PAUL acknowledging that GOD GAVE

             a) the substance of the revelation and
             b) the WORDS with which to state it, in writing the epistles.

 It is He who is the One whose church duly acknowledged what that revelation, the word of  God,  was in the New  Testament,  in its early councils; just as the Jews handed down the Old (cf. Romans 9:1-4):  and all of this, it is the Bible. EVERY WORD, said Chris (Matthew
5:17-19), and the  reason is as Augustine put it: It is one thing to write as historians, another as holy prophets inspired by the Lord. Truth is infinitely precious, and should be held from God with gratitude.

4. I Corinthians 2:14-16

If you are inhabited by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:9,16, I Cor. 12:13), then you are helped to regard the things of God as  most precious, and hence to compare them one with the other, seeking as in stereoscopic pictures the greatest depth of perception and so understanding. This is the nature of Bible study, and shows the value of a centre column of references in your Bible. In fact, the 'natural man', unredeemed and still autonomous or idolatrous, CANNOT understand spiritual things, having a vague intimation only at best, and is like someone who has heard of sounds, read of them, but for his own part is deaf.

It seems to such a person, like so much carrying on when people talk of music, since it is after all, just that thing called sound. It does not live for him. 

This is one reason why it is merely deluded to try to have fellowship with unbelievers, which is in any case forbidden (Ii Corinthians 6:14ff.). In Christ, however, you gain understanding and learn to assess by His word, helped by His Spirit (I Corinthians 1:17-19), and gain true perspective. You may be 'judged' by outsiders, but "who shall lay charge against God's elect" (Romans 8:32-33).

Christ will not judge you, we read, for it is He who died, and indeed rather is it He who justifies. Fear nothing, therefore, from the world, itself under judgment (John 16:11). The word of God and His Spirit can alert us so that we actually live, walk and learn in the presence of the Truth, showing us the Way, and nothing is then too hard for the Lord.

 Walk then with wisdom, redeeming the time, fearless, engaged to your Tutor, Christ, Him your resource, His word a light on your path (Psalm 119:105), so that “the entrance of your word gives light” (119:130).

Finally, to remind you how careful you must be, consider this. 

People will often quote from I  Corinthians 2:9, using Isaiah 64:4, and act as if YOU CANNOT KNOW WHAT GOD IS LIKE, or says or whatever. This flows easily, for those who do not have eternal life, do not know God (John 17:3). In fact, however, this passage DOES start with the words, EYE HAS NOT SEEN, and proceed to tell us that the things God has prepared for us are like that; but it CONTINUES to state that GOD HAS REVEALED THEM, yes even the DEEP things of God; and it continues by telling us that, to the scripture writers, He does it BOTH as to the SUBSTANCE, the realities concerned,  and then as to the actual words used to bring  these truths to us! On the other hand, God USES the wrath of man (Psalm 76:10). How does He use it in this case ? Such denials of His clear word first warn us of the unreliability of flesh, and then stirs us to realise  even more sharply that GOD HAS SPOKEN, He has revealed, we are given the truth, and we DO  know the very mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). In this confidence, then let us live, act, believe, move mountains and shine in His light.