Spirituality is in vogue right now. People are fascinated with the spiritual dimension, seeking unity with their “inner beings,” enjoying meditation exercises that completely empty the brain of all conscious thought, and then claim to be spiritual. Thankfully, they don’t claim the title Christian, but prefer to be known as spiritual people.
But what does “spiritual” mean? In the context I was referring to, people often use it to signify the fact that they are seeking an experience that takes them outside of themselves and into a different realm of awareness. But is that what spirituality really is?
Before Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection and return to heaven, He had a lengthy conversation with His disciples and promised them many things including a divine Helper Who would come after Jesus returned to heaven. This divine Helper is the Holy Spirit that would teach all things and remind them of the truths Jesus had already imparted. Throughout the New Testament, we learn more about the Holy Spirit that Jesus gave us to live and dwell within us, guiding us through life and directing us in the ways of God.
Here, in 1 Corinthians, we gain more insight into the role of the Holy Spirit, its place within the Trinity, and its important place in our lives as the revealer of God’s mysteries and divine wisdom.
The wisdom of God and contrasting it to man’s wisdom has been a central message throughout the first two chapters of 1 Corinthians. Paul makes it extremely clear that the two are not even closely similar and that God’s wisdom actually confounds the logic and reasoning of man’s. However, after making his points regarding the futility of human thinking when trying to understand the things of God, Paul makes it clear that as redeemed sons and daughters of God we have been given a new mind and heart and can, therefore, understand the wisdom of God. And not only can we understand it, but God has given to us the ability to comprehend His wisdom for our glory.
The message of goodness is simple. God never intended it to be complicated. It’s simple enough for a child to understand and believe. However, mankind often likes to complicate and muddle simple things, making them confusing, elitist sounding, and difficult to decipher. In ancient Corinth and its culture of intellect and high thinking, the simplicity of the gospel message stood out in stark contrast to the scholarly jargon and intellectual lingo of the day.