Reasons to Believe

Intellectual Repentance, Part 5 of 6

As we approach the end of our series on intellectual repentance, we continue to follow the apostle Paul’s admonition. Paul explains in the next several verses of his letter (1 Corinthians 2:9-13) how God has chosen to give us the wisdom and knowledge we need to know Him.

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. (New American Standard Bible)

What we as humans cannot perceive of God, God has revealed to us by His Spirit. To explain this, Paul uses an analogy in verse 11. He points out that in our normal interactions with one another, we as humans cannot know what is really going on in the mind of another person. Sometimes we can make pretty good guesses based on circumstances and body language. But, in the end, we don’t really know unless we can get into that other person’s mind, or unless that person can “give us his spirit.”

In the same way, we have no clue what is going on in the mind of God. We can learn a great deal about God from what He has revealed in His creation, but we can never really know Him in a deep and personal way unless He gives us His Spirit. But we learn in verse 12 that this is exactly what God has done for those who believe in Him. And we know from other Scriptures that this gift of His Spirit comes in the form of a new life as well as an enlightenment (greater understanding) of His Word. As a consequence, in his discussion of God’s wisdom, Paul does not use arguments that appeal to human wisdom, but instead appeal to a man’s conscience. Recall that Paul is trying to win hearts.

Next week we’ll wrap up the series by discussing the heart of the matter.


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Subjects: Christian Life

Dr. David Rogstad

Dr. Dave Rogstad received his PhD in physics from Caltech and worked over 30 years for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Though now retired, Dave continues to serve as an RTB board member and participates regularly in several RTB podcasts.