Why this is important: God doesn’t hold anything back from us. God gives us the full report about what life with Jesus is like.
- God reveals to us it is a gift.
- God shows us the good news about how Jesus saves us from a life previously devoted to missing God’s goal for us.
- God gives us wisdom about the power of what Jesus did when he died and defeated death, for us, by being raised from the dead and now ruling with God.
Indeed, we have a loving Father who is in a good mood and gives us the whole story.
These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
English Standard Version. (2016). (1 Co 2:10–13). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The contrast between those who have the Spirit and those who do not begins with a syllogism—a three-part argument in which two premises, if true, logically entail a particular conclusion
- The major premise sees that only a person’s own spirit or mind knows that individual’s thoughts unless he or she chooses to disclose them to someone else, an affirmation which is true for God as well as humanity. “Search” thus equals “knows the thoughts of”.
- The minor premise reiterates that disciples of Jesus have God’s Spirit living in them. “The spirit of the world” refers to fallen, human nature and ideologies, not to anything more directly demonic.
- The conclusion logically follows then that we can know God’s thoughts, at least to the extent that his Spirit graciously reveals them.
The Spirit searches. I cannot know what is going on within your personality, but your human spirit within you knows. Neither can I know “the deep things of God” unless somehow, I can enter into God’s personality. I cannot do that—but by His Spirit, God has entered my personality. Through the Holy Spirit, each believer becomes a sharer of the very life of God.
The Holy Spirit knows “the deep things of God” and reveals them to us. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that “the deep things of God” is another description of “the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him”. God wants us to know today all the blessings of His grace that He has planned for us.
The Spirit teaches. Jesus promised that the Spirit would teach us and guide us into truth. But we must carefully note the sequence here:
- The Spirit taught Paul from the Word, and Paul then taught the believers.
- The truth of God is found in the Word of God.
- And it is especially important to note that these spiritual truths are given in specific words.
- In the Bible, we have much more than inspired thoughts; we have inspired words. “For I have given unto them the words which you gave Me”.
The successful disciple learns the vocabulary of the Spirit and makes use of it. He knows the meaning of justification, sanctification, adoption, propitiation, election, inspiration, and so forth. In understanding God’s vocabulary, we come to understand God’s Word and God’s will for our lives. If the engineering student can grasp the technical terms of chemistry, physics, or electronics, why should it be difficult for us, taught by the Spirit, to grasp the vocabulary of Christian truth?
Yet we hear church members say, “Don’t preach doctrine. Just give us heartwarming sermons that will encourage us!” Sermons based on what? If they are not based on doctrine, they will carry out nothing! “But doctrine is so dull!” people complain. Not if it is presented the way the Bible presents it. Doctrine to me is exciting! What a thrill to be able to study the Bible and let the Spirit teach us “the deep things of God”.
How does the Spirit teach the believer? He compares “spiritual things with spiritual.”
- He reminds us of what He has taught us, relates that truth to something new, and then leads us into new truth and new applications of old truth.
- What a joy it is to sit before the pages of the Bible and let the Spirit reveal God’s truth.
- The trouble is many disciples are too busy for this kind of quiet meditation. What enrichment they are missing!
The Holy Spirit is like a householder who “brings forth out of his treasure things new and old” (Matt. 13:52). The new always comes out of the old and helps us better understand the old. God gives us new insights into old truths as we compare one part of Scripture with another. Jesus based His teaching on the Old Testament, yet people were amazed at what He taught because it was so fresh and exciting.
God’s goal: We must make time every day to read the Word and meditate on it. We should follow a regular schedule in your reading and give yourself time to pray, think, and meditate. Let the Spirit of God search the Word and teach you. The study and application of basic Bible doctrine can transform our lives.