1 Corinthians 2:6–16: Wisdom from the Holy Spirit

by Mar 4, 20190 comments

Download Complete PDF Now


Christianity is not merely one account of wisdom amidst a sea of competitors. Rather, Christianity is the only true wisdom, the wisdom of God himself. The wisdom of Christianity is the person and work of Jesus Christ, a wisdom that God determined and established in eternity past. Before any of the work of creation began, God predestined that, in the fullness of time, the Father would send the Son into the world to take to himself a human nature through the incarnation. The Son, in the person of Jesus Christ, would then live a life of humility, obedience, and great suffering, culminating in the cruel cross that Paul has been proclaiming throughout this section of 1 Corinthians. After Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, the Father and the Son would send their Holy Spirit into the world to open blind eyes, deaf ears, and dull hearts to believe the gospel of Christ and him crucified.

This plan served as the foundation and focal point for the creation of the entire world. Everything in creation, as well as in the slow progression of God’s revelation through history, bore witness to this plan, but not in a way that anyone could have ever predicted its full glory until Christ fulfilled everything appointed for him to do from eternity past. While Christ walked the earth, the rulers of this age despised, rejected, and even crucified him. Even now, after Christ has accomplished the fullness of God’s redemptive plan, the world continues to reject Christ crucified as the power of God and the wisdom of God. For this reason, Paul explains, the Holy Spirit must reveal the fullness and glory of God’s wisdom before anyone is able to believe it. Thus, in 1 Corinthians 2:6–16, Paul teaches us that God sends his Holy Spirit to reveal his hidden wisdom in Christ.

Discussion Questions

1) What precisely is Paul talking about when he refers to God’s wisdom? Why was the world unable to anticipate the person and work of Christ before Christ entered the world? What kept the rulers of this age from recognizing him, and what led them to crucify the Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2:8)? What keeps the world from appreciating Christ as the wisdom and power of God today?

2) Why would God have hidden the wisdom of his plan prepared from eternity past (1 Cor. 2:7)? What did God have to hide? What does God accomplish that would have been impossible if he had revealed the mystery of Christ from the beginning? Beyond hiding this wisdom from the world, why did God veil his wisdom from Old Testament believers and even his angels (1 Pet. 1:10–12)?

3) By whom does God reveal his wisdom of Jesus Christ and him crucified? That is, who does the revealing? To whom does God reveal his wisdom? By what method does God reveal his wisdom? Do you approach preaching with prayer, asking that God would give you eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand the full wisdom of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified?

4) Why are human beings not able to believe the gospel apart from the work of the Holy Spirit? How should this principle inform the way that we evangelize our family, friends, and neighbors? Why should this principle make us patient and long-suffering as we share the gospel? Why should this principle inspire us to long-term faithfulness in proclaiming the gospel? How should this lead us to pray?