COLLEGELife group THE FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS (part 2): Wisdom through the Spirit of God (2:1-16) RELIANCE ON THE SPIRIT FOR WISDOM (2:1-5) (Question #1) When Paul came to Corinth, he did not come in splendor. He found a friend named Aquila and his wife Priscilla, staying with them and working with them because they were of the same trade – tentmakers selling tents (see ACTS 18:1-4). In other words, Paul did not have financial support for his missionary work. During the weekdays, Paul worked on tents. During the weekends on the Sabbath, Paul went into the synagogue to teach and reason with the Jewish leaders to believe in Jesus Christ. How does Paul describe how he came proclaiming the gospel to these Corinthian brothers and sisters (verse 1-4)? [*REFLECT #1a] How has the gospel been proclaimed to us – was it with lofty speech or wisdom? How are we proclaiming the good news about Jesus Christ – *without* lofty speech or wisdom? Who can understand it, then? [*REFLECT #1b] When we are in weakness and in fear and much trembling before God, what is demonstrated? What are some demonstrations of the Spirit’s power you have witnessed in your life through this posture before God? [*REFLECT #1c] Why does God proclaim His message through us in our weaknesses, without lofty speech or worldly wisdom (verse 5)? WISDOM FROM THE SPIRIT (2:6-13) (Question #2) The testimony of God is not proclaimed with lofty words and worldly wisdom. Yet, there is a wisdom involved that is not worldly but godly. It is given among the mature. Where is this godly wisdom not imparted (verse 6)? [*REFLECT #2a] Are you maturing to attain wisdom? Where are you growing in wisdom? Is it of this age and of the present idols of this age, or is it from above from the One who cannot pass away? [*REFLECT #2b] God’s wisdom is imparted as secret and hidden. “Secret” here does not mean deception, magical, or a complex riddle but rather veiled, covered, unknown until it was revealed – the crucified Lord of glory. When did God decree this, and if the rulers of this age understood this, what would they have done (verse 7-8)? [*REFLECT #2c] A paraphrase of ISAIAH 64:4 (From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him) is given – from ages past when no one could have heard or perceived or seen, what has God been doing for those who love Him (verse 9-10)? [*REFLECT #2d] Just as the spirit of a person comprehends that person’s thoughts, who alone comprehends the thoughts and depths of God (verse 11)? [*REFLECT #2e] Although you might not even understand yourself at times, who comprehends your thoughts and knows the full depth of them? [*REFLECT #2f] What have we not received? Instead, what have we received from God and why (verse 12)? [*REFLECT #2g] How is the message that we have indeed received the Spirit of God imparted to us, and what can the spiritual person do (verse 13)? THE NATURAL MAN AND THE SPIRITUAL MAN (2:14-16) (Question #3) Why do some receive the testimony of the Spirit, and others do not (verse 14)? [*REFLECT #3a] What can the spiritual person do that the natural person cannot do clearly (verse 15)? [*REFLECT #3b] Followers of Christ are not exempt from being judged, disciplined, and gently confronted in the Lord. However, the lesson here is that a natural person cannot judge clearly nor righteously a spiritual person. Are you a natural or spiritual person? How can you see and judge clearer the natural world through your spiritual life? [*REFLECT #3c] ISAIAH 40:13 is referenced (Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel?). Paul paraphrases this with “the mind of the Lord” – whom he also refers to whose mind (verse 16)? [*REFLECT #3d] Why is the spiritual person able to judge? How are you judging in godliness?