Inspiration (1 Corinthians 2:11-13)

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. 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.” (1 Corinthians 2:11–12, AV)

I remember when my wife and I were first married, I really did not talk a lot. I know that communication is vital in a marriage, but growing up we never talked a lot in our household. I guess, I just was not that good at making conversation. My wife would often say, “What are you thinking about?” I would respond with, “Nothing.” Most times I was thinking about something, only it was something either nonsensical, not-worth repeating, or something going on in my life, usually work, that I did not want to talk about. The point is that neither my wife nor I were mind readers.

Paul is writing to the Corinthian church regarding the revelation of the wisdom of God. Here, he was clarifying that the wisdom of God that he and others preached was not man made. It was given by divine inspiration.

He begins the thought by saying that no one can determine the thoughts of another. The only one who knows the thought of another person is that person’s spirit. In other words, the only one who know your thoughts, on the earthly side of this equation, is yourself. (We realize that God being omniscient knows all, even our thoughts.) Paul uses this analogy to show that no one knows the deep thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Paul continues the logic of this presentation by saying that he and the others who have preached the truth have received the Spirit of God and not the spirit of the world. Thus, the truths they present are the wisdom of God that came by the Spirit of God and not the wisdom of the world. Therefore, he goes on to say, “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” (1 Corinthians 2:13, AV). The point is that Paul and those who preached the gospel did not present man’s worldly wisdom but God’s heavenly wisdom.

This is an explanation of the doctrine of inspiration. The 66 books of the Bible we have were given through divine inspiration. Paul wrote to Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16, AV). Jesus told the disciples that the truths of Scripture come through the agency of the Spirit of God (John 16:13). Peter put it this way,

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20–21, AV)

The big point here is that our Bible is the word of God. Therefore, as written by the original authors, it is infallible, immutable, and authoritative. It is God’s wisdom given to us. It is not the foolish babblings of men. Because it is the wisdom from God, we must seek it, learn from it, and live by it.

(More on this in the next devotion.)

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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