SUMMARY.--The One Theme of Preaching Christ Crucified. Not Eloquence or Human Wisdom, but the Power of the Spirit Needed. A Divine Wisdom in the Cross of Christ. This is a Mystery Revealed to the Converted; Unseen by the Unregenerate. The Things of the Kingdom Not Understood by the Worldly. These are Revealed to Those who Have the Spirit of God.
10-13. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit. These wonders of the love of God, not seen by eye, nor heard by ear, nor revealed to the senses, were revealed by the Spirit to the apostles (to us), and made known through them to full-grown Christians ("the perfect," verse 6 ). The Spirit searcheth, etc. The Holy Spirit, imparted so freely to the apostles to lead them into all truth ( John 16:13 ), is the Spirit of God. Hence this Spirit imparts a knowledge of the deep things of God. The secrets of the divine wisdom are thus made known. 11. For what man knoweth, etc. A man's spirit knows all his secrets, though these are unknown to another man. So God's Spirit knows the Divine secrets, and imparts these wherever he dwells in full measure as the Spirit of knowledge. 12. Now we have received, etc. We apostles. The Spirit received by all the apostles was not the spirit of the world, but the Holy Spirit which Christ promised them as a guide into all truth. Hence they were enabled to know what God imparted freely to them. 13. Which things we also speak. The grand truths, "the hidden wisdom," "the mystery of God," revealed to them through the Spirit, they spoke to others. These things they spoke, not in the words of man's wisdom, not in the garb of philosophy, but in the words given by the Holy Spirit. Comparing spiritual things with spiritual. This difficult clause has received many explanations. Canon Cook explains it: "Matching spiritual things with spiritual words." Conybeare and Howson say: "Explaining spiritual things to spiritual men." This last view, which Canon Cook says does no violence to the Greek, harmonizes best with 1 Corinthians 2:6 1 Corinthians 2:14 . I think that verse 14 , the next verse, shows that this is the true meaning.
14-16. But the natural man. The natural man is the unregenerate, one who has the spirit of the world, one not born anew of water and of the Spirit. Man is a triune being--body, soul and spirit. The natural man is under the dominion of the soul, the animal life. The spirit must be stirred from its dormant condition, and born again, before one can comprehend the things of the Spirit. These are foolishness to one under the dominion of the animal life, such as the Jewish scribes and Greek "disputers," for they can be discerned only by the spirit of man. It is only when a spiritual hunger is felt, when one is born again, and when man becomes a spiritual instead of an animal being, that he can understand "the deep things of the Spirit." But blessed be God, the A B C's of the gospel, which the ignorant and unlearned men can understand, are sufficient to convert and prepare one for a higher knowledge. 15. He that is spiritual. He who lives the spiritual life. Judgeth all things. "Examineth," in the margin of the Revision. The spiritual man, helped by the indwelling Spirit, is prepared to study the deeper truths of the Spirit. Judged of no man. None who are not spiritual are able to sit in judgment upon his higher life. He is on a higher level, and the animal man, from his lower level, cannot well estimate him. 16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? etc. No man, not even the most spiritual, knows the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him. If there was such a one, he, and he only, might instruct those who have the mind of Christ.
Two things are learned from this chapter: (1) There is a divine wisdom or philosophy. (2) This divine wisdom, or mystery, is an absurdity or perplexity to the world, but the wisdom of God to the saints.