1Cor 2:7-10 #23, The Deep Things of God 4/17/2016

 

 

 

 

#1. Things Prepared By God (1Cor 2:9-10, Rom 8:29, 1John 4:19, 1Sam 2:7-8, John 6:37)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2. Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified (1Cor 2:2, Gen 2:17)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3. Not By the Wisdom of Men (1Cor 2:3-5, Psalm 73:24-26)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians 2:1 (2X). Today we have installment #23 in the series that is called, "The Wisdom of God" (2X). We cannot get enough of the richness of spiritual things that we discover in the Bible about the Wisdom of God. We stand amazed when we see how an infinitely wise God created the world, and He created the universe with all the magnificent fireworks therein, just for us, so that we can see His power and His greatness, because we are all alone in this great wide universe. And then when we dig through the Bible we see how this infinitely wise God created a Gospel that is so marvelous, so infinitely beautiful, that we stand in awe about it all our life. And when we are with Christ in the life hereafter, we shall continue to stand in awe of Him for all eternity. If you do not love and adore Christ here on earth, you would not like to be in heaven either, because there we shall continue to gaze and gaze on Christ, our beautiful Bridegroom.

Last week I spoke about "Afflictions of the Elect". This was another aspect of the Wisdom of God, whereby God makes us to grow spiritually by putting us through afflictions. We have also seen how afflictions work glory for Christ, and in turn for us also. When God molds us to be more and more like Jesus, then we are being glorified. It is glorious to be like Jesus! And God does that for us all by His grace. It is one of the Deep Things of God, how glory can come out of suffering. Today we are continuing to look at the Deep Things of God, and that is why the sermon today is titled, "The Deep Things of God" (2X). And how does all this tie into each other and into The Wisdom of God? Well, if we want to know more about the Wisdom of God, we really should be reading 1Cor 2. There is where

The Apostle Paul is addressing the Church at Corinth, and He says in 1Cor 2:1,

1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

Who was he referring to when he said in verse 6, "we speak wisdom among them that are perfect"? Do we remember that Jesus said in Matt 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect". Those whom God has saved are perfect in God's eyes. We speak wisdom among the saints. But those that remain unsaved are not able to understand this kind of wisdom.

1Co 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew:

for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1Co 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (2X).

Many preachers have taken verse 9 out of context. This makes me angry. Let us be clear about verse 9. This is not a verse that speaks about the beautiful things God has prepared for us in the life hereafter. It is true that God has prepared an astonishingly beautiful NH&NE for us, in the life hereafter, but verse 9 does not refer to that at all. The context of verse 9 speaks about the Gospel and about salvation. Verse 8 speaks about an aspect of the Gospel: the crucifixion of Christ; verse 10 speaks about another aspect of the Gospel: the work of God the Holy Spirit in our hearts here on earth. Therefore verse 9 must also refer to the Gospel of salvation. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things God has prepared in the Gospel of the salvation of them that love God, who are the called according to His purpose". This is what is in view here in verse 9, because, this is what the context dictates. Let us continue with verse 11,

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1Co 2:15-16 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Look at the contrasts that God is painting for us here: The natural man, and he that is spiritual. The natural man is how we all came into this world: rebels against God and against His Book of the Law; this is how we are born naturally. The spiritual man is one who became "Born Again", and became a willing servant of Christ. The natural man does not receive spiritual things, since they are foolishness to him. But the spiritual man judges all things, which means that he examines all things and determines in what sense they are to be understood. Does this mean that the natural man does not receive because he does not judge all things, whereas the spiritual man receives because he judges all things? Is this not in conflict with the command of Jesus who said in Matt 7:1, "Judge not that ye be not judged"? No, there is no conflict here. Jesus spoke about judging people. But the context here in 1Cor 2:12-16 does not speak about judging people, but about judging things from the Bible. These are the spiritual things discussed in verses 12 through 16. Spiritual things from the Bible are foolishness to the natural man, but the spiritual man makes a judgment about the doctrines he finds in the Bible. And since God does not lie, the spiritual man harmonizes the doctrines in the Bible, so that the Word of God reads as one harmonious whole. That is why the natural man does not receive any wisdom unto salvation, because he does not take the time to make a judgment about the doctrines of the Bible. That is why the natural man cannot know or understand spiritual things, because God has hidden them from him. Verse 14 says, "because they are spiritually discerned". That is why God speaks about the Gospel in verse 7 as, "speaking the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom". And then God speaks in verse 7 about, "the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory". Is this not exciting? God is speaking about the Gospel of salvation. Let us find out what these nuggets of wisdom are that are hidden in the Word of God.

#1. Things Prepared By God (1Cor 2:9-10, Rom 8:29, 1John 4:19, 1Sam 2:7-8, John 6:37)

Let us read again that intriguing verse 9, where God speaks about things prepared by God.

