10 March 2017
“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit.” (vv. 12-13a)
Psalm: Psalm 119:65-80
Following directly from yesterday’s passage Paul leads into more complicated reasoning to explain what he means about the difference between the wisdom of the world and the so-called foolishness of God’s wisdom. Remember he is writing to those Corinthian Christians who have been disturbed and confused by the cultural influences around them and have begun to distort the original simplicity of the good news of Jesus and his teachings.
Paul reminds them that after Jesus died the Spirit of God was given in a new way to inspire, guide and teach them. The Spirit of God speaks out the wisdom of God, which comes from the mind of God. How can that be foolishness? This is nothing to do with human wisdom, but is rooted in spiritual realities.
Paul also points out that there is nothing really new about the Spirit of God being in the world. At the dawn of creation, however, we see that happening, the Spirit was there. That same Spirit inspired the prophets and the great leaders of faith in the Old Testament. Jesus was a living and dying embodiment of the Spirit of God and the wisdom of God, and he promised that same Spirit would be given to his followers after he had left them (John 14:16-17). A current expression of the Spirit is helping those who take on that calling to live and work in the same way that he did. This is God, breathing through the Church, inspiring people to speak out about the love, grace and forgiveness of God. That inspiration will go on.
One continuous line of speech.
First, the creative Spirit bringing order from chaos.
Next, the prophets, thundering, condemning, or calling people to repentance.
After them, the Son, embodying the image of God, challenging, changing, daring and sacrificial in death, now crowned with glorious resurrection.
Then God’s Spirit again, giving new gifts to sustain and build the body of faith and commitment and service.
One continuous line of speech reaching down the centuries by people empowered by the spirit-filled gifts to offer a message of forgiveness and hope for all who seek to find God.
- What message does God’s wisdom have to offer to the foolishness of today’s world?
- How do you react when you feel that God is speaking directly to you?
Bible notes author: Marjorie Dobson