Wisdom Through the Spirit (1 Corinthians Sermon 8)

Previous Page

Wisdom Through the Spirit (1 Corinthians Sermon 8)

November 04, 2018 | Andrew Davis

Introduction: The Information Age

So turn in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians chapter 2. We are looking this morning at verses 6-16. We live in an age, relentlessly hungry for information. Some people even call it the information age. It was born by digital technology which has resulted in remarkable devices like the smartphone. It's amazing what these things can do. Search on Google, some words of archaic medieval poem, and it comes up in like three-tenths of a second. It's more than just freaky fast, it's just simply freaky. Google's supercomputers handle 40,000 search queries per second on average, 3.5 billion searches every day, and 1.5 trillion searches a year on average. So there's this relentless thirst for knowledge, for facts. And it extends to an instantaneous awareness of current events. An earthquake in Haiti, or popular uprising in Venezuela, the death of a celebrity, all of it coming to us in real time, as it's happening. This is the power of these smartphones. Data shows that by next year, there may be as many as 2.5 billion smartphone users worldwide. Yet for all of this amazing access to knowledge, there's an appalling lack of wisdom. The world continues to go on, in its foolishness, acting like there is no God, acting like there are no 10 Commandments, that there is no death, and no Judgment Day that follows.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is being heard every single day by more people than ever before, in history, but it's also being rejected by more people than ever before in history. Now, the text that we're going to look at today explains why. Look at verse 14. "The 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." But we who are Christians, we have been rescued from that spiritual darkness. And we have been specifically rescued from our darkness by the Holy Spirit of God. And so this morning we as Christians are going to celebrate the sovereign work of the Spirit in our lives. That He was able to speak into the darkness of our hearts, and show us Christ. And He's still doing that, He's going to continue to do that, as long as we live. This is the ministry of the Spirit of God. We're going to continue to follow the argument of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1 and 2 as he wrote to the Corinthian church concerning the wisdom of God in the cross, and we're going to see specifically the ministry of the Spirit and delivering that wisdom to us.

I. The Deep Mystery of God is Infinitely Wise

The deep mystery of God is infinitely wise. Paul is tracing out for the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 1-2, the apparent foolishness of the Gospel. And he's done it for a very clear reason because the Corinthians, like all Greeks, loved human philosophy, they loved human wisdom, they were enamored with it. Greek philosophy was their glory, it's what made them shine in the world. And Paul is seeking to expose their pride, their arrogance, the utter foolishness of human wisdom. And so he's been revealing effectively the competing systems of wisdom here. God's wisdom versus man's wisdom. They're in direct competition. And he's been revealing how God's wisdom appears to be foolish to the world, to the natural mind. And he does it in three steps. First, in the middle part of 1 Corinthians 1, he begins by talking about the cross of Christ. And the cross of Christ seems foolish. How could a dead Jewish man on a Roman cross be the Savior of the world? That just seems foolish. And then the second step was the Corinthian church itself. How could such an assembly of people that no one really would want, not many wise, not many influential, not many of noble birth, the foolish people really of the world, that no one wants. They are Christ's church. And that seems foolish.

And then the third step we looked at last week is how would God choose as a messenger someone like Paul, who was not a very polished speaker and had rejected the strategy of polished rhetoric and speaking. He put that aside, and was even that day, not at his best. He said he was with them in weakness and fear and much trembling. It seems foolish. Why would God use such a messenger? But there is, in fact, an amazing wisdom in all of this. So as Joel began his reading in verse six it starts with the word 'yet.' So, I've been tracing out why we're turning now, we're turning a corner concerning all of this. There actually is an amazing wisdom in all of this. He's been calling Christ crucified the foolishness of God and the weakness of God, but actually it is infinite wisdom, it is infinite strength. And in this competition between God's wisdom and man's wisdom, God is going to have the final word. God is in the business of leveling human pride. Isaiah 2 makes this plain that God is set against human arrogance, human pride, against all the lofty towers and the stately trading vessels, and all the high mountains of human arrogance, those are idolatrous self-worshipping systems of human arrogance. Isaiah 2 says that God is going to level all of that. "The Lord alone will be exalted in that day." And He uses the gospel and the church and messengers of the Gospel to level human pride.

