The term "spiritual" is a flimsy-floppy word and means all kinds of things to different people. In this passage the Apostle Paul tells us what it really means.
- This passages shows us what it means to be spiritual.
- Paul talks about the hidden wisdom of God, which is revealed in Christ.
- Paul contrasts the wisdom of the “rulers of this age” with the wisdom of God.
- The wisdom of this age is temporal and passing away, but the wisdom of God is from “before the ages” (v. 7).
- In a first-century Jewish context, to speak of the crucified Lord of glory is an astonishing statement; Paul is making it clear that Jesus is God (v. cf. Ps. 24:7-10; Ps. 29:3).
- Jesus’s identity as the divine Lord of Glory who was crucified for our glory is the mystery that is hidden from the natural person but revealed to the spiritual person (vv. 7-9).
- The natural mind cannot understand the crucifixion of the Lord of glory, but God has revealed it to us through the Spirit (v. 10).
- Just as the thoughts of a man are known only to that man, unless he reveals them through speech, so the thoughts of God are known only to God, unless he reveals them through speech, which he has through his Spirit.
- The Spirit knows the thoughts of God, because the Spirit is God. Paul assumes the doctrine of the Trinity in this passage.
- “The mature” that Paul refers to are those who have received the Spirit and so have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand the mystery of God (v. 6, 9, 12).
- The Spirit both reveals the hidden glory of the cross and gives us eyes to see it.
- We come to know these things by the words of Scripture. The Bible is God’s Word. Its words are words taught by the Spirit (v. 13).
- Paul follows a clear line of reasoning through this passage:
- Jesus of Nazareth is the eternal Lord of glory, who was crucified for our glory.
- God has revealed these things to us through His Spirit.
- We have been given this same Spirit, and so have been given eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to understand spiritual things.
- The Spirit communicates this revelation to us through the words of the Bible.
- Having received the Spirit, we are able to turn to God in love. The person who loves God in the Spirit is the one who is spiritual and mature.
- In our witness, our responsibility is to simply bring the words of the Spirit to the world, the Spirit convicts and converts.
- The natural man, bound to the temporal wisdom of the age, is unable to properly judge the things of the Spirit (v. 14).
- The spiritual person “judges,” or appraises, all things in accordance with the eternal, spiritual wisdom of God (v. 15; cf. Romans 12:2).
- Our society needs more than a biblical approach to ethics in any given area (law, business, sexuality, etc.); we need a complete remaking of the hearts of men and women by the Spirit of God.
- What is the mystery of God’s wisdom?
- What is our responsibility in the task of sharing the gospel with the world?
- What is the difference between the wisdom of the age and the wisdom of God?
- What does it mean to judge all things?