1Co 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Who are those that love Him? Rom 8:28 says, "Them that love God are them who are the called according to His purpose". They are the only ones who love God, since the entire human race came into the world as enemies of God. Is the Good News of the Gospel so glorious that, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered it into the heart of man"? Well, what do we find here in this chapter? There must be a good reason why I read the whole chapter today. We find here: "The Love of God". We find here "the beauty of the love of God". Is it not exciting to know if God loves us? Most definitely! It is exciting to know that we are no longer on death row, but that we have been pardoned. It is exciting to know that God loves us, and that we are on our way to heaven, instead of on our way to Hell. We have not earned this because of our good behavior, but because God loved us first. God said in 1John 4:19, "We love Him because He first loved us". In spite of what you hear from so many modern day preachers, God does not love everybody. You can plainly see that here in verse 14. God does not love the natural man who remains unsaved. God does not love those people whom He never intended to save. God says plainly in verse 14, "neither CAN he know them". It is not possible for the natural man to receive the things of the Spirit of God. It is impossible for him to understand the Gospel, because God has hidden it from him. God has no mercy on those whom He never intended to save. There is no love from God for such a person. On the other hand, the love of God for those whom He does intend to save is beyond all human comprehension. And God has revealed His love for us in a dramatic way. First we read in 1Cor 2:10,

1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

God has revealed to us "The Deep Things of God". These are stupendous things of God. Do you

kids know what "Stupendous" means? It means "awesome". God made known unto us the awesome things of God. What is so awesome about the Gospel? We have heard it already 100 times. Now, here is one of the signs of your salvation. If you get tired hearing the Good News of your salvation, if you get tired of hearing how Christ rescued you from Hell and suffered the fires of Hell in the process of saving you, and if you get tired of hearing that God did this for you entirely by grace, then you should legitimately ask yourself if God gets tired of your sins which you commit day after day, and then you should ask yourself if your salvation has really happened. A true child of God does not get tired of hearing about the awesome things God has done to save us from our slippery slide into Hell.

Please turn in your Bibles in the OT to the Prophecy of 1st Samuel 2:7 (2X). What are these awesome things God has done? Can you think of anything more awesome than "the Love of God for helpless worms"? Yes! We are in the sight of God nothing more than helpless worms. Think about awful creatures who broke into God's house and murdered His Son. Why did they do that? It is in their nature to do evil things like that. But God forgave them their crime and God lifted them up to make them sons of God. Can you think of anything else that is more awesome than that? We read in:

1Sa 2:7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.

What is this verse talking about? It speaks about US. We are those who have been made poor, and then we are made rich. When Adam sinned by eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he made himself spiritually poor, and he made the entire human race spiritually poor. It means that we became wicked, like those that murdered God's Son. And out of the multitudes of wicked people on the earth God chose to lift up some and make them spiritually rich; so rich that we are not able to comprehend how rich we have become. First God brings us low, and He makes us realize how low and evil we are, and then He lifts us up to make us sons of God. Now, is that not awesome? This is the way God operates. This is one of "The Deep Things of God". God says in:

1Sa 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.

We are those poor whom He raises up out of the dust of the earth. But God does not do that for everyone on this earth. We can see this clearly. Not everyone is willing to come to Christ with a broken and a contrite heart. Not everyone is willing to believe the whole Bible from cover to cover. Not everyone is willing to submit himself to the sovereign God of the Bible. Why then are we willing? God made us willing; that is why. We are those beggars on the dunghill. We are begging God to forgive our sins, because we do not want to go to Hell to pay for our own sins. But those words did not come out of our own repentant heart. We are by nature enemies of God. And so, in order to save a people for Himself, God prompted those words in us. God gave us a repentant heart and therefore we pleaded with Christ. What was Christ's response? The Lord Jesus said it so clearly in John 6:37, "him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out". He forgave us and He lifted us up from the dunghill and He included us in the army of the saints and made us inherit all that He has. We believe that with the eyes of faith. When we enter the life hereafter we shall see it with our own eyes. Then we shall understand another Deep Thing of God, and that is that He has determined it all:

Please turn again to 1Cor 2 and let us now look at verses 7-8. Here God speaks about the Gospel as the wisdom of God. God has hidden the Gospel from those whom He never intended to save and God has ordained that all His elect shall find it, unto their glory. God says in 1Cor 2:7-8,

1Co 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

"The hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory". This is the hidden Gospel. It is hidden in the Bible. And God ordained before the foundation of the world that this Gospel would be preached and believed by His elect people, to our glory. This is how God wrote the Bible, so that the true Gospel will be hidden from those who will remain unbelievers, and that it will be revealed to those who will become believers. For example, we read in 2Thess 2:13,

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

To us it is very clear that God has chosen His elect from the beginning, which means He chose them from the foundation of the world. But to the eyes of many this principle is totally hidden. They read this verse, and they do not see at all that God has chosen us to salvation from the beginning of creation. But this is a glorious principle. If God had not chosen us, then we all would go to Hell, because we all came into the world as rebels against God. As a result, nobody would be saved.

