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Worldly and spiritual wisdom (2:1-16)
Paul reminds the Corinthians that when he was among them he did not try to impress them with any great show of learning. He preached the plain gospel without trying to make it attractive to any one class of people (2:1-2). During his time in Corinth, Paul had been physically weak and lacked his usual boldness. As a result his preaching was not at all impressive. Yet this was no great disappointment to him, because he wanted his converts to stand in the power of God, not to become attached to the preacher because they were impressed with his style (3-5).
Although the gospel does not depend on human wisdom, that is no reason to look down on it as though it were something inferior. Christianity has a superiority and dignity of its own. It is based on the wisdom of God, which makes all human wisdom appear weak and insignificant (6-7). Lack of this wisdom was what caused people to crucify Christ. On the other hand, those who have this wisdom enter into blessings that the ordinary people of the world cannot understand. The only ones who can understand these things are those who have the Spirit of God (8-10).
Just as a person’s own spirit, and no one else’s, knows what is going on inside that person, so the Spirit of God, and no one else, knows what is going on within God. Therefore, only those who have the Spirit of God can know the mind of God (11-12). They receive instructions from God through the Spirit and pass on these instructions to others, not by means of worldly wisdom, but by the same Spirit. Those who receive the instruction will likewise have understanding through the work of that Spirit within them (13).
Ordinary people of the world reject the things of God as foolish, because they do not have his Spirit and therefore do not have the means of understanding them (14). Those who have the Spirit of God are able to form judgments on all things, because now that Christ has changed their thinking, they see things from Christ’s point of view. But those without God’s Spirit are unable to form judgments on things of the Spirit, and therefore are unable to judge spiritual issues in the lives of believers (15-16).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34