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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 2:9

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 ."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Blessing;   God Continued...;   Gospel;   Ignorance;   Mysteries;   Philosophy;   Quotations and Allusions;   Reasoning;   Righteous;   Salvation;   Wisdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Leaders;   Ministers;   Mysteries-Revelations;   Preparation;   Providence, Divine;   Religious;   Revelations, Devine;   Secret Things;   The Topic Concordance - Hearing;   Holy Spirit;   Love;   Resurrection;   Seeing;   Waiting;   Wisdom;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Holy Spirit, the Teacher, the;   Reward of Saints, the;  
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Heart;   Humanity, humankind;   Love;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Corinthians, First and Second, Theology of;   Glorification;   God;   Paul the Apostle;   Wages;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Inspiration;   Koran;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Holy Spirit, the;   Inspiration;   Mystery;   Holman Bible Dictionary - 1 Corinthians;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Elijah;   Ephesians, Epistle to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Brotherly Love;   Ear;   Ear (2);   Eye;   God;   Heart ;   Hymns;   Inspiration;   Inspiration and Revelation;   Jannes and Jambres;   Love;   Lust;   Mental Characteristics;   Mystery ;   Preparation;   Quotations;   Revelation (2);   Scripture (2);   Winter ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - 8 To Love, Have Affection for;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Heart;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Mystery;   Resurrection;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bible, the;   Ear;   Inspiration;  
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for December 31;   Every Day Light - Devotion for December 9;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse 1 Corinthians 2:9. But, as it is written — The quotation is taken from Isaiah 64:4. The sense is continued here from verse seven, and λαλουμεν, we speak, is understood-We do not speak or preach the wisdom of this world; but that mysterious wisdom of God, of which the prophet said: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love him. These words have been applied to the state of glory in a future world; but they certainly belong to the present state, and express merely the wondrous light, life, and liberty which the Gospel communicates to them that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in that way which the Gospel itself requires. To this the prophet himself refers; and it is evident, from the following verse, that the apostle also refers to the same thing. Such a scheme of salvation, in which God's glory and man's felicity should be equally secured, had never been seen, never heard of, nor could any mind but that of God have conceived the idea of so vast a project; nor could any power but his own have brought it to effect.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

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 2:9". "Brideway Bible Commentary". 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

But as it is written, Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And which entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him.

These words are usually thought of as suggesting heaven and the glories of the future world; but Paul did not hesitate to apply them here to what God has already done for his children. "They certainly belong to the present state, and express the wondrous light, life and liberty which the gospel communicates."[24] "While it is true that heaven will be so wonderful that we cannot comprehend it, Paul was talking about here, the present dispensation."[25]

Learned men have conjectured that these lines are from an early Christian hymn, which had been formed by combining certain Old Testament expressions; but, despite this, as Grosheide said:

The view that Paul quotes the Old Testament, using passages like Isaiah 64:4, Septuagint (LXX) (Isaiah 64:3 in the Hebrew) for the first and last part of the quotation, and Isaiah 65:17 for the middle, remains the most plausible.[26]

[24] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Holy Bible (New York: Carlton and Porter, 1831), Vol. VI, p. 199.

[25] George W. DeHoff, Sermons on First Corinthians (Murfreesboro, Tennessee: The Christian Press, 1947), p. 30.

[26] F W. Grosheide, op. cit., p. 66.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

But as it is written - This passage is quoted from Isaiah 64:4. It is not quoted literally; but the sense only is given. The words are found in the apocryphal books of Elijah; and Origen and Jerome supposed that Paul quoted from those books. But it is evident that Paul had in his eye the passage in Isaiah; and intended to apply it to his present purpose. These words are often applied by commentators and others to the future life, and are supposed by them to be descriptive of the state of the blessed there. But against the supposition that they refer directly to the future state, there are insuperable objections:

(1) The first is, that the passage in Isaiah has no such reference. In that place it is designed clearly to describe the blessedness of those who were admitted to the divine favor; who had communion with God; and to whom God manifested himself as their friend. That blessedness is said to be superior to all that people elsewhere enjoy; to be such as could be found no where else but in God. See Isaiah 64:1, Isaiah 64:4-5, Isaiah 64:8. It is used there, as Paul uses it, to denote the happiness which results from the communication of the divine favor to the soul.

(2) The object of the apostle is not to describe the future state of the redeemed. It is to prove that those who are Christians have true wisdom 1 Corinthians 2:6-7; or that they have views of truth, and of the excellence of the plan of salvation which the world has not, and which those who crucified the Lord Jesus did not possess. The thing which he is describing here, is not merely the happiness of Christians, but their views of the wisdom of the plan of salvation. They have views of that which the eyes of other people have not seen; a view of wisdom, and fitness, and beauty which can be found in no other plan. It is true that this view is attended with a high degree of comfort; but the comfort is not the immediate thing in the eye of the apostle.

(3) The declaration in 1 Corinthians 2:10, is conclusive proof that Paul does not refer to the happiness of heaven. He there says that God has revealed these things to Christians by his Spirit. But if already revealed, assuredly it does not refer to that which is yet to come. But although this does not refer directly to heaven, there may be an application of the passage to a future state in an indirect manner, which is not improper. If there are such manifestations of wisdom in the plan here; if Christians see so much of its beauty here on earth; and if their views so far surpass all that the world sees and enjoys, how much greater and purer will be the manifestations of wisdom and goodness in the world of glory.

Eye hath not seen - This is the same as saying, that no one had ever fully perceived and understood the value and beauty of those things which God has prepared for his people. All the world had been strangers to this until God made a revelation to his people by his Spirit. The blessedness which the apostle referred to had been unknown alike to the Jews and the Gentiles.

Nor ear heard - We learn the existence and quality of objects by the external senses; and those senses are used to denote any acquisition of knowledge. To say that the eye had not seen, nor the ear heard, was, therefore, the same as saying that it was not known at all. All people had been ignorant of it.

Neither have entered into the heart of man - No man has conceived it; or understood it. It is new; and is above all that man has seen, and felt, and known.

The things which God hath prepared - The things which God “has held in reserve” (Bloomfield); that is, what God has appointed in the gospel for his people. The thing to which the apostle here refers particularly, is the wisdom which was revealed in the gospel; but he also intends, doubtless, to include all the provisions of mercy and happiness which the gospel makes known to the people of God. Those things relate to the pardon of sin; to the atonement, and to justification by faith; to the peace and joy which religion imparts; to the complete and final redemption from sin and death which the gospel is suited to produce, and which it will ultimately effect. In all these respects, the blessings which the gospel confers, surpass the full comprehension of people; and are infinitely beyond all that man could know or experience without the religion of Christ. And if on earth the gospel confers such blessings on its friends, how much higher and purer shall be the joys which it shalt bestow in heaven!

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans & 1st Corinthians

2:9-10: but as it is written, Things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, And (which) entered not into the heart of man, Whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him. 10 But unto us God revealed (them) through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Paul apparently went back to the Old Testament for this quotation (“but as it is written”), though there is no Old Testament passage that has these exact words. Many believe Paul combined several verses to form this quotation (Isaiah 52:15; Isaiah 64:4; Isaiah 65:17). We do know that Paul used this technique when he wrote to the Romans (see Romans 3:10-18; Romans 11:26-27).

A large number of people (and this includes several preachers) believe these verses refer to heaven. This passage has been used to affirm our “eyes and ears cannot adequately describe heaven. The place God has prepared for the saved is beyond human comprehension and description.” While all of these ideas are certainly true, this is not what Paul meant. The context (compare verse 7) describes a “mystery” (God’s plan for salvation). The mystery is the thing men could not see and hear. That is, men did not understand God’s plan to redeem the world. The wisdom contained in the gospel cannot be perceived by man’s senses. Even though eyes and ears can be used to read and hear about Christ’s death, only God can tell us the significance of the cross. Without wisdom from God (i.e. the information now contained in the Bible), Christ’s death is nothing more than a tragedy. Man’s intelligence, if unaided, cannot figure out the mystery of the gospel no matter how hard he tries.

