Before we break this chapter down, it is important to know that the Corinthians had fallen into the trap of ‘exalting human wisdom.’ The Apostle Paul dealt with this in the first chapter and he continues to expose the worthlessness of man’s wisdom by ‘exalting God’s wisdom.’

Verses 1-5: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of HUMAN WISDOM, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the WISDOM OF MEN but in the power of God” (NKJV).

Again, the saints at Corinth had fallen prey to man’s wisdom and they were praising those who could speak with eloquence and persuasive words. Paul, on the other hand, used simple language, for he came with one central message: “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Paul knew that the gospel of Jesus Christ was “the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). So, by the Spirit’s power he preached Christ to them, knowing that those who believed would be standing in “the power of God.”

Verses 6-9: “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the WISDOM OF THIS AGE, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the WISDOM OF GOD in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Paul reinforces the truth that the “wisdom of this age” is worthless and that those who preach it will “come to nothing.” He had said the same thing in 1:19, “For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Paul came speaking “the wisdom of God in a mystery” and he adds that it is “the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” What does he mean by “hidden wisdom?” I believe he is referring to truths that had not been revealed in former ages; the truth of Christ being glorified at God’s right hand as the Head of the church (see Ephesians 1:15-23) and the truth that all believers are one in Christ (see Ephesians 3:1-9; Colossians 1:25-28). The precious truth of Christ’s glory was unknown by “the rulers of this age” and thus in their spiritual blindness they crucified Him.

Verses 10-13: “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” Here we learn that we who have believed have received the Spirit of God so that we may truly enter into these “hidden truths.” The Holy Spirit is the Divine Author of the Bible and He is our Divine Teacher. He revealed these things to the apostles first and now He reveals them to us.

Verses 14-16: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one, for ‘who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” The “natural man” is one who has not been “born of the Spirit” (see John 3:3-8) and thus he does not have the Divine Teacher to teach him the things of God. The one “who is spiritual….judges all things.” This simply means that the believer who is yielded to the Spirit and allowing Him to teach him, will be able to discern the wonderful truths of Christ. In fact, such are said to “have the mind of Christ.” This means they will “think God’s thoughts” instead of “thinking as the world thinks” because the Holy Spirit has revealed Christ’s thoughts to us. (287.5) (DO)