The Gospel is Actually an Infinitely Wise Message

So actually, Paul says here, we do preach a message of wisdom. Look at verses 6 and 7, "We 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. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined, decreed for our glory before time began." So Paul speaks of we, we being messengers like me. Faithful evangelists, faithful missionaries, faithful pastors who are preaching this message. We who are speaking this message, we actually are speaking a message of wisdom. In fact, you're going to see on Judgment Day just how wise this message really was. In my home state of Massachusetts up in Newburyport there is the burial site of one of the greatest evangelists of all time, George Whitefield. And Whitfield wanted this put on his tomb as a memorial, concerning his life, "Here lies George Whitefield. What sort of man he was, Judgment Day will reveal." Now George Whitefield was one of the most famous men on earth at that point. A lot of people spoke for him or against him. He said, "You want to know who I really am, wait till Judgment Day. Then you'll see."

That's true of all of us, what kind of person we really were will be revealed on Judgment Day. Well, I want to take that idea and apply it to the Gospel. Here is the Gospel of Christ, how wise it really is will be revealed on Judgment Day. But it would be very good for all of us to see its wisdom now while there's time. Before Judgment Day comes when it's too late to believe this message, it is good for us now, by faith to see how wise the message of Christ and Him crucified, really is. And so he says, "To the mature, we speak a message of wisdom." Or to the perfect, that's one translation but I think it just means to those who have received this gospel message, to those who love it, who are swimming in it, and delight in it, we can see it, can't we? We can see this is a message of wisdom. So, among the mature we are speaking a message of wisdom. And this deep mystery of God is infinitely wise. It is wise because it lines up with the central reality there is in the universe. It's foolish to live in a fantasy, in a fantasy world, in a world that isn't. We believe that God the Creator and the King and the Judge has a throne in Heaven, and that throne is the center of the entire universe. And so it is infinitely foolish to deny that Creator, King and Judge, that God.

But this gospel message lines us up with that central reality. So it is very wise. The deep mystery of God and Christ is infinitely wise also because there are just so many dimensions to it, it's a very deep, wise, multi-faceted thing, what God is doing with sinners in the world through Christ. And so, it's very wise actually. And it's so wise and so overwhelming that the Apostle Paul as he was unfolding the deepest clearest exposition of the gospel, which is the book of Romans, as he's going step by step by step, and especially in that section in Romans 9-11, where he's dealing with the perplexing problem of the Jews and why the overwhelming majority of the Jews are rejecting Christ, and he gives us three chapters of answer to that, including the future when all Israel will be saved and he goes through all of that. And then it's almost like he looks at what he's written and he can't fathom everything that the Holy Spirit has told him to write in the book of Romans. And so he just gives this incredible doxology. "Oh, the depths of the riches of the wisdom and the knowledge of God. How unsearchable His judgments. And His paths beyond tracing out. Who has known the mind of the Lord? And who has been His counselor?" And so he's just in awe at the words he wrote that he doesn't understand, but he wrote them as an instrument of the Holy Spirit. And so, it is wise, this gospel is wise, because it is so multi-faceted and complex.

Thirdly, this deep mystery of God is infinitely wise, because it is so powerful in humbling humanity, and we need humbling. We have been allied with Satan in his arrogant rebellion against God, who sought to ascend and topple God from His heavenly throne. We joined him in the Garden of Eden, and we have been arrogant and lofty and so proud and boastful, this gospel is wise because it humbles us. And what it's going to do is it's going to rescue people from every tribe, language, people or nation and humble us and quiet us around the throne of God, where we celebrate His grace in saving us. That's what it's going to do. So it's a very wise message.

It is also infinitely wise, because it displays all of the perfections, the qualities, the attributes of God, puts them all on display. God's power, His justice, His wisdom, His mercy, His kindness, His patience, His love, all of these things are on display in the cross and in the gospel. And so it's infinitely wise, finally, because it overcomes all of Satan's complex powerful opposition to it. Satan is very intelligent, far more intelligent than any of us, and he set up all of these faulty religions and these idolatrous systems, and they're very persuasive and they're very powerful. God's wisdom is wise because it knows how to topple all of those systems and level them and rescue us out of them all, redeemed in Heaven. So see how wise is this gospel, how infinitely wise.

The Ultimate End of this Wisdom: God’s Glory and Ours

Now, the ultimate end of all this, look at verse 7, is God's glory in ours, in our glory. That's the end, that's where we're heading. God will be glorified by us being glorified. Look at verse 7, it says, "We speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden, and that God destined or predestined or decreed for our glory, before time began."