Notice that Paul described both man’s senses and rational thinking. We use our eyes and ears to sense things. Our “heart” (our innermost part) is the basis for rational thought. “Eye has not seen it, for it is not a color. Ear has not heard it, for it is not a sound. It has not come up into the heart, for it is no earthly thought” (The Church’s Bible, p. 41). We cannot have knowledge of heavenly things and plans without communication from God. The 10th verse is further proof that Paul did not describe heaven. About 700 years prior to Paul, Isaiah referred to what the eye had not seen and the ear had not heard as a “great light” (Isaiah 9:1-8). This prophecy is quoted in Matthew 4:16 and further described here in First Corinthians as things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, and which entered not into the heart of man. Here Paul again described the “manifold wisdom of God” (Ephesians 3:10) that we now commonly refer to as the “New Testament” or the “gospel.”

Before looking at verse 10 a final point deserves attention. God has prepared spiritual things (in this case Christianity) for those who love Him. This reminds readers of what Jesus said in Matthew 19:29 (“And every one that hath left houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life”). What Paul told the Corinthians reminds readers of Ephesians 1:3; all spiritual blessings will go to the saved.

In verse 10 Paul said God has “revealed” what the “eye saw not” and the “ear heard not” (verse 9). In other words, the gospel was hidden for a long time, but the Holy Spirit has now revealed the information that is in this chapter called a mystery. The word revealed (apokalupto) has the sense of uncovered or disclosed.

Paul said this mystery (what we now call the New Testament) was revealed “to us” (the apostles). Just as Jesus had previously promised, the Spirit revealed the truth to the apostles (John 16:13-14). These men then taught the mystery (the gospel) to others. They also wrote it down so it would be preserved for and understood by the people now living. We also know that God the Father communicated with men prior to Jesus (Hebrews 1:2), and Jesus also gave information to men (the apostles- Hebrews 1:2; Matthew 11:27). For some information on how the Bible has been transmitted down to the present time, see the commentary at the end of Hebrews 4:12.

When Paul said the Spirit is involved with “searching” (ereunao) He did not mean the Holy Spirit discovers information or searches for information about the Father and Son. The Holy Spirit is deity (Acts 5:3-4) and is therefore omniscient (all knowing). Paul meant the things of God need to be revealed to man and the Holy Spirit is the revealer. Since He is deity He knows “all things,” even “the deep things of God.” Because the Holy Spirit knows all, He has been able to reveal all the things man needs (i.e. how to become a Christian, how to stay saved, and how to convert others. See a similar point explained in the commentary on Hebrews 4:13). The word searching means the Holy Spirit has provided us with a “deeper understanding” (Kittel, 2:657) of God. It means the Holy Spirit penetrates everything associated with deity. According to what Paul said in Romans 11:30-31, we need help in this area! The Holy Spirit offers this help through the book we now call the Bible.

It must be understood that the Father and Son are also capable of “searching out the deep things of God.” The fact that this expression is specifically applied to the Spirit does not mean the other members of the Godhead are incapable of this activity. Scripture sometimes presents one member of the Godhead as doing something, but this does not imply the remaining members of the Godhead are incapable of doing the same thing. This principle is even seen in the secular realm. If we say a wife pays the household bills, this does not mean her husband is incapable of doing the same thing.

At the end of this verse Paul made an unusual statement about God. He said there are some “deep things” in God’s nature. This may describe the innermost secrets of God’s will, especially in relation to man’s redemption (salvation). One of the things near and dear to God’s heart is Christianity. This truth (which is an innermost secret) has been revealed through (by) the Spirit. If people reject God’s divine revelation (i.e. the Bible), they have no hope. All who reject the word will be lost (John 12:48). Deep things (bathos) is also applied to Satan in Revelation 2:24. There will be much about God and the devil that we never know in this life, but we know the most important points: Both are far more powerful than man, both seek man to side with them, both will exist throughout eternity, both have strong convictions about sin, and both view the world as “ground zero.”

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Price, Brad "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans & 1st Corinthians".

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

9. As it is written, “What eye hath not seen.” All are agreed that this passage is taken from Isaiah 64:4, and as the meaning is at first view plain and easy, interpreters do not give themselves much trouble in expounding it. On looking, however, more narrowly into it, two very great difficulties present themselves. The first is, that the words that are here quoted by Paul do not correspond with the words of the Prophet. The second is, that it seems as though Paul had perverted the Prophet’s declaration to a purpose quite foreign to his design.

First then as to the words; and as they may be taken in different senses, they are explained variously by interpreters. Some render the passage thus: “From the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived with their ears, and eye hath not seen any god beside Thee, who doth act in such a manner towards him that waiteth for him.” Others understand the discourse as addressed to God, in this manner: “Eye hath not seen, nor hath ear heard, O God, besides thee, the things which thou dost for those that wait for thee.” Literally, however, the Prophet’s meaning is: “From the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor have they perceived with the ears, hath not seen a god, (or O God,) besides thee, will do (or will prepare) for him that waiteth for him.” If we understand אלהים (God) to be in the accusative, the relative who must be supplied. This exposition, too, appears, at first view, to suit better with the Prophet’s context in respect of the verb that follows being used in the third person; (118) but it is farther removed from Paul’s meaning, on which we ought to place more dependence than on any other consideration. For where shall we find a surer or more faithful interpreter than the Spirit of God of this authoritative declaration, which He himself dictated to Isaiah — in the exposition which He has furnished by the mouth of Paul. With the view of obviating, however, the calumnies of the wicked, I observe that the Hebrew idiom admits of our understanding the Prophets true meaning to be this: “O God, neither hath eye seen, nor hath ear heard: but thou alone knowest the things which thou art wont to do to those that wait for thee.” The sudden change of person forms no objection, as we know that it is so common in the writings of the Prophets, that it needs not be any hindrance in our way. If any one, however, prefers the former interpretation, he will have no occasion for charging either us or the Apostle with departing from the simple meaning of the words, for we supply less than they do, as they are under the necessity of adding a mark of comparison to the verb, rendering it thus: “ who doth act in such a manner. ”

As to what follows respecting the entering of these things into the heart of man, though the expression is not made use of by the Prophet, it does not differ materially from the clause besides thee For in ascribing this knowledge to God alone, he excludes from it not merely the bodily senses of men, but also the entire faculty of the understanding. While, therefore, the Prophet makes mention only of sight and hearing, he includes at the same time by implication all the faculties of the soul. And without doubt these are the two instruments by which we attain the knowledge of those things that find their way into the understanding. In using the expression them that love him, he has followed the Greek interpreters, who have translated it in this way from having been misled by the resemblance between one letter and another; (119) but as that did not affect the point in hand, he did not choose to depart from the common reading, as we frequently have occasion to observe how closely he follows the received version. Though the words, therefore, are not the same, there is no real difference of meaning.

I come now to the subject-matter. The Prophet in that passage, when mentioning how signally God had on all occasions befriended his people in their emergencies, exclaims, that his acts of kindness to the pious surpass the comprehension of human intellect. “But what has this to do,” some one will say, “with spiritual doctrine, and the promises of eternal life, as to which Paul is here arguing?” There are three ways in which this question may be answered. There were no inconsistency in affirming that the Prophet, having made mention of earthly blessings, was in consequence of this led on to make a general statement, and even to extol that spiritual blessedness which is laid up in heaven for believers. I prefer, however, to understand him simply as referring to those gifts of God’s grace that are daily conferred upon believers. In these it becomes us always to observe their source, and not to confine our views to their present aspect. Now their source is that unmerited goodness of God, by which he has adopted us into the number of his sons. He, therefore, who would estimate these things aright, will not contemplate them in their naked aspect, but will clothe them with God’s fatherly love, as with a robe, and will thus be led forward from temporal favors to eternal life. It might also be maintained that the argument is from the less to the greater; for if man’s intellect is not competent to measure God’s earthly gifts, how much less will it reach the height of heaven? (John 3:12.) I have, however, already intimated which interpretation I prefer.

(118) “ Assauoir, Fera, or Preparera;” — “Namely — He will do, or He will prepare.”