Moreover, if God decided that from the beginning, think about all the things God has done for us. Almighty God, who existed from eternity past, who Himself is infinite, perfectly wise, self-sufficient in all things, perfect in glory, who did not need us at all to keep Him company, this infinitely glorious God broke into time and space, and created heaven and this universe. Let us consider heaven first. Did you know that heaven was created as a temporary dwelling place? Yes it was temporary for our sakes. God did not need a dwelling place. God existed in eternity past without heaven as a dwelling place, and God was already perfect then. He could not make Himself more perfect or more glorious by creating heaven. God did not create heaven for the benefit of the angels, because angels were created to serve as "ministering spirits to those of mankind who shall be heirs of salvation". Angels are to serve the elect of mankind on this earth. Therefore, heaven was not created for the benefit of God, and heaven was not created for the benefit of the angels. For whom was heaven created? You see, heaven was created as a temporary dwelling place for mankind. From the beginning of creation God knew full well that He was going to create a NH&NE, and God would do away with the present heaven. God knew this from eternity past. So, let us see who is in heaven right now, together with God and with angels who did not follow Lucifer in his rebellion against God. First God raptured Enoch, and then Elijah. Then God resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. And then after Christ's resurrection God resurrected many of the saints, and took them into heaven. All these are in heaven in body and soul. In addition, there are many millions of souls in heaven of all the saints that have died, who are there just in their spirit essence. But when the Last Day of the existence of this earth has arrived, all these souls will be united with their new glorified bodies, and after the judgment that follows this earth's destruction, God will do away with the present heaven and God will create a NH&NE. This entire gigantic heaven will be done away. Why would God create a NH&NE? Because it will be better than the present heaven. We do not know why it would be better, but God would not create it if it would not be better. And God does all this for the benefit of the elect of mankind.

Now, consider this universe. As you know, God made this earth to be a temporary dwelling place for mankind. But the Bible says that God created the stars also, and God set the celestial bodies, such as the sun and moon and stars, in the firmament "to give light upon the earth". We know that this earth, together with all the planets, belongs to the solar system. This solar system is only a speck of dust in our great wide galaxy containing billions of stars. But there are billions of galaxies in our universe. Our galaxy is only a speck of dust in this great universe. As far as we can see in space we see more and more galaxies, and they are all made from the same 92 elements that our earth is made of. To make a long story short, "We are all alone in this great big universe". God created this great universe to show us that He is the infinite God who made heaven and earth, and to have us admire His handiwork in space. But all this is only temporary, for the benefit of the elect of mankind, until the Last Day has arrived. At that time God will do away this earth and this great wide universe, because it has fulfilled its purpose, and God will create a NH&NE, which is made of different elements than this universe is, and where totally different laws of nature are at work. God knew this before He created the first speck of dust. And so, when we read, for example in Eph 1:4,

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

We realize that God not only "chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world", but He also chose to create heaven and this great wide universe as temporary dwelling places for us whom He has chosen. There are many people who refuse to believe that God chose us before the foundation of the world. It takes away their self-respect, and their high opinion of their own morality. But God says in Psalm 58 that mankind appears as poisonous serpents in His eyes. Therefore it is all the more awesome that God was willing to send His only begotten Son to die for those "serpents". We read in

1Cor 2:2 the Gospel in a nutshell:

#2. Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified (1Cor 2:2, Gen 2:17)

We have seen the beauty of the wisdom of God, and we have seen the beauty of the love of God, but have we seen the beauty of the Atonement of Christ for our sins? God says here in 1Cor 2:2,

