So, how do you know?

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Prepare

Spend a moment or two jotting down the different ways in which you know about things such as, for example, the weather, your mother’s love, the train timetable, right and wrong.


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Bible passage 1 Corinthians 2:6-16


Wisdom From the Spirit
 6We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:
   "No eye has seen,
      no ear has heard,
   no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him"— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
      The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
 16"For who has known the mind of the Lord
      that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


Audio Bible passage


The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).


Explore the Bible


Unknowable God…
Many would say that we would never know God or anything about him unless he takes the initiative to reveal himself to us. This is called ‘revelation’. And God has to take the first step. Theologians call this ‘prevenient grace’.

And, for many people, religion of any sort appears to be a completely closed book. We hear people say ‘I just don’t get it’. And why would we assume that we should be able to work God out or be clever enough to make him up? Almost by definition our ideas would be less than what we normally think of as ‘God’.

…revealed by the Holy Spirit
It’s at this point that Paul introduces us to one of the main functions of the Holy Spirit – to make God known to us. He, indeed, reveals God to humanity, and we must pray for the special kind of wisdom and conviction that only the Holy Spirit can impart to ordinary human beings.

Note Paul’s wonderful statement of confidence in verse 16. How can he say that to these very imperfect Christians?


Respond


Pray for yourself and your church leaders that you and they will not operate only on the ‘straightforward’ wisdom of the world around you, but seek God’s special wisdom through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Robert Willoughby


Deeper Bible study


‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3:9). Take a moment to prepare your heart to hear God, just as Samuel did.

A shop window may be full of goodies, but until the shopkeeper lifts the blinds they remain out of sight. This simple act of unveiling is what the word ‘revelation’ means, describing what God has done for us by his Spirit. In Corinth there was great interest in wisdom, both in culture and in the church. In the teaching of the false apostles and opponents of Paul, wisdom was highly prized. Earthly wisdom alone, though, will not satisfy our longing to know God. We need God to lift the blinds to reveal his nature and his ways, through the work of the Holy Spirit within us. He alone is the source of true revelation, not the media, or even what other people say. Only then can we discover God’s secret, the gospel of salvation in Christ.

Paul is not despising education, but he calls his readers to recognise its limitations without the Holy Spirit’s revelation. No human mind has yet conceived the full extent of what God has prepared for his children in eternity, but it can be grasped by faith in the power of the Spirit. Such divine revelation can keep us from despair when trouble comes. When we feel that we are wasting away outwardly and troubles get us down, the Spirit within renews us and gives us a divine, eternal perspective that keeps us going (2 Corinthians 4:16–18).

Those who live without a personal relationship with God through his Spirit are ill-equipped to understand spiritual realities – these realities are foolishness to them (v 14). Jesus told Nicodemus that unless someone is born again by the same Spirit they cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). There is a spiritual blindness around us today. Being able to see the kingdom, even to the extent that we can have the mind of Christ, is the work of the Spirit.

Eric Gaudion


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Christmas Countdown


How many words are needed to tell the Christmas story? In this poem video, all it takes are 50…

Poem by Dana Livesay. The musical track "Solace" created by Brian Wurzell and TJ Hill.
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Audio


Once again (Jesus, Christ)
Matt Redman
Copyright © 1995 Thankyou Music
Buy this and other great worship songs at www.kingswayshop.com



  • Song: God only wise
  • Composer: Eoghan Heaslip & Nick Herbert
  • Artist: Eoghan Heaslip
  • Album: Wonderful Story
  • Publisher: Survivor Music
  • Copyright: Copyright © 2008 Thankyou Music
  • Buy this album here 



Comments
  • Rachael Hampton | Wednesday, 06 December 2017

    The blind HAS been lifted, and we CAN see and know God's nature and His ways. Glorious truth! When we really believe His Spirit lives within us we will expect to hear His promptings, know His strength and comfort, obey His voice, and enjoy His presence. May I live as though I truly believe this life changing, mind boggling truth. Hilary, we are grateful with you that Mark was kept safe. Carol, I hope all went well with the drain insertion, and you can now rest and recover. Angela, thanks for the reminder that Jesus loved parties and people, at this time when family and friends gather. Sue, do you live on the Central Coast of NSW? Or is there another Erina Fair somewhere else in the world. I hope many Christians contact that shopping centre to thank them for Christ centered display.

