One of my mentors, Manley Beasley, once said to me that 1 Corinthians 2 is one of the most important passages in the Bible because it helps us see how to know the mind of God. It has become one of the most precious passages to me in all the Bible.
Look at this vital text:
Just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:9-16 NASB).
Notice the progression:
- God has wonderful things prepared to tell and give to all those who have truly come to know Him—things which human understanding alone will never see.
- These things are only understood through spiritual illumination.
- The one who knows a man best is his spirit; i.e., no one knows you better than you. In the same way, the one who knows God best is His Holy Spirit. He knows everything in the mind God.
- We have received God’s Spirit—if we are true followers of Christ, He is in us! Therefore, we have the mind of Christ in us and the capacity to know everything we need to know from God.
- Things we could not have understood before we received the Spirit, we can now understand through the Spirit’s help. A man without the Spirit cannot understand these things, because they are “spiritually appraised” (like a jeweler appraises a diamond and can see realities that a natural, untrained eye could never see).
- These things are freely given to us by God. He is not trying to withhold them from us or playing games! If we cooperate with Him and listen, He will make them known by His Spirit and His Word.
- Once we learn these things from God’s Spirit and His Word, we can share them with others through the power of spiritual words.
What an incredible truth. We can know the mind of God because He now lives in us! And we can speak the truths of God to others because He can speak through us!
This is being “conformed to the image of His Son,” and it is the greatest joy of the Christian life.