(119) The word made use of by Isaiah is מחכה, which is a part of the verb חכה, to wait for, and Calvin’s meaning most probably is, that the “Greek interpreters had (from the resemblance between ב and כ) been led into the mistake of supposing it to be a part of the verb חבב, to love, while the corresponding part of the latter verb — מחובב, manifestly differs very widely from the word made use of by the Prophet. There appears, how ever, to have been an oversight, in this instance, on the part of Calvin, as the word in the Septuagint version is not the word made use of by the Apostle — ἀγαπῶσιν, “them that love” (him,) but (corresponding to the word made use of bythe Prophet ὑπομένουσιν, “them that wait for” (him.) It is not a little singular, that Clemens Romanus (Ep. ad Cor. Sect. 34.) quotes the words of Isaiah precisely as Paul quotes them, with the exception of the last clause, which he gives as follows: ὅσα ἡτοιμασε τοις ὑπομένουσιν αὐτὸν — “which he hath prepared for them that wait for him.” Some have supposed the citation to have been taken from one or other of the two Apocryphal books, entitled, “The Ascension of Esaiah,” and “The Apocalyps of Elias,” in both of which this passage was found, but, as is justly observed by Horne in his Introduction (volume 2,) “it is so near to the Hebrew here both in sense and words, that we cannot suppose it to be taken from any other source, nor in this case would the Apostle have introduced it with the formula of quotation — as it is written. ” In accordance with Calvln’s remark, that “though the words are not the same, there is no real difference of meaning,” it is well observed by Poole in his Annotations, that “waiting for ” God is “the certain product and effect of love to him. ” — Ed

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter 2

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God ( 1 Corinthians 2:1 ).

Paul didn't come as one of the Corinthian philosophers, trying to stand in the streets and persuade them by the brilliant oratory to believe and to accept Jesus Christ. I wonder where the place of oratory is in the pulpit. It's interesting how that we so often admire the great orators in the pulpit. But I often wonder if oratory has any place in the pulpit at all. It surely didn't in Paul's pulpit. "When I came to you, I came not with the excellency of speech or of wisdom, as I declared unto you the testimony of God."

For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified ( 1 Corinthians 2:2 ).

Oh, the common bond by which we are all brought together, Jesus Christ, Him crucified. That's all I want to know.

And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling ( 1 Corinthians 2:3 ).

Now Paul had just come from some very upsetting experiences. While he was in Galatia he was wanting to go into Asia, but the Spirit was forbidding him, and Paul was too sick to get out of bed. And so finally, he heard the call, a man from Macedonia saying, "Come over and help us." And so he headed over to Macedonia to obey the heavenly vision. And when he arrived in Philippi, as he was preaching, they grabbed him and threw him in jail; beat him. And there in the dungeon at midnight the Lord shook the prison and opened the doors. Paul left Philippi, went down to Thessalonica, and there as he preached they had a riot. So he left Thessalonica . . . sly, really, to get out of there, because they were waiting for him. And he went down to Berea. And there a big ruckus was stirred up, and so he left Berea and headed down to Athens. And there on Mars Hill he was mocked as he sought to proclaim to them the truth of Jesus Christ. And he comes to Corinth now a broken man in weakness, trembling, in fear.

And my speech and my preaching [he said,] was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power ( 1 Corinthians 2:4 ):

It wasn't really man's wisdom. My speech was a demonstration of the power of God and of the Spirit of God working. I believe that there is, in the ministry of the word, oftentimes the gift of prophecy, the gift of word, of wisdom, and the word of knowledge that is being exercised from the pulpit. And because of this, I often listen to my own tapes and am benefited by them and I enjoy them. I know that sounds weird, but I heard my radio program the other day and I really enjoyed it. Good message. And I said, did I say that? Man, that's great, that's rich. Why? Because it was preaching and the preaching was the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God. As there was the anointing and the prophecy, the word of wisdom, and the word of knowledge coming forth.

And so Paul's ministry to those in Corinth wasn't the enticing words of man's wisdom, the demonstration of the Spirit and power.

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but it should stand in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them which are fully matured: yet not the wisdom of this world, that comes to nothing: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory ( 1 Corinthians 2:5-8 ).

So that true wisdom, the wisdom which is of God, the wisdom by which He speaks to those who are matured in their Christian walk and experience.

But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love him ( 1 Corinthians 2:9 ).

Now, this is probably one of the most misquoted scriptures in the Bible because people stop there. And they say, "Well, heaven is going to be so glorious . . . 'Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, it hasn't even entered into your heart the things that God has prepared for you.' Oh, He is so glorious." But the next verse says,

But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God ( 1 Corinthians 2:10 ).

So these things that the world does not know, now he's talking about the eyes of the world, the ears of the world, the hearts of the people in the world, they have no concept, no idea of the things that God has for us who love Him. "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God."

For what man knoweth the things of man, except the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God ( 1 Corinthians 2:11 ).

So here the Spirit of God is attributed with the same omniscience that God possesses, knowing the things of God.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God ( 1 Corinthians 2:12 ).

And so God has given us the Spirit to teach us, and you have need, John said, "That no man should teach you but that unction that you have received, it will teach you all things" ( 1 John 2:20 ). "But the Comforter," Jesus said, "which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have commanded you" ( John 14:26 ).

And so God has given to us the Spirit that we might freely know the things of God as He instructs our hearts in the ways of God. And that is why I always encourage a person, before you start reading the Bible, pray, "Oh, God, let your Holy Spirit illuminate my mind and my understanding to your truth as I read."

Did you ever read the Bible and finish the page and then think, "What did I read?" And you realize that your mind was somewhere else. You don't remember a word that you read off of that page. Your mind was probably in some carnal pursuit, and here you're trying to read something of the Spirit.

But then you'll say, "Oh Lord, now help me to understand this," and you'll read it again and how the whole thing just comes alive and begins to minister to your heart in such a powerful way. You're now seeing things that you didn't see before. You're now understanding things you didn't understand before. It just sort of jumps off the page and begins to burn in your heart. The glorious work of the Holy Spirit in teaching us the way of righteousness and truth.

Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but with the Holy Spirit teaching; comparing the spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned ( 1 Corinthians 2:13-14 ).

So the natural man is at a decided disadvantage, because he cannot know the things of the Spirit. He cannot receive them; he cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned.

The deaf man cannot enjoy the symphony, the blind man cannot enjoy the beauty of the sunset. Why? Because he lacks the faculties by which these things are appreciated. So, in the same logic, the natural man cannot receive or know the things of the Spirit, because he lacks the faculty by which these things are known. He lacks the Spirit. And lacking the Spirit, it's impossible for him to know the things of the Spirit.

But [in contrast to the natural man] he that is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned of no man ( 1 Corinthians 2:15 ).

Or another translation, "He that is spiritual understands all things though he is not understood my man."

Now the natural man cannot understand your love for the Word of God. He cannot understand your love for the people of God. He cannot understand your love for the things of God. They're foolishness unto him. What do you do for fun? And the natural man is just at a loss to understand. He walks away and says, "I don't know, he's crazy. He talks about the Lord all the time, something's wrong."

He which is spiritual, he understands things though he is not understood by the natural man, no man understands him. And that, of course, makes for difficult relationships sometimes. When these kids come and accept the Lord and then they go home and begin to share the things of the Spirit with their parents, all of a sudden there's lost communication.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 2:16 ).

What does he mean by that? When he was writing to the Philippians he said, "Let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus, who though He was in the form of God, and thought it not robbery or something to be grasped to be equal with God, yet He humbled Himself and took upon Himself the form of a man and came in the likeness as a man, as a servant, obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" ( Philippians 2:5-8 ). The mind that was in Christ was the mind that was willing to step down, a mind of humility. "We have the mind of Christ," Paul said. That mind which doesn't exalt itself or its own wisdom, but that mind that submits to God and to the will and the authority of God.

We have the mind of Christ. Oh God, help us that we might indeed possess the mind of Christ, that that mind, that mental attitude that Jesus had, will be our mental attitude. That of not lording over one another, but serving one another in love.

Next we'll go onto the third and fourth chapters as we deal with the carnal man. We see three men: the natural man, the spiritual man, next we get the third one, the carnal man, and he's the one in trouble.