  • Sue Hanson | Wednesday, 06 December 2017

    Yes I live on the Central Coast. And we do go to management and thank them.I read the comments and am aware of the problems that many of the family here have. I don't openly comment on them but please be aware that you are all in my prayers. So I take this opportunity to wish everyone a time of blessing over Christmas. I go to a large church here and our senior pastor goes to England at least once a year to encourage the planting of churches. Most of our pastors are from the main Anglican Bible college, Moore college. But our church is non denominational. I would say somewhere between 30 to 50 churches have been planted throughout Australia by the FIEC ie the Federation of Independent Evangelical Churches. I will be going to Katoomba for the CMS Summer School in January. That gives me a chance to catch up with old friends and meet some of the missionaries we support. Where do you live Rachel?

  • Graham Keen | Wednesday, 06 December 2017

    It's easy to think that the wisdom of the world is taking over more and more as same-sex "marriage", gender fluidity and other ideas have come to dominate cultural discussion. But we have the words of wisdom, words taught by the Spirit (v13). Foolishness to the one without the Spirit of God. Lord show us how to express Your words effectively in the midst of all this. Sue I used to live on the Central Coast but am now in Melbourne at an Anglican church. I will also be attending the CMS Summer School - the one in Melbourne.

  • Hilary Dale | Thursday, 07 December 2017

    Wow I am bowled over by thinking about the idea from this passage: that the Spirit that searches, knows, and IS the depth of God's thoughts and person....dwells now in ME and now resources my thoughts, being, actions. What hope. What an awesome, undeserved amazingness!

  • Hilary Dale | Thursday, 07 December 2017

    Thankyou once again for your kindness and prayer over the last few days. And thankyou Gilvin for the Jer verses. That means a lot to me. Thankyou also to who ever (Ruth?) recommended the Big Pray books to me earlier this year. They have really blessed and equipped me to keep engaged with the Lord through specific prayer in some difficult seasons over recent months. Thankyou, that has been a major help.

  • Angela Munday | Thursday, 07 December 2017

    "Our one true love"; this is what is thought about most and fills the heart, mind and soul constantly. May our own spirit within be recognised as it is the vital part of everyone. We possess the key to open our own precious gift and let it shine in the light.....LORD, look at us we pray and see that we are all your people. (From Isaiah 64) May there be peace and harmony on this earth that You created. Amen.

  • Jack Russell | Thursday, 07 December 2017

    Hilary, yes indeed it is beautiful to consider the depths of the thoughts and person of God - Spirit in the believer ushering in unearned hope, awe and amazement done out of the free giving of love. What sprung out to me today was the verse about the spiritual man making judgements about all kinds of things but not being subjected to man's judgment. Of course with the same level of judgement you give to others will be given to you. But what Paul is saying here I think is that the believer does not have to be the subject of the world's judgement ultimately (although the world will judge) but that of God and this is where ultimately judgement lies. In that light, creativity, I find, may very well be recognised by those in charge today. But for the ones who are egotistical, it will not be valued because they always want to feel in control and take the credit for everything. And so, the need for encouragement and support for everyone who is hated because of Christ. Something that Jesus did beautifully in the beatitudes by showing that such is a sign of you doing something right and great is your reward in heaven!

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Thursday, 07 December 2017

    v 16. What an awesome statement! How can we tap this mind of Christ? God’s Word is Spirit and life (John 6:63). God’s Word has written in print what is written in our hearts in the mind of Christ. Therefore, as we study God’s Word with the revelation knowledge of the Holy Spirit, this mind of Christ is reproduced in our physical minds and the life of God is released in our bodies. Let me quote a prime example of this as I read this morning "And this is the testimony (evidence proof): God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son. Whoever has the Son has life..."I have read that verse many time in 1 John but this morning a new revelation reached my inner physical being of the Father heart of God. Father, in your presence is fullness of joy. Everything the world has to offer is just baubles and trinkets compared with knowing the embrace of the love you lavish continually, wholeheartedly and unconditionally upon me. Keep me forever enthralled at the wonder of your cherished embrace that I may live a righteous life in your Son as you are righteous, in Jesus name, Amen

  • Christopher Brann | Thursday, 07 December 2017

    #Podcast awesome, thank you for this

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