1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

The Lord Jesus Christ, the beloved of God the Father, God's only begotten Son who was exalted in heaven, came to earth and there they crucified Him. And why? Out of envy! Is it any wonder that God compares mankind to a bunch of poisonous snakes? Christ came to pay the penalty for our sins in our place. So great was His love for His people that He was willing to suffer in their place the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. We see in here the love of Christ for His people, and we recognize the love of the Father for His only begotten Son. But do we realize that there was a force greater than the love of God that was responsible for bringing Christ to the cross? Many preachers speak of the love of God as His greatest attribute. Others think that it is His holiness that is His greatest attribute. They missed the target by a mile. God's righteousness is His greatest attribute. Everything else has to take second place after God's righteousness. Even His love has to take second place after His righteousness. What is His righteousness? It means His justness. The words righteous and just are translations out of the same Greek word in the NT, or out of the same Hebrew word in the OT. When we say that God is a righteous Judge, we also mean that God is a just Judge. When did God lay down the Law that the wages of sin is death? No, it was not at the time that He dictated the Epistle to the Romans; it was at the time when He told Adam, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die". And the death that God had in view was the 2nd death, which means to spend an eternity in Hell. God stated the law, God stated the penalty for the crime, and God as the righteous Judge demands that the penalty be paid. But before Adam sinned God had chosen the Bride for His Son, and this Bride consists of very sinful human beings who cannot enter into heaven with sins clinging to them. Those sins had to be paid before these sinners could enter into God's presence. Therefore the Lord Jesus was sent to this earth to pay for our sins in our place, because we could not pay such an enormous price, whereas He could. And He did pay the full price, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. The Father loved His only begotten Son, but His love had to be subservient to His righteousness. That is why God the Son, united with a human nature in the body of Jesus, the son of Mary, was nailed to a tree to indicate that He had come under the curse of God. He bore the sins of all those whom the Father had chosen to be the Bride of Christ. All those sins had to be paid in full. Only then could His Bride come into heaven, and only then could there be a marriage at the end of time. Those were the sins Christ came to atone. No other sins were atoned for at the cross. Not one can be added, and not one may be forgotten. This is the meaning of Christ crucified.

The beauty of the atonement was in the substitution. Almighty God, the Judge, was taking our place on the penalty bench. That is why we read in verses 9-10,

1Co 2:9-10 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

We would not have dreamed that Almighty God would take our place on the penalty bench. When Lucifer committed the perfect crime, or so he thought, by tempting Adam and Eve to eat from the forbidden fruit, he did not think of the possibility that God would substitute for mankind, or else he would not have condemned himself to Hell. And on the evening of that last Passover meal, about 2000 years ago, Satan could not believe that Jesus would be successful in paying the full price for our sins, or else he would not have entered into Judas Iscariot to initiate the crucifixion of Jesus. This act of God substituting for man is so strange that no human being could have invented this kind of a Gospel. But God did. And God testified in the scriptures of this fact. God said in Isa 53:5,

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

The act of substitution is written so plainly here, it is surprising that even Satan missed it. Or perhaps it was so unbelievable that no one really thought it was possible. But God says it in more than one text of Scripture. God says in Jer 23:6,

Jer 23:6 In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Israel refers to the Israel of God, personified in the One who is their Bridegroom, Christ, who is also called Israel. How can we be righteous in God's sight? Jehovah will be our righteousness. He will substitute for us, so that He will give His righteousness to us as a covering for our sins. The Lord Jesus Christ is called Jehovah in this verse. God repeats this in Jer 33:16,

Jer 33:16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, JEHOVAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Jerusalem shall dwell safely. The context indicates that this text refers to after the cross. Which Jerusalem is God talking about? God is speaking of Jerusalem that is above, because the "Jerusalem which now is, is in bondage with her children". Therefore "she" refers to the body of believers. Their righteousness is entirely from Jehovah, which is Christ.

What have we learned so far? We have seen that the Deep Things of God are implied in the Atonement of Christ. They are the Deep things of Christ crucified. That is why the Apostle Paul wrote, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified". Do we believe that? Do we believe that the crucifixion is the pivotal point in history at which God judged the entire human race at the cross? Do we also believe that this is the God whom we serve, and that He is an absolutely sovereign God, whose righteousness is His greatest attribute. And do we believe that our salvation rests only in the atonement of Christ? We may lose our mind, but Christ does not lose our soul. Therefore, here is the application:

#3. Not By the Wisdom of Men (1Cor 2:3-5, Psalm 73:24-26)

Let us read again verses 3-5,

1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

We are not saved because we have listened to a dynamic preacher, and we are not saved because the preacher used such excellent words to touch our hearts, and we are not saved because of the beautiful choir, or the beautiful building, or the beautiful ceremonies. None of that. We will be saved when God wants to save us, "so that our faith does not depend on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God". There is where we put our trust. Please turn now to Psalm 73:24 (2X). We put our trust in the faith that God has given us. In Psalm 73 Asaph was envious of the physical prosperity of the wicked. But then he recognized where they were heading; he was glad that God was on his side,

Ps 73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

Ps 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

Ps 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Lord, where else would we turn? We shall not be saved by the wisdom of men,

Please look across the page to Psalm 72:17 (2X). Psalm 72 is a Psalm that praises the Lord Jesus Christ for all His wonderful works.

Ps 72:17 His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.

Ps 72:18 Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.

Ps 72:19 And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

Have you heard of the hymn, "God Moves in a Mysterious Way"? There you find the following words:

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head. This is the 3rd stanza of the hymn titled, "God Moves in a Mysterious way", which we are going to sing in a few minutes.

AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.

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