That We Might Understand
1 Corinthians 2:12 (ESV) -- Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
One of the greatest issues in our world today is that people have concepts and beliefs in God, but no true understanding. People lack spiritual wisdom and discernment. Every man you encounter has conceptions of God, many times originated from his own opinions and feelings. Our culture believes you can mold God into your own image and likeness, but the God of Scripture cannot be molded to our comforts. He is the God who is, and He reveals to us who He is. Only those in the Holy Spirit have understanding of these things.
We see this in our passage today. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:12, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.”
Who is the “we” in this passage? It is believers. Those of us in Christ are the “we” that have received the Spirit of God and not the spirit of the world. We have the Spirit of God, and with the Spirit, we have capacity and ability to understand the things freely given to us by God. When we trust Christ for our salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. The Spirit brings us capacity to understand and know the things of God.
What is the “spirit of the world” Paul is referring to? It is referring to multiple things. First, the world’s philosophy and wisdom. Christians don’t rely on worldly philosophy or wisdom. This doesn’t mean we can’t learn from things in the world, but the wisdom of the world and those philosophies that are raised against the knowledge of God are not to be embraced. Second, it is the spirit of the age. The values, morals, and ethics.
Christians are to live set apart from the world. We don’t adopt the world’s view of morality and righteousness. God sets the standard for us through His Word.
As Christians who want to live our lives to please God, we should strive to grow in our understanding of God and His ways. He has given us the capacity to understand His will for our lives. We do not have the spirit of the world, but of God. Set time apart to spend time with God and His Word. Pray that He would continue giving you understanding of His ways so you can live a life pleasing and honoring to Him.
Reflection & Journal:
- What is the spirit of the world? Give some examples.
- Why is it important that we have the Spirit of God for understanding?
- How do we grow as Christians in understanding the ways of God?
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