May the Lord give you a beautiful week. May you walk in the Spirit. May you be led by the Spirit. May you be taught by the Spirit, that you might this week experience that enriching of your life in Christ, become a spiritual plutocrat, just wealthy, luxuriously wealthy in the things of the Lord and in the things of the Spirit as God ministers to you out of those infinite resources of His love and grace, wisdom, and mercy. May you grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May this be a special week of the work of God's Spirit in your life, conforming you into the image of His Son. May you give place and time for God to work in your life. In Jesus' name. "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

3. The Spirit’s ministry of revealing God’s Wisdom 2:6-16

Paul’s reference to the Holy Spirit’s power (1 Corinthians 2:4-5) led him to elaborate on the Spirit’s ministry in enlightening the minds of believers and unbelievers alike. The Corinthians needed to view ministry differently. The key to this change would be the Holy Spirit’s illumination of their thinking. People who are pursuing true wisdom (sophia) cannot perceive it except as the Holy Spirit enlightens them.

Paul constructed his argument in this section with three contrasts that overlap slightly. The first contrast is between those who receive God’s wisdom and those who do not (1 Corinthians 2:6-10 a), and the second one is the Spirit of God and the spirit of the world (1 Corinthians 2:10-13). The third contrast is the "natural" person and the "spiritual" person (1 Corinthians 2:14-16). [Note: Carson, pp. 46, 52, 56.]

"Paul is not here rebuilding what he has just torn down. He is retooling their understanding of the Spirit and spirituality, in order that they might perceive the truth of what he has been arguing to this point.

"While it is true that much of the language of this paragraph is not common to Paul, the explanation of this phenomenon is, as before, to be found in his using their language but filling it with his own content and thus refuting them. The theology, however, is his own, and it differs radically from theirs. . . . Paul’s concern throughout is to get the Corinthians to understand who they are-in terms of the cross-and to stop acting as non-Spirit people." [Note: Fee, The First . . ., p. 100.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The source of this quotation is evidently Isaiah 64:4; Isaiah 65:17. It summarizes Paul’s point well. There are many things we can know only by revelation. The more God reveals the more clearly we see that He has designed His plans for humanity for our blessing.

"Paul’s thought is that there is no method of apprehension open to man (eyes, ears, or understanding) which can give him any idea of the wonderful things that God has made ready for them that love him (cf. Rom. viii. 28)." [Note: Morris, p. 57.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But as it is written,.... Not in an apocryphal book, called the Apocalypse of Elijah the prophet, as some have thought, but in

Isaiah 64:4 with some variation; and is brought to prove that the Gospel is mysterious and hidden wisdom, unknown to the princes of this world, and ordained before the world was, for the glory of the saints: for the following words are not to be understood of the glories and happiness of the future state; though they are indeed invisible, unheard of, and inconceivable as to the excellency and fulness of them, and are what God has prepared from all eternity, for all those on whom he bestows his grace here; but of the doctrines of grace, and mysteries of the Gospel, as the context and the reason of their citation abundantly show; and are what

eye hath not seen, nor ear heard: which could never have been seen to be read by the eye of man, nor the sound thereof ever heard by the ear of man, had not God been pleased to make a revelation of them; and though they are to be seen and read in the sacred writings, and to be heard either read or expounded, with the outward hearing of the ear; yet are neither to be seen nor heard intellectually, spiritually, and savingly, unless, God gives eyes to see, and ears to hear; the exterior senses of seeing and hearing are not sufficient to come at and discover the sense of them; flesh and blood, human nature cannot search them out, nor reveal them, no nor the internal senses, the intellectual capacity of men:

neither have entered into the heart of man; this clause is not in the original text; but is a phrase often used by the Jews, for that which never came into a man's mind, was never thought of by him, or he ever had any conceptions, or the least notion and idea of; so the elders of the city, at the beheading of the heifer, are represented not only as saying, "our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it"; but also neither עלתה על לבינו, "hath it entered into our hearts", that the sanhedrim hath shed blood y; and elsewhere z it is said, this matter is like to a king,

שעלה בלבו, "into whose heart it entered", to plant in his garden, c.

The things which God hath prepared for them that love him in the original text it is, "for him that waiteth for him"; the sense is the same, for such as hope in the Lord and wait for him, are lovers of him; and the meaning is, that God has prepared and laid up in his own breast, in his counsels and covenant, in the types, shadows, and sacrifices of the old law, in the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament, such doctrines and mysteries of grace as were not so seen, heard, known, and understood by the Old Testament prophets and saints; and has reserved for his people under the Gospel dispensation, the times of the Messiah, a more clear discovery of them: so the Jews themselves own that these words belong to the world to come a, which with them commonly signifies the days of the Messiah; though here they think fit to distinguish them, and interpret the phrase, "eye hath not seen", of the eye of the prophets: their words are these b;

"all prophesied not, but of the days of the Messiah; but as to the world to come, eye hath not seen, O God, besides thee.''

The gloss on it is,

"the eye of the prophets hath not been able to see it.''

Indeed, the mysteries of the Gospel are more clearly discerned now, than by the prophets formerly.

y T. Bab. Sota, fol. 46. 2. z Sepher Bahir in Zohar in Gen. fol. 31. 1. a Zohar in Exod. fol. 64. 4. & 67. 2. b T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 34. 2. Sabbat, fol, 63. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 1. Maimon. in Misn. Sanhed. c. 11. sect. 1. & Hilch. Teshuva, c. 8. sect. 7. & Jarchi in Isa. lxiv. 4.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Discoveries of the Gospel; Spiritual Things Spiritually Discerned. A. D. 57.

      6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:   7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:   8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.   9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.   10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.   11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.   12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.   13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.   14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.   15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.   16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

      In this part of the chapter the apostle shows them that though he had not come to them with the excellency of human wisdom, with any of the boasted knowledge and literature of the Jews or Greeks, yet he had communicated to them a treasure of the truest and the highest wisdom: We speak wisdom among those who are perfect (1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 2:6), among those who are well instructed in Christianity, and come to some maturity in the things of God. Those that receive the doctrine as divine, and, having been illuminated by the Holy Spirit, have looked well into it, discover true wisdom in it. They not only understand the plain history of Christ, and him crucified, but discern the deep and admirable designs of the divine wisdom therein. Though what we preach is foolishness to the world, it is wisdom to them. They are made wise by it, and can discern wisdom in it. Note, Those who are wise themselves are the only proper judges of what is wisdom; not indeed the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, but the wisdom of God in a mystery (1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 2:7); not worldly wisdom, but divine; not such as the men of this world could have discovered, nor such as worldly men, under the direction of pride, and passion, and appetite, and worldly interest, and destitute of the Spirit of God, can receive. Note, How different is the judgment of God from that of the world! He seeth not as man seeth. The wisdom he teaches is of a quite different kind from what passes under that notion in the world. It is not the wisdom of politicians, nor philosophers, nor rabbis (see 1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 2:6), not such as they teach nor such as they relish; but the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom of God--what he had a long time kept to himself, and concealed from the world, and the depth of which, now it is revealed, none but himself can fathom. It is the mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations, though now made manifest to the saints (Colossians 1:26), hid in a manner entirely from the heathen world, and made mysterious to the Jews, by being wrapped up in dark types and distant prophecies, but revealed and made known to us by the Spirit of God. Note, See the privilege of those who enjoy the gospel revelation: to them types are unveiled, mysteries made plain, prophecies interpreted, and the secret counsels of God published and laid open. The wisdom of God in a mystery is now made manifest to the saints. Now, concerning this wisdom, observe,

      I. The rise and origin of it: It was ordained of God, before the world, to our glory,1 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 2:7. It was ordained of God; he had determined long ago to reveal and make it known, from many ages past, from the beginning, nay, from eternity; and that to our glory, the glory of us, either us apostles or us Christians. It was a great honour put upon the apostles, to be entrusted with the revelation of this wisdom. It was a great and honourable privilege for Christians to have this glorious wisdom discovered to them. And the wisdom of God discovered to them. And the wisdom of God discovered in the gospel, the divine wisdom taught by the gospel, prepares for our everlasting glory and happiness in the world to come. The counsels of God concerning our redemption are dated from eternity, and designed for the glory and happiness of the saints. And what deep wisdom was in these counsels! Note, The wisdom of God is both employed and displayed for the honour of the saints--employed from eternity, and displayed in time, to make them glorious both here and hereafter, in time and to eternity. What honour does he put on his saints!

      II. The ignorance of the great men of the world about it: Which none of the princes of this world knew (1 Corinthians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 2:8), the principal men in authority and power, or in wisdom and learning. The Roman governor, and the guides and rulers of the Jewish church and nation, seem to be the persons here chiefly meant. These were the princes of this world, or this age, who, had they known this true and heavenly wisdom, would not have crucified the Lord of glory. This Pilate and the Jewish rulers literally did when our Redeemer was crucified upon the sentence of the one and the clamorous demands of the other. Observe, Jesus Christ is the Lord of Glory, a title much too great for any creature to bear: and the reason why he was hated was because he was not known. Had his crucifiers known him, known who and what he was, they would have withheld their impious hands, and not have taken and slain him. This he pleaded with his Father for their pardon: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,Luke 23:34. Note, There are many things which people would not do if they knew the wisdom of God in the great work of redemption. They act as they do because they are blind or heedless. They know not the truth, or will not attend to it.

      III. It is such wisdom as could not have been discovered without a revelation, according to what the prophet Isaiah says (Isaiah 64:4), Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for those that love him--for him that waiteth for him, that waiteth for his mercy, so the LXX. It was a testimony of love to God in the Jewish believers to live in expectation of the accomplishment o evangelical promises. Waiting upon God is an evidence of love to him. Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him,Isaiah 25:9. Observe, There are things which God hath prepared for those that love him, and wait for him. There are such things prepared in a future life for them, things which sense cannot discover, no present information can convey to our ears, nor can yet enter our hearts. Life and immortality are brought to light through the gospel,2 Timothy 1:10. But the apostle speaks here of the subject-matter of the divine revelation under the gospel. These are such as eye hath not seen nor ear heard. Observe, The great truths of the gospel are things lying out of the sphere of human discovery: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard them, nor have they entered into the heart of man. Were they objects of sense, could they be discovered by an eye of reason, and communicated by the ear to the mind, as matters of common human knowledge may, there had been no need of a revelation. But, lying out of the sphere of nature, we cannot discover them but by the light of revelation. And therefore we must take them as they lie in the scriptures, and as God has been pleased to reveal them.

      IV. We here see by whom this wisdom is discovered to us: God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit,1 Corinthians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 2:10. The scripture is given by inspiration of God. Holy men spoke of old as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,2 Peter 1:21. And the apostles spoke by inspiration of the same Spirit, as he taught them, and gave them utterance. Here is a proof of the divine authority of the holy scriptures. Paul wrote what he taught: and what he taught was revealed of God by his Spirit, that Spirit that searches all things, yea, the deep things of God, and knows the things of God, as the spirit of a man that is in him knows the things of a man,1 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Corinthians 2:11. A double argument is drawn from these words in proof of the divinity of the Holy Ghost:-- 1. Omniscience is attributed to him: He searches all things, even the deep things of God. He has exact knowledge of all things, and enters into the very depths of God, penetrates into his most secret counsels. Now who can have such a thorough knowledge of God but God? 2. This allusion seems to imply that the Holy Spirit is as much in God as a man's mind is in himself. Now the mind of the man is plainly essential to him. He cannot be without his mind. Now can God be without his Spirit. He is as much and as intimately one with God as the man's mind is with the man. The man knows his own mind because his mind is one with himself. The Spirit of God knows the things of God because he is one with God. And as no man can come at the knowledge of what is in another man's mind till he communicates and reveals it, so neither can we know the secret counsels and purposes of God till they are made known to us by his Holy Spirit. We cannot know them at all till he had proposed them objectively (as it is called) in the external revelation; we cannot know or believe them to salvation till he enlightens the faculty, opens the eye of the mind, and gives us such a knowledge and faith of them. And it was by this Spirit that the apostles had received the wisdom of God in a mystery, which they spoke. "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things freely given to us of God (1 Corinthians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 2:12); not the spirit which is in the wise men of the world (1 Corinthians 2:6; 1 Corinthians 2:6), nor in the rulers of the world (1 Corinthians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 2:8), but the Spirit which is of God, or proceedeth from God. We have what we deliver in the name of God by inspiration from him; and it is by his gracious illumination and influence that we know the things freely given to us of God unto salvation"--that is, "the great privileges of the gospel, which are the free gift of God, distributions of mere and rich grace." Though these things are given to us, and the revelation of this gift is made to us, we cannot know them to any saving purpose till we have the Spirit. The apostles had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God, and the saving impression of them from the same Spirit.

      V. We see here in what manner this wisdom was taught or communicated: Which things we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches,1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13. They had received the wisdom they taught, not from the wise men of the world, but from the Spirit of God. Nor did they put a human dress on it, but plainly declared the doctrine of Christ, in terms also taught them by the Holy Spirit. He not only gave them the knowledge of these things, but gave them utterance. Observe, The truths of God need no garnishing by human skill or eloquence, but look best in the words which the Holy Ghost teaches. The Spirit of God knows much better how to speak of the things of God than the best critics, orators, or philosophers. Comparing spiritual things with spiritual--one part of revelation with another, the revelation of the gospel with that of the Jews, the discoveries of the New Testament with the types and prophecies of the Old. The comparing of matters of revelation with matters of science, things supernatural with things natural and common, is going by a wrong measure. Spiritual things, when brought together, will help to illustrate one another; but, if the principles of human art and science are to be made a test of revelation, we shall certainly judge amiss concerning it, and the things contained in it. Or, adapting spiritual things to spiritual--speaking of spiritual matters, matters of revelation, and the spiritual life, in language that is proper and plain. The language of the Spirit of God is the most proper to convey his meaning.

      VI. We have an account how this wisdom is received.

      1. The natural man receiveth not the things of God, for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 2:14. The natural man, the animal man. Either, (1.) The man under the power of corruption, and never yet illuminated by the Spirit of God, such as Jude calls sensual, not having the Spirit,Jude 1:19; Jude 1:19. Men unsanctified receive not the things of God. The understanding, through the corruption of nature by the fall, and through the confirmation of this disorder by customary sin, is utterly unapt to receive the rays of divine light; it is prejudiced against them. The truths of God are foolishness to such a mind. The man looks on them as trifling and impertinent things, not worth his minding. The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not,John 1:5. Not that the natural faculty of discerning is lost, but evil inclinations and wicked principles render the man unwilling to enter into the mind of God, in the spiritual matters of his kingdom, and yield to their force and power. It is the quickening beams of the Spirit of truth and holiness that must help the mind to discern their excellency, and to so thorough a conviction of their truth as heartily to receive and embrace them. Thus the natural man, the man destitute of the Spirit of God, cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Or, (2.) The natural man, that is, the wise man of the world (1 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Corinthians 1:20), the wise man after the flesh, or according to the flesh (1 Corinthians 2:26; 1 Corinthians 2:26), one who hath the wisdom of the world, man's wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:4-6; 1 Corinthians 2:4-6), a man, as some of the ancients, that would learn all truth by his own ratiocinations, receive nothing by faith, nor own any need of supernatural assistance. This was very much the character of the pretenders to philosophy and the Grecian learning and wisdom in that day. Such a man receives not the things of the Spirit of God. Revelation is not with him a principle of science; he looks upon it as delirium and dotage, the extravagant thought of some deluded dreamer. It is no way to wisdom among the famous masters of the world; and for that reason he can have no knowledge of things revealed, because they are only spiritually discerned, or made known by the revelation of the Spirit, which is a principle of science or knowledge that he will not admit.

      2. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged, or discerned, of no man,1 Corinthians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 2:15. Either, (1.) He who is sanctified and made spiritually-minded (Romans 8:6) judgeth all things, or discerneth all things--he is capable of judging about matters of human wisdom, and has also a relish and savour of divine truths; he sees divine wisdom, and experiences divine power, in gospel revelations and mysteries, which the carnal and unsanctified mind looks upon as weakness and folly, as things destitute of all power and not worthy any regard. It is the sanctified mind that must discern the real beauties of holiness; but, by the refinement of its facilities, they do not lose their power of discerning and judging about common and natural things. The spiritual man may judge of all things, natural and supernatural, human and divine, the deductions of reason and the discoveries of revelation. But he himself is judged or discerned of NO MAN. God's saints are his hidden ones, Psalms 83:3. Their life is hid with Christ in God,Colossians 3:3. The carnal man knows no more of a spiritual man than he does of other spiritual things. He is a stranger to the principles, pleasures, and actings, of the divine life. The spiritual man does not lie open to his observation. Or, (2.) He that is spiritual (who has had divine revelations made to him, receives them as such, and founds his faith and religion upon them) can judge both of common things and things divine; he can discern what is, and what is not, the doctrine of the gospel and of salvation, and whether a man preaches the truths of God or not. He does not lose the power of reasoning, nor renounce the principles of it, by founding his faith and religion on revelation. But he himself is judged of no man--can be judged, so as to be confuted, by no man; nor can any man who is not spiritual, not under a divine afflatus himself (see 1 Corinthians 14:37; 1 Corinthians 14:37), or not founding his faith on a divine revelation, discern or judge whether what he speaks be true or divine, or not. In short, he who founds all his knowledge upon principles of science, and the mere light of reason, can never be a judge of the truth or falsehood of what is received by revelation. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him (1 Corinthians 2:16; 1 Corinthians 2:16), that is, the spiritual man? Who can enter so far into the mind of God as to instruct him who has the Spirit of God, and is under his inspiration? He only is the person to whom God immediately communicates the knowledge of his will. And who can inform or instruct him in the mind of God who is so immediately under the conduct of his own Spirit? Very few have known any thing of the mind of God by a natural power. But, adds the apostle, we have the mind of Christ; and the mind of Christ is the mind of God. He is God, and the principal messenger and prophet of God. And the apostles were empowered by his Spirit to make known his mind to us. And in the holy scriptures the mind of Christ, and the mind of God in Christ, are fully revealed to us. Observe, It is the great privilege of Christians that they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". 1706.

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible


A Sermon

(No. 56)

Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 16th, 1855, by the

REV. C. H. Spurgeon

At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.


"As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 .

HOW very frequently verses of Scripture are misquoted! Instead of turning to the Bible, to see how it is written, and saying, "How readest thou?" we quote from one another; and thus a passage of Scripture is handed down misquoted, by a king of tradition, from father to son, and passes as current among a great number of Christian persons. How very frequently at our prayer meetings do we hear our brethren describing heaven as a place of which we cannot conceive! They say, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him;" and there they stop, not seeing that the very marrow of the whole passage lies in this "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit." So that the joys of heaven (if this passage alludes to heaven, which, I take it, is not quite so clear as some would suppose), are, after all, not things of which we cannot conceive; for "God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit."

I have hinted that this passage is most commonly applied to heaven, and I shall myself also so apply it in some measure, this morning. But any one who reads the connexion will discover that the apostle is not talking about heaven at all. He is only speaking of this that the wisdom of this world is not able to discover the things of God that the merely carnal mind is not able to know the deep spiritual things of our most holy religion. He says, "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." And then he goes on lower down to say, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." I take it, that this text is a great general fact, capable of specific application to certain cases; and that the great fact is this that the things of God cannot be perceived by eye, and ear, and heart, but must be revealed by the Spirit of God; as they are unto all true believers. We shall take that thought, and endeavour to expand it this morning, explaining it concerning heaven, as well as regards other heavenly matters.

Every prophet who has stood upon the borders of a new dispensation might have uttered these words with peculiar force. He might have said, as he looked forward to the future, God having touched his eye with the anointing eye-salve of the Holy Spirit, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him; but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit." We will divide the economy of free grace into different dispensations. We commence with the patriarchal. A patriarch, who like Abraham was gifted with foresight, might have looked forward to the Levitical dispensation, glorious with its tabernacle, its Shekinah, its gorgeous veil, its blazing altars; he might have caught a glimpse of Solomon's magnificent temple, and even by anticipation heard the sacred song ascending from the assembled thousands of Jerusalem; he might have seen king Solomon upon his throne, surrounded with all his riches, and the people resting in peace and tranquillity in the promised land; and he might have turned to his brethren who lived in the patriarchal age, and said, "'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him' in the next dispensation. Ye know not how clearly God will reveal himself in the Paschal Lamb how sweetly the people will be led, and fed, and guided, and directed all the way through the wilderness what a sweet and fair country it is that they shall inhabit; Eye hath not seen the brooks that gush with milk, nor the rivers that run with honey; ear hath not heard the melodious voices of the daughters of Shiloh, nor have entered into the heart of man the joys of the men of Zion, 'but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.'"

And so, moreover, at the close of the Levitical dispensation, the prophets might have thus foretold the coming glories. Old Isaiah, standing in the midst of the temple, beholding its sacrifices, and the dim smoke that went up from them, when his eyes were opened by the Spirit of God, said "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for him that love him." He saw by faith Christ crucified upon the cross; he beheld him weltering in his own blood in Gethsemane's garden; he saw the disciples going out of Jerusalem, to preach everywhere the Word of God; he marked the progress of Messiah's kingdom, and he looked down to these latter days, when every man under his own vine and fig tree doth worship God, none daring to make him afraid; and he could well have cheered the captives in Babylon in words like these, "Now ye sit down and weep, and ye will not sing in a strange land the songs of Zion; but lift up your heads, for your salvation draweth nigh. Your eye hath not seen, nor your ear heard, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him; but he hath revealed them unto me by his Spirit." And now, beloved, we stand on the borders of a new era. The mediatorial dispensation is almost finished. In a few more years, if prophecy be not thoroughly misinterpreted, we shall enter upon another condition. This poor earth of ours, which has been swathed in darkness, shall put on her garments of light. She hath toiled a long while in travail and sorrow. Soon shall her groanings end. Her surface, which has been stained with blood, is soon to be purified by love, and a religion of peace is to be established. The hour is coming, when storms shall be hushed, when tempests shall be unknown, when whirlwind and hurricane shall stay their mighty force, and when "the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ." But you ask me what sort of kingdom that is to be, and whether I can show you any likeness thereof. I answer, no; "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him,' in the next, the millenial dispensation; "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit." Sometimes, when we climb upwards, there are moments of contemplation when we can understand that verse, "From whence we look for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be revealed from heaven," and can anticipate that thrice blessed hour, when the King of kings shall put on his head the crown of the universe, when he shall gather up sheaves of sceptres, and put them beneath his arm when he shall take the crowns from the heads of all monarchs, and welding them into one, shall put them on his own head, admist the shouts of ten thousand times ten thousand who shall chaunt his high praises. But it is little enough that we can guess of its wonders.

But persons are curious to know what kind of dispensation the Millennial one is to be. Will the temple, they ask, be erected in Jerusalem? Will the Jews be positively restored to their own land? Will the different nations all speak one language? Will they all resort to one temple? and ten thousand other questions. Beloved, we cannot answer you. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." We do not profess to understand the minutiae of these things. It is enough for us to believe that a latter-day glory is approaching. Our eyes glisten with joy, in the full belief that it is coming; and our hearts swell big at the thought that our Master is to reign over the wide, wide world, and to win it for himself. But if you begin questioning us, we tell you that we cannot explain it. Just as under the legal dispensation there were types and shadows, but the mass of the people never saw Christ in them, so there are a great many different things in this dispensation which are types of the next, which will never be explained till we have more wisdom, more light, and more instruction. Just as the enlightened Jew partially foresaw what the Gospel was to be by the law, so may we guess the Millennium by the present, but we have not light enough: there are few who are taught enough in the deep things of God to explain them fully. Therefore we still say of the mass of mankind "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit," in some measure, and he will do so more and more, by-and-bye.

And this brings us to make the application of the subject to heaven itself. You see, while it does not expressly mean heaven here, you may very easily bring it to bear upon it; for concerning heaven, unto which believers are all fast going, we may say "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit."

Now, beloved, I am about to talk of heaven for this reason: you know, I never preach any funeral sermons for anybody, and never intend. I have passed by many persons who have died in our church, without having made any parade of funeral sermons; but, nevertheless, three or four of our friends having departed recently, I think I may speak a little to you about heaven, in order to cheer you, and God may thus bless their departure. It is to be no funeral sermon, however no eulogium on the dead, and no oration pronounced over the departed. Frequent funeral sermons I utterly abhor, and I believe they are not under God's sanction and approval. Of the dead we should say nothing but that which is good: and in the pulpit we should say very little of that, except, perhaps, in the case of some very eminent saint; and then we should say very little of the man; but let the "honour be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever."

Heaven then, what is it? First, what is it not? It is not a heaven of the SENSES "Eye hath not seen it." What glorious things the eye hath seen! Have we not seen the gaudy pageantry of pomp crowding the gay streets. We have seen the procession of kings and princes; our eyes have been feasted with the display of glittering uniforms, of lavished gold and jewels, of chariots and of horses; and we have perhaps thought that the procession of the saints of God may be dimly shadowed forth thereby. But, oh it was but the thought of our poor infant mind, and far enough from the great reality. We may hear of the magnificence of the old Persian princes, of palaces covered with gold and silver, and floors inlaid with jewels; but we cannot thence gather a thought of heaven, for "eye hath not seen" it. We have thought, however, when we have come to the works of God, and our eye hath rested on them: surely we can get some glimpse of what heaven is here. By night we have turned our eye up to the blue azure, and we have seen the stars those golden-fleeced sheep of God, feeding on the blue meadow of the sky, and we have said, "See! those are the nails in the floor of heaven up yonder;" and if this earth has such a glorious covering, what must that of the kingdom of heaven be? And when our eye has wandered from star to star, we have thought, "Now I can tell what heaven is by the beauty of its floor." But it is all a mistake. All that we can see can never help us to understand heaven. At another time we have seen some glorious landscape; we have seen the white river winding among the verdant fields like a stream silver, covered on either side with emerald; we have seen the mountain towering to the sky, the mist rising on it, or the golden sunrise covering all the east with glory; or we have seen the west, again, reddened with the light of the sun as it departed; and we have said, "Surely, these grandeurs must be something like heaven; we have clapped our hands, and exclaimed

"Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood,

Stand dressed in living green."

We have imagined that there really were fields in heaven, and that things of earth were patterns of things in heaven. It was all a mistake: "Eye hath not seen" it.

Equally does our text assert that "the ear hath not heard" it. Oh! have we not on the Sabbath day sometimes heard the sweet voice of the messenger of God, when he has by the Spirit spoken to our souls! We knew something of heaven then, we thought. At other times we have been entranced with the voice of the preacher, and with the remarkable sayings which he has uttered; we have been charmed by his eloquence; some of us have known what it is to sit and weep and smile alternately, under the power of some mighty man who played with us as skilfully as David could have played on his harp; and we have said, "How sweet to hear those sounds! how glorious his eloquence! how wonderful his power of oratory! Now I think I know something of what heaven is, for my mind is so carried away, my passions are so excited, my imagination is so elevated, all the powers of my mind are stirred upon so that I can think of nothing but of what the preacher is speaking about!" But the ear is not the medium by which you can guess anything of heaven. The "ear hath not heard" it. At other times perhaps you have heard sweet music; and hath not music poured from the lungs of man that noblest instrument in the world or from some manufacture of harmony, and we have thought, "Oh! how glorious this is!" and fancied, "This is what John meant in the Revelation 'I heard a voice like many waters, and like exceeding great thunders, and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps;' and this must be something like heaven, something like the hallelujahs of the glorified." But ah! beloved, we made a mistake. "Ear hath not heard" it.

Here has been the very ground of that error into which many persons have fallen concerning heaven. They have said that they would like to go to heaven. What for? For this reason: they looked upon it as a place where they should be free from bodily pain. They should not have the head-ache or the tooth-ache there, nor any of those diseases which flesh is heir to, and whenever God laid his hand upon them they began to wish themselves in heaven, because they regarded it as a heaven of the senses a heaven which the eye hath seen or the ear heard. A great mistake; for although we shall have a body free from pain, yet it is not a heaven where our senses shall indulge themselves. The labourer will have it, that heaven is a place,

Where on a green and flowery mount

His weary soul shall sit.

Another will have it that heaven is a place where he shall eat to the full, and his body shall be satisfied. We may use these as figures; but we are so degenerate that we are apt to build a fine Mahometan heaven, and to think, there shall we have all the delights of the flesh; there shall we drink from bowls of nectared wine; there shall we lavishly indulge ourselves, and our body shall enjoy every delight of which it is capable. What a mistake for us to conceive such a thing! Heaven is not a place for the delight of mere sense; we shall be raised not a sensual body, but a spiritual body. We can get no conceptions of heaven through the senses; they must always come through the Spirit. That is our first thought. It is not a heaven to be grasped by the senses.

But, secondly, it is not a heaven of the IMAGINATION. Poets let their imaginations fly with loosened wings, when they commence speaking of heaven. And how glorious are their descriptions of it! When we have read them, we say, "And is that heaven? I wish I was there." And we think we have some idea of heaven by reading books of poetry. Perhaps the preacher weaves the filigree work of fancy, and builds up in a moment by his words charming palaces, the tops of which are covered with gold, and the walls are ivory. He pictures to you lights brighter than the sun; a place where spirits flap their bright wings, where comets flash through the sky. He tells you of fields where you may feed on ambrosia, where no henbane groweth, but where sweet flowers cover the meads. And then you think you have some idea of heaven: and you sit down and say, "It is sweet to hear that man speak; he carried me so away; he made me think I was there; he gave me such conceptions as I never head before; he worked on my imagination." And do you know, there is not a greater power than imagination. I would not give a farthing for a man who has not imagination; he is of no use, if he wishes to move the multitude. If you were to take away my imagination I must die. It's a little heaven below, to imagine sweet things. But never think that imagination can picture heaven. When it is most sublime when it is freest from the dust of earth, when it is carried up by he greatest knowledge, and kept steady by the most extreme caution, imagination cannot picture heaven. "It hath not entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." Imagination is good, but not to picture to us heaven. Your imaginary heaven you will find by-and-by to be all a mistake; though you may have piled up fine castles, you will find them to be castles in the air, and they will vanish like thin clouds before the gale. For imagination cannot make a heaven. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart of man to conceive" it.

Our next point is, that it is not a heaven of the INTELLECT. Men who take to themselves the title of intelligent, and who very humbly and modestly call themselves philosophers, generally describe heaven as a place where we shall know all things; and their grandest idea of heaven is, that they shall discover all secrets there. There the rock which would not tell its origin shall bubble forth its history; there the star which would not tell its date, and could not be made to whisper of its inhabitants, shall at once unravel all its secrets; there the animal, the fashion of which could scarcely be guessed at, so long had it been buried amongst other fossils in the earth, shall start up again, and it shall be seen of what form and shape it really was: there the rocky secrets of this our earth that they never could discover will be opened to them; and they conceive that they shall travel from one star to another star, from planet to planet, and fill their enobled intellect, as they now delight to call it, with all kinds of human knowledge. They reckon that heaven will be to understand the works of the Creator: and concerning such men as Bacon and other great philosophers, of whose piety we generally have very little evidence, we read at the end of their biographies "He has now departed, that noble spirit which taught us such glorious things here, to sip at the fountain of knowledge, and have all his mistakes rectified, and his doubts cleared up." But we do not believe anything of the kind. Intellect! thou knowest it now! "It hath not entered into the heart of man." It is high; what canst thou know? It is deep; what canst thou understand? It is only the Spirit that can give you a guess of heaven.

Now we come to the point "He hath revealed it unto us by his Spirit." I think this means, that it was revealed unto the apostles by the Spirit, so that they wrote something of it in the Holy Word; but as you all believe that, we will only hint at it, and pass on. We think also that it refers to every believer, and that every believer does have glimpses of heaven below, and that God does reveal heaven to him, even whilst on earth, so that he understands what heaven is, in some measure. I love to talk of the Spirit's influence on man. I am a firm believer in the doctrine of impulse, in the doctrine of influence, in the doctrine of direction, in the doctrine of instruction by the Holy Spirit; and I believe him to be an interpreter, one of a thousand, who reveals unto man his own sinfulness, and afterwards teaches him his righteousness in Christ Jesus. I know there are some who abuse that doctrine, and ascribe every text that comes into their heart as given by the Spirit. We have heard of a man who, passing by his neighbour's wood, and having none in his own house, fancied he should like to take some. The text crossed his mind "In all these things Job sinned not." He said, "There is an influence from the Spirit; I must take that man's wood." Presently, however, conscience whispered, "Thou shalt not steal;" and he remembered then that no text could have been put into his heart by the Spirit, if it excused sin or led him into it. However we do not discard the doctrine of impulse, because some people make a mistake; and we shall have a little of it this morning a little of the teaching of God's gracious Spirit, whereby he reveals unto us what heaven is.

First of all, we think a Christian gets a gaze of what heaven is, when in the midst of trials and troubles he is able to cast all his care upon the Lord, because he careth for him. When waves of distress, and billows of affliction pass over the Christian, there are times when his faith is so strong that he lies down and sleeps, though the hurricane is thundering in his ears, and though billows are rocking him like a child in its cradle, though the earth is removed, and the mountains are carried into the midst of the sea, he says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Famine and desolation come; but he says, "Though the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall there be fruit on the vine, though the labour of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no increase, yet will I trust in the Lord, and stay myself on the God of Jacob." Affliction smites him to the ground; he looks up, and says, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." The blows that are given to him are like the lashing of a whip upon the water, covered up immediately, and he seems to feel nothing. It is not stoicism; it is the peculiar sleep of the beloved. "So he giveth his beloved sleep." Persecution surrounds him; but he is unmoved. Heaven is something like that a place of holy calm and trust

"That holy calm, that sweet repose,

Which none but he who feels it knows.

This heavenly calm within the breast

Is the dear pledge of glorious rest,

Which for the church of God remains,

The end of cares, the end of pains."

But there is another season in which the Christian has heaven revealed to him; and that is, the season of quiet contemplation. There are precious hours, blessed be God, when we forget the world times and seasons when we get quite away from it, when our weary spirit wings its way far, far, from scenes of toil and strife. There are precious moments when the angel of contemplation gives us a vision. He comes and puts his finger on the lip of the noisy world; he bids the wheels that are continually rattling in our ears be still; and we sit down, and there is a solemn silence of the mind. We find our heaven and our God; we engage ourselves in contemplating the glories of Jesus, or mounting upwards towards the bliss of heaven in going backward to the great secrets of electing love, in considering the immutability of the blessed covenant, in thinking of what wind which "bloweth where it listeth," in remembering our own participation of that life which cometh from God, in thinking of our blood-bought union with the Lamb, of the consummation of our marriage with him in realms of light and bliss, or any such kindred topics. Then it is that we know a little about heaven. Have ye never found, O ye sons and daughters of gaiety, a holy calm come over you at times, in reading the thoughts of your fellowmen? But oh! how blessed to come and read the thoughts of God, and work, and weave them out in contemplation. Then we have a web of contemplation that we wrap around us like an enchanted garment, and we open our eyes and see heaven. Christian! when you are enabled by the Spirit to hold a season of sweet contemplation, then you can say "But he hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit;" for the joys of heaven are akin to the joys of contemplation, and the joys of a holy calm in God. But there are times with me I dare say there may be with some of you when we do something more than contemplate when we arise by meditation above thought itself, and when our soul, after having touched the Pisgah of contemplation by the way, flies positively into the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. There are seasons when the Spirit not only stands and flaps his wings o'er the gulf, but positively crosses the Jordan and dwells with Christ, holds fellowship with angels, and talks with spirits gets up there with Jesus, clasps him in his arms, and cries, "My beloved is mine, and I am his; I will hold him, and will not let him go." I know what it is at times to lay my beating head on the bosom of Christ with something more than faith actually and positively to get hold of him; not only to take him by faith, but actually and positively to feed on him; to feel a vital union with him, to grasp his arm, and feel his very pulse beating. You say. "Tell it not to unbelievers; they will laugh!" Laugh ye may; but when we are there we care not for your laughter, if ye should laugh as loud as devils; for one moment's fellowship with Jesus would recompense us for it all. Picture not fairy lands; this is heaven, this is bliss. "He hath revealed it unto us by his Spirit."

And let not the Christian, who says he has very little of this enjoyment be discouraged. Do not think you cannot have heaven revealed to you by the Spirit; I tell you, you can, if you are one of the Lord's people. And let me tell some of you, that one of the places where you may most of all expect to see heaven is at the Lord's table. There are some of you, my dearly beloved, who absent yourselves from the supper of the Lord on earth; let me tell you in God's name, that you are not only sinning against God, but robbing yourselves of a most inestimable privilege. If there is one season in which the soul gets into closer communion with Christ than another, it is at the Lord's table. How often have we sang there,

"Can I Gethesemane forget?

Or there thy conflicts see,

Thine agony and bloody sweat,

And not remember thee?

Remember thee and all thy pains,

And all thy love to me,

Yes, while a pulse, or breath remains,

I will remember thee."

And then you see what an easy transition it is to heaven:

"And when these failing lips grow dumb,

And thought and memory flee;

When thou shalt in thy kingdom come,

Jesus, remember me."

O my erring brethren, ye who live on, unbaptized, and who receive not this sacred supper, I tell you not that they will save you most assuredly they will not, and if you are not saved before you receive them they will be an injury to you; but if you are the Lord's people, why need you stay away? I tell you, the Lord's table is so high a place that you can see heaven from it very often. You get so near the cross there, you breathe so near the cross, that your sight becomes clearer, and the air brighter, and you see more of heaven there than anywhere else. Christian, do not neglect the supper of thy Lord; for it thou dost, he will hide heaven from thee, in a measure.

Again, how sweetly do we realize heaven, when we assemble in our meetings for prayer. I do not know how my brethren feel at prayer meetings; but they are so much akin to what heaven is, as a place of devotion, that I really think we get more ideas of heaven by the Spirit there, than in hearing a sermon preached, because the sermon necessarily appeals somewhat to the intellect and the imagination. But if we enter into the vitality of prayer at our prayer meetings, then it is the Spirit that reveals heaven to us. I remember two texts that I preached from lately at our Monday evening meeting, which were very sweet to some of our souls. "Abide with us, for the day is far spent," and another, "By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him and found him." Then indeed we held some foretaste of heaven. Master Thomas would not believe that his Lord was risen. Why? Because he was not at the last prayer-meeting; for we are told that Thomas was not there. And those who are often away from devotional meetings are very apt to have doubting frames; they do not get sights of heaven, for they get their eye-sight spoiled by stopping away.

Another time when we get sights of heaven is in extraordinary closet seasons. Ordinary closet prayer will only make ordinary Christians of us. It is in extraordinary seasons, when we are led by God to devote, say an hour, to earnest prayer when we feel an impulse, we scarce know why, to cut off a portion of our time during the day to go alone. Then, beloved, we kneel down, and begin to pray in earnest. It may be that we are attacked by the devil; for when the enemy knows we are going to have a great blessing, he always makes a great noise to drive us away; but if we keep at it, we shall soon get into a quiet frame of mind, and hear him roaring at a distance. Presently you get hold of the angel, and say, "Lord, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me." He asks your name. You begin to tell him what you name was:

"Once a sinner, near despair,

Sought thy mercy-seat by prayer;

Mercy heard and set him free;

Lord, that mercy came to me."

You say, "What is thy name, Lord?" He will not tell you. You hold him fast still; at last he deigns to bless you. That is certainly some foretaste of heaven, when you feel alone with Jesus. Let no man know your prayers; they are between God and yourselves; but if you want to know much of heaven, spend some extra time in prayer; for God then reveals it to us by his Spirit.

"Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish." You have been saying in your hearts, "The prophet is a fool, and this spiritual man is mad." Go away and say these things; but be it known unto you, that what ye style madness is to us wisdom and what ye count folly "is the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom." And if there is a poor penitent here this morning, saying, "Ah! sir, I get visions enough of hell, but I do not get visions of heaven;" poor penitent sinner, thou canst not have any visions of heaven, unless thou lookest through the hands of Christ. The only glass through which a poor sinner can see bliss is that formed by the holes in Jesus' hands. Dost thou not know, that all grace and mercy was put into the hand of Christ, and that it never could have run out to thee unless his hand had been bored through in crucifixion. He cannot hold it from thee, for it will run through; and he cannot hold it in his heart, for he has got a rent in it made by the spear. Go and confess your sin to him, and he will wash you, and make you whiter than snow. If you feel you cannot repent, go to him and tell him so, for he is exalted to give repentance, as well as remission of sins. Oh! that the spirit of God might give you true repentance and true faith; and then saint and sinner shall meet together, and both shall not only know what "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard;" but

"Then shall we see, and hear, and know

All we desired or wished below,

And every power find sweet employ

In that eternal world of joy."

Till that time we can only have these things revealed to us by the Spirit; and we will seek more of that, each day we live.

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Bibliographical Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2:9". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.