Ministry of the Holy Spirit: Teaching (part 2)

More pondering from the Ponderosa. The rulers of Jesus’ day obviously did not understand God’s wisdom, because had they known it, they would not have carried out the crucifixion. Paul said that God’s wisdom is mysterious—a hidden wisdom—that God predestined before the ages of time for our glory (1 Corinthians 2:8). A hidden wisdom?

Hidden means that God’s wisdom does not originate within the human mind. Paul wrote this wonderful truth. But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:10). The Holy Spirit teaches the human spirit the things of the spirit of God.

God’s wisdom contains that which is hidden from human eyes and ears. This wisdom does not come through mystical human visions nor voices heard! Nor has this wisdom ever before entered the mind of man. God’s wisdom is not rehashed human thoughts, ideas, or opinions. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

How do we receive this wisdom? There is only one way! “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11). God alone knows the thoughts of God.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Corinthian 2:12-13). God has given to every believer His Spirit (1 Corinthian 12:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19). A man knows only his own secret thoughts, not those of another. That is comforting! Likewise, the Spirit of God alone knows the thoughts of God. Since as believers we have received the Spirit of God, God has given us the capacity to know His truth.

Catch this incredible glimpse. Paul wrote, “Comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” This sounds like an anomaly – a mystery. But it is not. The spiritual things are spiritual words. The Word of God is spiritually alive (Hebrews 4:12). The second spiritual are thoughts. This means that as I diligently study the Word of God—every word, every line, every paragraph—God the Holy Spirit begins to teach my human spirit through spiritual thoughts, the things of the Spirit of God.

Please indulge me some repetition. As Christians study the words of the Bible, the Spirit places God’s truth in the mind, allowing them to see with the eyes of the mind God’s amazing plan for believers and for this world. This is God’s method of teaching every believer His wisdom, His mind. God does not give different information to different believers, but it is the same truth given and received in the very same way, for hundreds of years. The Bible has one body of truth to give.

The Christian cannot approach the text looking for or seeking to find these divine truths. God does not give them to us this way. He gives them to those who diligently study the Word of God word by word, line-by-line, hour after hour, year after year. God opens His wisdom through the Spirit’s illumination. Again, as we study God’s spiritual word, the Holy Spirit within us begins to open to us spiritual thoughts. It is truly a magnificent way to learn.

It is clear that God does not teach everything one desires to know about any given subject in His Word. If He did, He would not be God. He reserves the right to give or to withhold truth (Matthew 13:10-11). He has given me just small “glimpses” of His plan through the years. A glimpse is a “brief, incomplete view or look, a brief flash of light.” But as I began to connect these small glimpses one with the other, God’s magnificent wisdom began to emerge—the eternal nature of Jesus Christ, why God took on flesh (incarnation), the truth about the virgin birth, the facts surrounding the death of Christ, His resurrection (bodily), His ascension back into heaven, and the truth that God has provided His salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, and the truth concerning His kingdom, to name some. This is God’s method of revealing to us His hidden wisdom.

We were visiting some friends in Houston, Texas, some years ago. After a trip to the mall, my daughter brought home a hologram. A hologram is a picture hidden within a picture. They handed me the print of a beautiful American flag and asked me to find the hidden picture. Everyone saw the hidden picture quickly. I tried and tried, but I just could not see it!

My daughter kept repeating, “Dad, just look deep within the flag.” I tried time and again. Finally, after many attempts, I caught a glimpse of something! Ah, there it was. Hidden in the flag was a beautiful eagle with its wings spread majestically. That’s fascinating, I thought.

The hologram is a perfect illustration of the Holy Spirit opening the truth of God’s Word to the mind of the student. Glimpses of grace come only as God the Holy Spirit reveals them to us. It has been these glimpses that the Spirit of God has used to teach me and to motivate me through the years. Stay safe and stay tuned.