1 Corinthians 2:6-16
(1 Cor. #5)
Introduction: How do you do at keeping secrets? Do you have a secret that you are keeping this morning? Sometimes children like to whisper secrets in front of others to make them feel left out. Would you be surprised to know that God keeps secrets? As a matter of fact God has kept most of the things that will affect our lives a mystery. Unlike us, God is great at keeping secrets. He operates on a need to know basis until we really need to know. We don’t always like that but if we are going to grow in our faith we must trust that God knows what He is doing, because He actually does!
In our text, Paul continues to tell the Corinthian believers about the wisdom of God and how it is actually a secret. This morning we will examine some of the issues concerning the secret that God has.
1. It will not be known by everyone vv. 6-7b
a. One of the things that make something a secret is that not everyone one knows!
b. Not everything that pretends to be a secret is. When you get an e-mail about a stock market tip, it is not really a secret!
c. Paul states that this is a secret that certain people will never figure out.
d. The rulers or those in authority in Paul’s day didn’t understand it. It was a mystery to them and therefore the crucified the very Lord of glory. i.e. the Lord from glory. The reason that they killed Jesus was because they really did not know who He actually was even though He told them and they should have known.
e. Also those who were of “this age” did not know the secret. It was not only those who were in power at the time that didn’t understand the mystery, the world in general did not know it either!
f. The same is true today! The majority of the people in this world are lost and still in their sins. They do not have to be because the message of the gospel is no longer a mystery as far as the information concerning it goes!
g. Unfortunately most are just like the rulers who are described in the text as passing away or are coming to nothing or in their own wisdom accomplishing nothing that will amount to anything.
h. You might have noticed that some do get it! Those who have been made complete in Jesus Christ are not only capable of understanding the mystery it is the reason that they are listed as being mature. Now before we get to big a head about this we must remind ourselves that it is not because we are inherently smarter. It is all because of God’s grace! Apart from that we will still have no idea what the mystery was all about!
2. It is a very old secret
a. What is the longest that you have ever kept a secret? We know of people that we would never tell another secret because they have proven untrustworthy when it comes to keeping it a secret!
b. Look how long God has kept this secret! It was predestined or ordained before the measurement of time! Before the ages were counted God knew exactly what He would do.
c. He knew that He would have to redeem man unto Himself billions of years prior to ever making Adam and Eve. As a matter of fact God has always known about everything that has or will yet happen, hundreds of billions of years before He ever created this universe. We can’t even begin to comprehend the power and wisdom of God!
d. Since God has always known everything long before anything ever happened doesn’t it make sense to trust Him with every decision in our lives?
e. It says that He not only knew about it but that He predestined it or He made it happen. Jesus didn’t go to the cross because man nailed Him there. God placed Him there before the ages and for what reason? It was for our glory! So that we, even though we were fallen sinners, could experience the glory of God both in this life partially, but in the next life completely and forever!
f. We might even have a hard time keeping a Christmas present a secret! God kept this secret way past Christmas and past the cross and all the way to Easter!
3. No human could have ever figured it out
a. Man seems to be fascinated with discovering mysteries. From filling out crossword puzzles to playing “eye spy”, to office pools on babies gender, weight and length, we like the challenge of figuring things out.
b. Here is one that we could never figure out.
c. Verse 9 is often used to describe how indescribable heaven will be. While it is true that heaven is beyond our capabilities to imagine its glory, that is really not what this verse is talking about. Verse 10 tells us that this mystery has already been revealed!
d. What Isaiah and then Paul is saying is that man was not capable of discovering on his own the things that are God’s.
e. The mystery of the gospel, the plan of redemption was inconceivable to man. The very fact that God would have pity upon us wicked little creatures, would not even have entered our puny little minds.
f. The fact that God would call us unto Himself through the death and resurrection of His Son and then desire to guide and bless us throughout our lives and desire to enjoy eternity with us, would have never even be considered by us. To be honest, we still don’t even understand why He did it!
g. But I sure am glad that He did!
4. A very Special Person revealed it
a. When it is time to reveal a secret, don’t you like to be the one who gets to break the news!
b. Here the person who got to let the cat out of the bag is the Spirit of God.
c. The Holy Spirit makes us alive in Christ Jesus. He convicts and reveals the mystery to us. We may have heard it from a human but until the Holy Spirit enables us to understand it, it makes no sense.
d. It took the Spirit of God to understand the mystery of God!
e. Paul gives us an illustration when he says that the only one who really knows what you are thinking is you! Someone may say to us that they know what we are thinking, but in reality it is only a guess. Sometimes it is an educated guess but it is still a guess!
f. The Holy Spirit has made known to us the mysteries of God. We call it illumination. This has happened to you. You are reading the Scriptures and all of a sudden a verse comes alive and you understand it like you never did before. It is not a new truth but it has been revealed a fresh to you. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to make the thoughts of God known to mankind.
5. Only the spiritually alive will benefit from it
a. Not only did we get to have the mystery of God revealed to us by the Spirit, We get the Spirit!
b. He wants us to understand far more than salvation.
c. We are to have the mind of Christ. We can think the thoughts that God has because we can be empowered by His Spirit.
d. The world does not operate this way nor does it understand the way that God does things.
e. Having the mind of Christ means among other things that we will love like He does. We will have the capacity to care like He cares. We will be willing to sacrifice ourselves for others. Etc.
Conclusion: The mystery of God should not be a mystery because we are keeping it a secret! The world cannot understand it until the Holy Spirit calls them to faith and repentance, but that will not happen until the word of God is shared with them. That is our job!
I hope the mystery of God, His secret, is not a secret to you anymore.
1 Corinthians 2:6-16 (NCV)
6 However, I speak a wisdom to those who are mature. But this wisdom is not from this world or from the rulers of this world, who are losing their power.
7 I speak God’s secret wisdom, which he has kept hidden. Before the world began, God planned this wisdom for our glory.
8 None of the rulers of this world understood it. If they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written in the Scriptures: “No one has ever seen this, and no one has ever heard about it. No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” Isaiah 64:4
10 But God has shown us these things through the Spirit. The Spirit searches out all things, even the deep secrets of God.
11 Who knows the thoughts that another person has? Only a person’s spirit that lives within him knows his thoughts. It is the same with God. No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we did not receive the spirit of the world, but we received the Spirit that is from God so that we can know all that God has given us.
13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom but with words taught us by the Spirit. And so we explain spiritual truths to spiritual people.
14 A person who does not have the Spirit does not accept the truths that come from the Spirit of God. That person thinks they are foolish and cannot understand them, because they can only be judged to be true by the Spirit.
15 The spiritual person is able to judge all things, but no one can judge him. The Scripture says:
16 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Who has been able to teach him?” Isaiah 40:13 But we have the mind of Christ.