Now that's amazing. Before time began, God worked out this message, this gospel message, so that we would end up glorious in His presence. Now God does everything for His own glory, it says in Revelation 5:13. And this is a little glimpse of heavenly worship. They're all around the throne, and they are celebrating and this is what they say, "To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb," that's Jesus, "be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever." That's what we're going to be doing in heaven, just giving God the honor and the glory. So God does everything for that, for His own glory. But God will be most glorified in us when we are finally glorified in Him. When we are in our resurrection bodies, when we are shining like the sun in the kingdom of our Father, God will get maximum glory from any of His creatures at that point, that's the maximum glory there will ever be. And so God actually destined this message that we would be glorious in His presence, and it'll be His glory in us. It's not an independent glory like we're in competition, we'll be shining with His glory.

In Revelation 21:10-11, an angel showed John the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. Now listen to this Revelation 21:11, "It shone with the glory of God and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel like a Jasper, clear as crystal." That's the people of God, and we're going to be shinning with the glory of God through Christ. So God destined this message before time began, that we would end up glorious in Him. How powerful is that?

II. The Deep Wisdom of God is Hidden from the People of this Age

Now, the deep wisdom, this deep wisdom of God that we've been talking about is hidden from the people of this age. It is a secret wisdom. Look again at verse 7, "No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began." This is a mysterious thing. This is a hidden wisdom. And Paul calls the wisdom of God, the secret thing hidden in the mind of God, he calls them the deep things of God. This is something that the world with all of its philosophical brilliance, or its scientific acumen, with all of the precision of human technology and science, we could never have figured it out, never have plumbed the depths of it.

The focus of this wisdom is Christ who was hidden in the mind of God, before He revealed Him. Isaiah 49 speaks of Christ being concealed like a secret arrow in a quiver, and at the right time, He unveiled Him. And little by little He unveiled Him in prophecy, but then at the right time, unveiled Him. This wisdom has been hidden in the mind of God, and God destined for our glory before time began. So that means before God said, "Let there be light," He worked all of this out. Revelation 13:8 speaks of Jesus as the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. So that means He was effectively, it was worked out that He would die for our sins before God said, "Let there be light." All of this was worked out in the mind of God, before time began. And Ephesians 1 tells us that God chose His elect people from every tribe, language, people, and nation, before the world began. It says in Ephesians 1:4 that God  "chose us in Christ," "before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight." So this is something God had worked out before the creation of the world.

Now, God's wisdom is not the wisdom of this age. Verse 6, "Not the wisdom of this age or the rulers of this age who are coming to nothing." Here he makes it plain that the secret wisdom of God is not the wisdom that Satan is selling in the present age. The rulers of this age rejected it in every generation. So back in the day, the Greek heroes like Alexander the Great, who thought might makes right and won an empire with the edge of his sword, rejected the wisdom of God. And philosophical heroes like Plato and Aristotle and Socrates, they didn't discern the wisdom of God, they didn't discern Christ. And so also the rulers of our age are going to be universally rejecting the gospel of Christ. Don't be shocked by that, that the movers and shakers of the 21st century in America and around the world, the political leaders, the Fortune 500 CEO’s, the best and the brightest, the most brilliant individuals, the talking heads that everybody goes to for all this insight, for them, almost universally, this is foolishness. Just like it was in Paul's age.

But Paul says the rulers of this age are coming to nothing. They're going to be exposed on Judgment Day as having been wrong, having been foolish. The crucifixion of Christ as essential moment in human history proves their blindness. Look at verse 8-9, "None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." The rulers of this age proved that they did not understand what God was doing by crucifying Jesus.

Some people think the rulers of this age refers to Satan and his demons, and that kind of terminology is used in Ephesians 6, but here I really think it's humans. Because in context he says, "As it is written, 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard…'" He's talking about human beings, human rulers. And so, Annas and Caiaphas and the Jewish Sanhedrin, by rejecting Jesus, by the high priest tearing his robes and saying, "He's spoken blasphemy," they didn't recognize that Jesus was what the text says, "the Lord of glory." They didn't see Jesus as the Lord of glory. And why? Because Isaiah 53:3 says, "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him." Nothing in His appearance, He just looked like an ordinary man, and they considered it blasphemy that He would be calling Himself the Son of God. And so, they didn't see it. If they had seen and known who He was, they would never have crucified Him.

