“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.” (1 Corinthians 2:15–16, AV)
When I began my consulting business to the packaging industry, I had planned to evaluate manufacturing processes and implement improvements in machinery and processes. However, when you run your own business, you find out that you will often need to take associated work to keep your clients satisfied and keep the company solvent. So, often I would take on the work of troubleshooting and servicing industrial machinery.
On one trip, a customer asked me to troubleshoot a printing press that was giving them problems. There was a problem in the electrical system. To troubleshoot the machine, the electrical schematics were essential. The schematics were printed on perhaps a hundred or so pages. I took the schematics, my test meter, and climbed up on the mezzanine to work on the problem. Unfortunately, the printing on the wiring diagrams was small and faint and the lighting on this particular machine was dim. I could not read the schematics. So, I used my flashlight to read the schematics and then diagnosed the problem.
We cannot properly understand any printed material if we do not have enough light to read it. It is only with proper illumination that we can read, understand, and act upon what we read. It is the same understanding the things of God as written in the Scriptures. Paul is dealing with this in these verses.
In the previous post, we considered the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit in revealing the basic message of the gospel. Yet, this illuminating work of the Spirit is not over when a person comes to saving faith, it is just beginning. The illuminating work of the Spirit of God continues with the believer so he or she can understand and obey the fullness of God’s will revealed in the Scriptures. It is as if the Holy Spirit turns on the lightbulb that we might see and understand what we read.
Yet, there are some important things for us to understand in this work of the Spirit. First, we need to be in the word. We need to read and study it like mining for precious gold. Paul wrote the following.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, AV)
The word of God gives us everything we need for life. One major reason that many Christians struggle is that they do not seek the truth contained in the Scriptures.
Second, sometimes we struggle to understand what we read. This may result from not praying, asking for God to grant insight into His word. We may also be living by the flesh and not the Spirit. To live by the Spirit, we must avoid the sinful entanglements of the world and the improper desires of the flesh.
Last, the believer must not become discouraged if he or she struggles to understand some things. Even some great scholars still wrestle with some passages of Scripture. Understand that Scripture builds upon itself. We must study all sixty-six books of the Bible repeatedly to gain a fuller understanding of it. The more times you go through the entire Bible, the more you will understand.
Do not grow frustrated in what you do not know and do not grow weary in seeking the truth of Scripture. Your knowledge will grow as you continue.