Revealed By God
A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 2:1-16
Paul’s Reliance upon the Spirit
1And when I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come as someone superior in speaking ability or wisdom, as I proclaimed to you the testimony of God. 2For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3I also was with you in weakness and fear, and in great trembling, 4and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of mankind, but on the power of God.
6Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 8the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9but just as it is written:
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the human heart,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. 11For who among people knows the thoughts of a person except the spirit of the person that is in him? So also the thoughts of God no one knows, except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God. 13We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.
14But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But the one who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no one. 16For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 6Howbeit 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: 7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But 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. 10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11For 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. 12Now 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. 13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But 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. 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
How can one know God? In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 2:1–16 titled “Revealed by God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how this seemingly simple question has immense significance for one’s life. If God could not be known, how could anyone understand the gospel and be saved? Thankfully, God has revealed Himself to humanity. No one has to discover God through science or philosophy, but God made Himself known in Scripture and in Jesus Christ. In this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows the great need for forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Science cannot give this knowledge because it only tells about this world. Christians then have nothing to fear from modern humanity and its claims of intellectual superiority, because true knowledge of God is a gift through His Word, not simply another truth to be discovered. The story of Nicodemus illustrates this well. The Lord Jesus says that it is the Spirit that shows God. It is a supernatural act of God that allows fallen sinners to come to a knowledge of a holy God. There is no more important truth than the gospel of salvation from sins.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.