Spiritually Appraised

Thursday, September 28, 2017, 2:17 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Lord, I Need You.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Corinthians 2 (NASB).

The Power of God (vv. 1-5)

And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

If it’s our own words, from our own flesh, what good are those words in leading people to faith in Jesus Christ, or in urging our fellow believers to walk in holiness and not according to the flesh? If we have been to Bible college, or if we have studied Greek or Hebrew, or if we are experts in doctrine and theology, and then we speak from head knowledge instead of heart knowledge (experience), we may impress people with our knowledge, but our words will lack the power of God behind them to change human hearts. Or, if we have the power of persuasion, from our own flesh, and if we are smooth tongued, witty, and charming, we may lead people to like us and to follow us, but we won’t lead them to the cross of Christ.

There is nothing wrong with knowledge, mind you. The Apostle Paul was an educated man who was well schooled in the scriptures. And, we are to study the scriptures to show ourselves approved unto God as workers who do not need to be ashamed, but who correctly handle the word of truth. We are to meditate on the Word, and to know the truth, and to share the truth of God’s Word with others, so that they may also know Christ Jesus, our Lord, and walk in his ways. And, we are to live the truth, and not be those who merely hear the Word but then walk away and forget what they look like. Yet, we are to share the Word of Truth in the power of God, allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our words, so that the message comes from God and not from our human flesh, so that God gets all the glory and praise, and not us.

The Wisdom of God (vv. 6-13)

Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but 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.

When we are attempting to share our faith with others, it is imperative that we seek the counsel of God, and that we allow the Holy Spirit to direct our words. This is not to say that our words will be perfect or eloquent, but that if the Holy Spirit is behind them, they have power to change lives. For example, I once heard a testimony from a man about how he came to faith in Jesus Christ. He was in college, and there was a young woman who regularly shared her faith out in the open, on campus, and one day he listened to her, and when she asked him if he wanted to believe in Jesus Christ, he said “Yes.” He said, from a human standpoint, that was one of the worst presentations of the gospel he had ever heard, but the Holy Spirit was in the words the woman spoke, and he responded in faith.

You know, there were probably people there who mocked this woman, or who thought she was foolish, and who probably made fun of her lack of ability to express herself with eloquence in speech, but it didn’t matter, because she was being obedient to Christ, and her ability to communicate with distinction was not essential. What was essential was her submission to the Spirit of God, her willingness to speak the words God gave her to speak, and her faithfulness in service, even if she was derided, in return. For, God chose the weak things, and the lowly and despised things, so that no one might boast in God’s presence (1 Co. 1:26-31). We need to be those who speak words taught us by the Spirit of God rather than those who speak words taught by human wisdom when we are sharing our faith with others.

The Mind of Christ (vv. 14-16)

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.

In our human flesh, we cannot comprehend the things of God. This is not to say that all believers in Jesus have perfect understanding of all that is spiritual and is of God. We don’t yet (See: 1 Co. 13:9-12). It is also not to say that unbelievers cannot understand spiritual things, for how else would anyone be saved? But, it is the Spirit of God who quickens their hearts and minds to understand what God is saying to them, the same as it is for us who are believers in Jesus Christ. We, in our sin natures, do not accept the things of God, and we cannot understand them, for they are spiritually discerned. That is why God has given us the Holy Spirit to reveal his words (his truths) to us, but we have to be receptive to hear what the Spirit is saying and to respond in faith and obedience, or it will all fall on deaf ears.

But, if we are willing, and we are receptive, and we will listen and obey, and we will trust Jesus Christ with our lives, his Holy Spirit will come to dwell within us, and he will speak God’s words to our hearts so that we understand what is spiritual, and so we can apply these things to our lives. Then, it is not for lack of knowledge if we do not follow our Lord in obedience, because we have God living within us, and his Spirit revealing God’s truths to our minds and hearts. Thus, we have the mind of Christ within us and we can know God’s will, so that we can DO God’s will. But, we do so, not in our own power and strength, for we still live in flesh bodies, but we do so in the power and strength of our Lord who gives us all we need to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to him, and for his glory and purposes.

Lord, I Need You
Songwriters: Christy Nockels / Daniel Carson /
Jesse Reeves / Kristian Stanfill / Matt Maher

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You…
My one defense, my righteousness…

 

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