Pontius Pilate, I think he was puzzled by Jesus, he was troubled by Jesus. I think he wondered who Jesus was. His wife had a dream about Him, he was afraid of Jesus in some sense, but he didn't recognize Him as the Lord of Glory. If he had, he would never have given the order to his soldiers to crucify Him. They would not have crucified Him if they had known who He was, the Lord of glory. Supporting verse in verse 9, "However, 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." Now people who use this verse to talk about our own future. Like, I'm writing a book now on heaven, and one person said to me, "Well, I don't think we can know anything about heaven 'cause it says, 'No eye has seen no ear has heard, neither has it entered the heart of man what God has prepared for us in heaven.'" Just read the next verse. God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. So, so much for that.

But I don't even think it's talking about Heaven, this is talking about Christ crucified and resurrected. It's talking about the gospel and no eye has seen, and no ear has heard and neither has it entered into the heart of man. The natural mind would never have thought of this. We would not have come up with this gospel. No human author, no William Shakespeare, no Charles Dickens, no Mark Twain, would have ever been able to concoct this, they never would have come up with this story.

Some time ago I came across a bit of prose, written to just give us a sense of the greatness and the mystery of the life of Christ. Let me read it to you. It Said this:

"More than nineteen hundred years ago there was a Man born contrary to the laws of life. This Man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did He cross the boundary of the country in which He lived; that was during His exile in childhood.

He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous, and had neither training nor formal education. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood He puzzled doctors; in manhood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His service.

He never wrote a book, and yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, and yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all the song writers combined.

He never founded a college, but all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun; and yet no leader ever had more volunteers who have, under His orders, made more rebels stack arms and surrender without a shot fired.

He never practiced psychiatry, and yet He healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near. Once each week the wheels of commerce cease their turning and multitudes wend their way to worshipping assemblies to pay homage and respect to Him.

The names of the past proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone; but the name of this Man abounds more and more. Though time has spread nineteen hundred years between the people of this generation and the scene of His crucifixion, yet He still lives. Herod could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him.

He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils, as the living, personal Christ, our Lord and Savior." —The Incomparable Christ

Now, no human author would come up with that, it's impossible. And the rulers of this age cannot understand this Wisdom. Verse 14, "The natural man," that's the literalistic translation. One translation says, "The man without the Spirit," but it's just the normal man, the non-supernatural man, "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." Every unbeliever around the world is inherently hostile to both the Law and the Gospel. When he hears the law of God, he fights against it. Romans 8:7 says, "The mind of the flesh is hostile to God, it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot."

III. The Spirit Searches Out and Reveals to Us the Deep Wisdom of God

The mind of the flesh, that's the natural mind, hates the law of God. Ten commandments, two great commandments, hates, fights against it. But also in this text, we would say the unregenerate mind does not accept the good news of the Gospel either. The blind eye cannot receive sight. No unbeliever can ever be talked into or persuaded to, or threatened or bribed or coerced into faith in Christ, just like none of those things would make a blind eye see. It's beyond us to do that. The Spirit searches out and reveals to us the deep wisdom of God. However, though no eye has seen, though no ear has heard, though it has not entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him, the Spirit has revealed these things to us.

When I was going back over the sermon a couple of days ago, it became pretty emotional for me at this point because I have increasingly realized what I owe to the third person of the Trinity for my salvation. I would still be an unbeliever. I was converted at age 19 as a junior at MIT. I've gone on into a career in science and would never believed if it weren't for the Spirit. Look at verse 10, "But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit," unveiled it to us by the Spirit. Look at the powerful work of the Spirit of God in Verse 10-11, "The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."

Now, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. We believe in one God who has eternally existed in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, co-equal with God the Father, and God the Son, and His unique role in all of this, is to reveal Christ to unbelieving minds. To do it powerfully and effectively. And first, the text says, He searches all things, even the deep things of God. This reminds me of the first two verses of the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." So you get the sense of the depths and the darkness, and the Spirit is active and ready to work.

