v1-5 - It's quite likely that Paul was not on outwardly impressive guy, and not much of a public speaker (remember in Acts 20 when the young man named Eutychus fell asleep during Paul's long sermon and fell three stories to his death?). Yesterday we read about the superiority of God's wisdom vs. the wisdom of the world, and today Paul continues that theme, emphasizing that the Gospel doesn't spread because of 'persuasive words (v4).' You can be assured that your faith isn't dependent upon how polished (or boring) your preacher is, but rather "on God's power (v5)."
v6-9 - Do you often find yourself feeling that the wisdom and values you're reading about in the Bible are more and more at odds with the world's wisdom? It may seem like this difference is a relatively recent phenomenon as society as changed so much in the last 20 years, but this middle passage of chapter two reminds you that the it's always been this way, it's just that we can see it more clearly now than we could in the good 'ol days. Be reminded that "the wisdom of this age... is coming to nothing (v6)."
v10-16 - The Holy Spirit knows the "deep things of God (v10)" because the Holy Spirit is God. This passage tells us why the Holy Spirit has been given to you: "so that you may understand what God has freely given you (v12)." Unbelievers think you're wasting your time going to church, reading the Bible and praying, because they don't have the Spirit (v14). They don't see or understand what you see and understand so clearly. Above all, remember: you're different than the world. You "have the mind of Christ (v16)."
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Paul quotes Isaiah 64:4 in v9. This is a perfect example of how even though Paul just quoted one verse, he brings in the meaning of the entire passage he's quoting. Read all of Isaiah 64 (it's not long) and notice how the entire chapter is a AAA prayer.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Paul teaches us in verse 10 that the Spirit searches all things; then Paul mentions something in particular that the Spirit searches. What is it?
How would you summarize what this chapter teaches about a Christian’s self-image?
How does this chapter help you understand why the world seems like it's suddenly changing for the worse so quickly?
Questions 1-2 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him? (v16 & Isaiah 40:13)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: "Know nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified (v2)." (meditate on this today and then come to realize the awesome amount of knowledge it takes to fully understand those two concepts)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: