15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.–1 Cor. 2:15,16 NIV
If our spirits are in tune with the Holy Spirit, we have access to all the wisdom of heaven. Since that is true, we should be able to make wiser decisions than those who do not have that access. The decisions we make and the actions we take will not always bring us worldly acclaim. Why? Because the world does not understand the wisdom of heaven. There is no way to explain to a person without the Holy Spirit explaining it how we gain our life by giving it up. How we can have more by giving away what we have or be free when we are in voluntary servitude to Jesus Christ. That is not how the world thinks or operates. “But we have the mind of Christ” which means we think differently. It means that we can have joy in our hearts even though the world around is decaying and we can have peace when we are surrounded by violence and rioting. We can have hope when it appears that there is only hopelessness. We can forgive even when we are the ones that have been wronged. We have a future worth living and dying for because we are redeemed. We can praise the Lord in the worst of situations. 1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.–Psalm 103:1-5 NIV
9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.–1 Cor. 2:9-11 NIV
God has prepared a place for us that no human can conceive or even imagine. He has revealed a part of that to us through His word, Our God is very organized, he has a plan and a time for everything in the plan to happen. God’s Holy Spirit is indwelling each of us. He (Holy Spirit) has the ability to search and know God’s thoughts. That is why we must always involve the Holy Spirit in our prayer life. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.—Romans 8:26-27 NIV
No matter how we may stumble and stutter through our prayers, the Holy Spirit cleans them up and presents them to God. Even better, while all this is going on, Jesus is standing at the right hand of God interceding for us. With the whole Trinity involved, how could our prayers not be answered? A great prayer is the one Peter prayed while he was walking on the water. “Save me”. You don’t need great words or lots of words to pray, you just need to be humble and sincere.
We are all quite familiar with Romans 8:28 which says: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
We tend to focus on the first part of the verse, but the important part is the last four words of the verse; according to his purpose.
Our prayers do not change God’s plan for us, they are designed to get us in line with His plan.
6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.—1 Cor. 2:6-9 (NIV)
God’s plan has never changed. It existed in eternity and before time as we know it. Eternity was, is and always will be. God was, God is and God ever more will be. He knew our finite, human minds would be unable to grasp and understand eternity and endless space. So, He spoke the earth into existence somewhere in space and some time in eternity. By doing so, He divided space and time into small chunks of universes and days. This allowed humans to have something finite that we could grasp and understand. This is wisdom beyond our understanding. Then He created us and breathed life into us. Then we rebelled against God by doubting His love and provisions for us. This was no surprise to Him. He had already made provision to redeem us before we ever fell. The how and the when was a mystery until Jesus came and died for us on the Cross. It was prophesied over and over throughout history but people refused to see and /or believe. Had satan and his demons understood the plan and the time, they would not have crucified Jesus on the Cross. But God was, is and always will be in control. Jesus helped to design the plan of salvation and He finished it at Calvary. 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:2 NKJV
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”—1 Cor. 1:26-31 (NIV)
What do we have to offer Jesus to purchase our salvation? Wisdom? Our wisdom is foolishness to him. Power? He has power to move heaven and earth. Position? He is the King of Kings and the ruler of the universe. Beauty? He is the bright and morning star. Righteousness? Our righteousness is as filthy rags. The only thing we have to offer is our will and our life. All of it. He deserves more and will accept nothing less. He, alone, is our wisdom, righteousness, holiness, redemption and our Lord. As Paul said, our only boast is in Jesus Christ. His blood was the price agreed upon to cover the sin of the whole world, Nothing less would be sufficient and nothing more is needed. Our only boast is to look upon Jesus, agree with Him, and proclaim “It is finished”! 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God..—Hebrews 12:2 (NKJV)
***Borrowed from Walter Brennan in “Guns of Will Sonnett” I know, that was way before your time.
22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.—1 Cor. 1:22-25 (NIV)
The Jews wanted to see miracles to prove the truth of the Gospel. Jesus had performed many signs and wonders but they still refused to accept Him as the Messiah. When the Pharisees had requested a sign, Jesus answered them: 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah–Matt. 12:39 (NIV)
They had seen that sign because after three days, Jesus arose from the grave. We are not saved by signs, miracles or wisdom, we are saved by grace through faith. Head knowledge has to become heart knowledge before we receive saving grace. The power that resurrected Jesus from the grave is more powerful than any earthly force and is still available to each of us today. The foolishness of Jesus Christ is wiser than anything in the world and it is still available to us today. We just need to persevere in our faith and ask the Holy Spirit to grant us wisdom. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.—James 1:4, 5 (NIV)
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.—1 Cor. 1:18-21 (NIV)
God raises up and God brings down. He uses those that the world rejects to accomplish His purposes. The world has access to more information in a few seconds now than we use to be able to get in weeks. But more and more information without the wisdom to use it is dangerous. To non-believers, Christianity is frustrating. They wonder how people believe in a God they can’t see, while at the same time they believe in all kinds of “gods” that are of their own making. Pride keeps people from believing in Jesus because once we believe, we become accountable to Jesus for our actions. So, God allows those that refuse to humble themselves to continue in their sins. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.—Romans 3:28-32 (NIV)
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. –1 Cor. 1:13-18 (NIV)
Paul’s main objective was to preach the Word of God. Yes, he stayed in each new location until he had people in place to take care of the flock, but his heart was always on starting a new work in a new location. Paul isn’t saying new converts don’t need to be baptized, he is saying he has appointed others to do that part of the work. A lot of good pastors have “burned out” by not following Paul’s example and trying to do all the work themselves. A good preacher does not have to be eloquent or powerful in his delivery. What he does have to be, is obedient to the Holy Spirit. In our world today, it is even more apparent that the message of the cross is considered foolishness by those who appear to need it most. The world does not have an answer for Jesus, so they resort to ridicule and abuse of the believers. Jesus said this would happen, so it should come as no surprise to us. But we must remain faithful, knowing that Jesus suffered unto death on a cross. 1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.—John 16:1-3 (NIV)
— Post 04-24-2105
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”—1 Cor. 1:10-12 (NIV)
The only way the church at Corinth or any church can be in unity is through the leadership of the Holy Spirit. As long as we follow after fleshly desires, we will each have our own opinion about every little thing. There have been churches that have split over such insignificant things as the color of the carpet. The world sees these things going on in the church and wonders, rightly, what we have that they don’t have. Before two or three people or a group of any size can be united, each individual has to be willing to give up their “rights”. When we go to church or to any group for that matter, we need to leave our egos at the door. As Christians, we do not receive a “bill of rights”. Our leader, Jesus Christ, modeled an attitude of service and good works. If our focus is on what Jesus wants and not what our flesh wants, we will be united in our worship and our service to the community. If we set this example, the world will want what we have. 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”—Matt. 20:28 (NIV)
— Post 04-23-2015
1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.—1 Cor. 2:1-5 (NIV)
Paul is humble in presenting himself and the message of Jesus Christ. He does not claim to have superior talents or wisdom. He is just a messenger with one message. That message is Jesus Christ, His death and His resurrection. Paul’s preaching is not with great words spoken by a great orator. Paul delivered the message with fear and trembling. We would all be wise to follow that example. We are ambassadors for a great King in a faraway place. We should conduct ourselves accordingly. Be gentle, be humble and let the Holy Spirit demonstrate the same power that was shown when Jesus was resurrected from the grave. Our faith is not founded on anything that a human thinks or could even imagine. It is founded on Jesus Christ. We can witness with confidence because the outcome is not based on our words or our works, it is based on His words and they rest on the power of the Holy Spirit. They will accomplish His purpose. 10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.–Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NIV)
4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.—1 Cor. 1:4-9 (NIV)
Paul reminds the Corinthians and us of what God has done for and is doing for all of us. Because Jesus died for them and us, we are saved by grace. Not only have we been saved, we have already been given access to heavenly knowledge and speech. All this to confirm the testimony that Christ is alive and lives in us. Just as the Corinthians had access to every spiritual gift they needed, so do we. As they waited and we wait for the return of Jesus, there is nothing we need that is not available to us now. And we can add to all that, the fact that Jesus has the power to keep us blameless until He returns. That is His promise to us and God has never failed to deliver on His promises. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.—2 Tim. 1:12 (NIV)