The images of undulating chaos and turbulence and darkness and the Spirit of God hovering over the waters, He's ready to bring light and order out of the darkness and out of the chaos. Do not think the Holy Spirit of God was not involved in creation, He was. Just as Jesus was involved in creation, triune God created all things. And so it is with human conversion. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, "God who said Let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." This text is saying He does that by the Spirit. By the Spirit, God says Let the light of Christ shine in your heart. That's what the Spirit has done for me and for all of you who are Christians.

And what's amazing here, is the Spirit is said to understand the mind of God. And by extension, I'm gonna say He understands the human mind as well, He searches the mind of God, He searches out the deep things of God. Remember that doxology, Oh, the depth of the riches, the wisdom and the knowledge of God. Who has known the mind of the Lord?" This text actually answers. The Spirit has, the Spirit knows the deep things of God, He plumbs the infinite depths of the mind of God. He knows exactly what God the Father wants out of the human race. He knows what God the Father intended in sending His only begotten son Jesus into the world. He's not misunderstood theology, He's actually really good at theology. The Spirit understands predestination, election, He understands justification by faith alone, He understands sanctification, He understands glorification, He understands every heading of theology very, very well. He has searched out the mind of God and knows exactly what God thinks about all of these things.

And though it doesn't say overtly here in the text, it's true, He understands your mind too. He's able to plumb the twisted dark depths of the human sinful mind. Says in Jeremiah 17:9-10, "The heart," the human heart, "is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind." He does that by the Spirit. So what that means is the Spirit of God both searches God's mind and searches our minds and is able to convert us and bring us together. He knows how to heal us, He knows how to give us spiritual sight when we are blind. I don't know if this is a good analogy, but I look on Him this morning, at least as a master safe cracker. He's able to pick the locks of your deceitful heart, and suddenly the door swings open. How did that happen? You put up all these defenses against Jesus. How many defenses did Saul of Tarsus put against this gospel?

Remember how He said, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads." He's been pressed, he's been pushed to faith in Christ, but he's resisting, resisting, resisting. But the Spirit of God is able to cause the locked gates of the soul to swing open to Jesus. He has that kind of power, He did it in my heart. All of you who are genuinely converted, He did it in your hearts too. He has that kind of power and that is a miracle, it's called the miracle of the new birth, of being born again. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again." But Nicodemus didn't understand that, and so Jesus used this, in other words He said, "Flesh gives birth to flesh but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. The wind blows where it wishes, you hear its sound but you can't tell where it comes from, where it's going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

So the Spirit works on us to be born again to faith in Christ, and so every Christian in the world owes his or her salvation as much to the Spirit as he does to Christ. Jesus provided the atoning blood, the Spirit painted it on the doorpost and lintels of your soul. Just like the Israelites did on the night of Passover, He has painted the blood of Christ on you, and by that you are saved. Without that, it never happens.

Jesus died 2000 years ago, and many people have heard about it and know about it and never believed it and went to hell. And so there needs to be that separate act of the application of the blood of Christ to our souls individually, and the Spirit does that. And the Spirit, verse 12-13, teaches us the words of the Gospel, the words of theology. Look what it says, "We 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. This is what we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truth in spiritual words." So the spirit of the world, Satan, is teaching worldlings, the people of the world, the language of the world. The language of wealth, the language of power, the language of pleasure, the language of self, that's what the spirit of this age is teaching the people of this age.

But the Spirit from God teaches us the language of spiritual riches that God is giving us. He puts these riches into words that people like Paul and pastors like me speak, that's all we do. Just words, words that capture how rich Christians are in the Gospel. And the Holy Spirit is able to marry spiritual truths with spiritual words. It's a difficult phrase in the Greek, but the sense is, He's putting together, knitting together, the spiritual truths that God is giving in words where you get to understand what they are. Because they're all invisible. And so the Spirit teaches us the words of theology, the words of preaching, the words of scripture, so that we can understand how rich we are in Jesus

IV. The Spirit of God Transforms Our Judgments

Now, the Spirit of God also transforms our status and our judgment. Look at Verse 15-16, "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment, for who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ."

Martin Luther, who was put under a death sentence by the Catholic authorities, the Holy Roman Emperor and by the Pope used this text to say I'm above all of your judgments. You can't do anything to me. I am not judged by any of you. I've been already judged at the cross, and now I am innocent through faith in Christ. And so we're not under any worldly judgment, we've been already judged and now declared to be 'not guilty' through faith in Christ. But we get to evaluate the world, we get to judge the world, we get to say that the pleasures and the powers and the principalities of this world are going to nothingness, and we'll still be standing when they're all swept away by the judgment of God.

And then Paul says, amazingly, the last verse of this chapter, "We have the mind of Christ." Isn't that amazing? If you're a Christian you have the mind of Christ. Not you ought to have it, you do. Through the indwelling Spirit, you are already fully capable of thinking like Jesus Christ, about everything. And yet Philippians 2, Paul says to the Philippian Christians there, "Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ," and then talks about humility. So it's like, how do I put that together? Ah, contradiction in the Bible. No. He says here, You have the mind of Christ. In Philippians 2, he says, now use it, think like Jesus. And so in everything at every moment of our lives, we're able to think and then live like Jesus, by the power of the Spirit.

V. Applications

Alright, applications. First to the unconverted, the things of the Gospel, maybe when you walked in here even this morning, might have seemed foolish to you. But maybe this morning, something's happening inside your mind, inside your heart. Happened to me. October of 1982 it happened to me, and all of a sudden things change. Maybe that's happening for you. You've heard the Gospel this morning of God sending His Son who died on the cross for sinners like you and me, that we're justified, we're made righteous by faith, not by works, that's the gospel. And it may be that this is happening to you right now, you're seeing yourself more and more as a person who needs a Savior, that you have violated God's laws, that you need a Savior, and that Jesus is the Savior.

If this is happening to you, this is the work of the Holy Spirit. And not only that, He begins to show you how glorious Jesus is, and you feel an attraction, a magnetic attraction, to Jesus and you want to follow Him, this is the work of the Holy Spirit of God. Let me just give you a warning, if today you hear His voice, don't harden your heart, don't put it off, call on the name of the Lord. You don't have to go anywhere, even now you can cry out inside your mind, inside your heart, Jesus save me, and He will.

Now for you who are Christians, stand in awe of the wisdom of God in all of this. You have been instructed how amazingly wise this gospel is, just stand in awe of that. This is a wise message. And isn't it amazing that He crafted it for your glory? Think about that. This message will glorify you. It is the power of God for your full salvation, it will get you to glory, just stand in awe of that.

And secondly, give the Holy Spirit full credit for your salvation. Thank God for sending the Spirit for you. Understand you would still be in darkness and blind and not born again if it weren't for the Spirit of God.

Thirdly, rejoice that the Spirit's not done working on you, He's still hovering over the deep of your heart. He's still got more things to teach you, He's teaching you more and more the significance of the final statement. You have the mind of Christ. Now use it, use it here, use it there, use it in thinking about money, use it in thinking about marriage, use it in thinking about sex, use it in thinking about your time, use it in thinking about everything. You have the mind of Christ, now use it. And feed on this Scripture, feed on the word to know what that means. The mind of Christ totally harmonizes with the words of Scripture and the Spirit can minister that to you.

Fifth, understand the state of the lost. We are surrounded by people who are without hope, and without God in the world, and they will never understand this message, and they're lost and they're on their way to hell. If they're not converted, they will be condemned for their sins. This is the only hope for them. And as you begin to talk to them, you're going to begin to realize just how true verse 14 really is. It's going to seem foolishness to them, they're going to push back on it, etcetera. Don't give up, the Holy Spirit has power to transform sinners. He has the power to pick the locks of their soul, and it will swing open, or just maybe blow open all the defenses and then the light floods in. How powerful is that?

And so, let us this week, just say, Lord lead me to someone who's ready to hear this message and just open the gates of their soul. I would love to see that happen. I would love to be sharing the gospel with someone who says, "That sounds good. What do I do?" So it's like, Lord lead me to someone who's ready to come to Christ and I will rejoice. Close with me in prayer.

Father, we thank You for the time that we've had in Your Word, we thank You for the power of the word, we thank You for the power of the Spirit in our lives. Thank you that You hovered over the deep of the mind of God, and You are able to draw the truths from the mind of God and deliver them to us. And thank You that You have hovered over the depths of our own twisted wickedness, the deceitfulness of our minds and You've been able to bring the truth through all of those obstacles, and barriers and hatred and dislikes, in order that we might be saved. God, make us truly thankful and make us bold as never before. Bold in our sharing of the Gospel. It's in Your name that we pray, Lord Jesus. Amen.