…these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10-11
That passage introduces to us how this mighty teacher come from God, the Holy Spirit himself, is designed to instruct us with the Word of God and lead us into the truth of God that will change our lives and expose us to this “secret and hidden wisdom of God” (v.7). When you discover that, life is going to be exciting and adventurous, like nothing you ever dreamed before, for this line of truth is designed to set us free, to let us be the men and women God designed us to be.
Notice how the apostle first underscores here the spirit’s knowledge: “No one understands the things of man except the spirit of man which is in him.” Have you ever tried to talk to your plants? We are told that plants can respond to our moods and reflect our attitudes. I know a woman who even prays over each plant. I don’t know what it does for the plant, but it probably helps her a great deal. But it is evident that plants do not talk back. Life is constructed at various levels; the higher can take hold of the lower, but the lower cannot reach up to the higher. We have plant life, we have animal life, then human life, then the angelic life, and finally, divine life. The higher can reach down to encompass the lower, but the lower cannot reach up to the higher. That is Paul’s argument here. Though no animal can reach into the realm of human relationship and converse with us, other human beings like ourselves can.
Now here is this great Being of God in our universe, this fantastic Being of infinite wisdom and mighty power. How can we know anything about him? Paul’s answer is that we cannot, except he discloses himself to us. You cannot find out God by searching. Man by wisdom does not know God. Man by investigation of all the natural forces of life will never find his way to the heart of God. Only God himself must disclose himself, must open himself to us. That he has done by means of the Spirit of God — the Spirit has come to teach us about God.
The Lord Jesus himself appeared as a man so that we might have a visible demonstration of what God is like. The simplest answer to the question, “What is God like?” is to say he is like Jesus. But it is the work of the Spirit to show us what Jesus is like. Jesus said, “He will take of the things of mine and show them unto you,” (John 16:14 KJV). You can read the record of the Gospels, and read the historical record of Jesus, but the living Lord does not stand out from the pages merely by reading them. It is as the Spirit illuminates those pages and makes them vivid and real that you find yourself confronted with the living, breathing Christ himself. That is the work of the Holy Spirit.
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Father, how grateful I am for this mighty teacher, the Spirit of God, come from you into my heart to instruct me of the things of Jesus and give to me his very life that I might live a new and different way.
Where can we go when our efforts to know God by means of human wisdom end in a vacuum? Have we realized the power of God’s self-disclosure as the Holy Spirit reveals Him in the Person of Jesus Christ?