Life-Study of 1 Corinthians

Life-Study of 1 Corinthiansby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0959-4
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 16 of 69 Section 1 of 3

LIFE-STUDY OF FIRST CORINTHIANS

MESSAGE SIXTEEN

GOD’S WISDOM IN A MYSTERY,
CHRIST AS THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD

Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 2:6-10

The title of this message is “God’s Wisdom in a Mystery, Christ as the Deep Things of God.” The comma in the title indicates that Christ as the deep things of God stands in apposition to God’s wisdom in a mystery. God’s wisdom in a mystery is actually the all-inclusive Christ as the deep things of God.

Chapters one and two of 1 Corinthians are a very deep portion of the Word. Not many readers of the Bible understand these chapters properly and adequately. Paul’s word in 2:6-10 is especially deep. We should not take these verses or these chapters for granted. Furthermore, knowing these chapters is necessary for understanding the remainder of the book. The gateway to understanding 1 Corinthians is found in chapters one and two.

A MYSTERIOUS WISDOM

In 2:6 Paul says, “But we speak wisdom among those who are full-grown, yet a wisdom not of this age, neither of the rulers of this age, who are being brought to nought.” In the foregoing verses Paul says that he did not come with excellence of wisdom and that his speech was not in persuasive words of wisdom. But in verse 6 he says that he speaks wisdom among those who are full-grown. When Paul wrote this Epistle, he certainly realized that the believers at Corinth were far from full-grown. Why, then, does he say that he speaks wisdom among those who are full-grown? His purpose in doing this was to belittle the Corinthians. Here Paul seems to be saying, “You Corinthians think you have attained something great, but actually you are still babes. We do speak wisdom, but we speak wisdom among those who are full-grown. Furthermore, the wisdom we speak is not a wisdom of this age, neither of the rulers of this age. The common people do not have this wisdom, and those in the ruling class do not have it either. In fact, the rulers of this age are being brought to nothing.”

In verse 7 Paul continues, “But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom which has been hidden, which God predestined before the ages for our glory.” God’s wisdom is Christ (1:24), who is the hidden mystery (Col. 1:26-27), predestined, predesignated, and foreordained before the ages, in eternity, for our glory.

Glory in this verse refers to Christ, who is the Lord of glory (v. 8). Christ is our life today (Col. 3:4) and He will be our glory in the future (Col. 1:27). To this glory God has called us (1 Pet. 5:10), and into it He will bring us (Heb. 2:10). This is the goal of God’s salvation.

According to verse 7, God’s wisdom is in a mystery; it is a mysterious wisdom. Hence, God’s wisdom is not like Greek wisdom, which is open and very shallow. Furthermore, God’s wisdom is the wisdom which has been hidden and which God predestined before the ages for our glory. God’s wisdom is our destiny, and this destiny was determined by God, decided by Him, beforehand. In eternity God determined our destiny. He predestined His wisdom to be for our glory. This means that in eternity He decided that His wisdom would be our destiny and glory. Our destiny is not merely the enjoyment of eternal blessings in heaven. Rather, our destiny is God’s mysterious wisdom. God has predestined His mysterious wisdom to be our glory.

In verse 8 Paul continues his thought from verse 7: “Which not one of the rulers of this age has known; for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” In this verse the relative pronoun “which” refers to wisdom in verse 7; it does not refer to glory.

In verse 9 Paul goes on to say, “But even as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not come up in man’s heart, how much God has prepared for those who love Him.” The sphere of what the eye can see is narrow; the sphere of what the ear can hear is broader; and the sphere of what the heart can realize is without limitation. God in His wisdom (that is, in Christ) has ordained and prepared for us many deep and hidden things, such as justification, sanctification, and glorification. All these the human eye has never seen, the human ear has never heard, and the human heart has never realized.

Verse 10 says, “For God has revealed them to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.” As we shall see, the depths of God here refer to Christ as the deep things of God.


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