“1And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Wisdom from the Spirit
6Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
14The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-14)
For the past several weeks I have followed the conversation at http://graceconversation.com between Todd Deaver and Jay Guinn (on the progressive side) and Phil Sanders, Greg Tidwell, and now Greg’s replacement, Mac Deaver (on the conservative side). As I read the posts and the dozens of comments one thing is clear. There is little communication going on.
For two or more parties to communicate they must be speaking the same language in terms that both understand or else nothing is understood by one or more parties. I sincerely believe that in the passage quoted above from 1st Corinthians there is an answer for the disconnect I have observed, especially the 14th verse.
It appears that some of the conservatives I have spoken to and have read, simply do not grasp the most elementary spiritual truths of the Scriptures. They define everything in black and white and what they teach requires no spiritual discernment at all to understand. It goes something like this.
A man called Jesus died for our sins and if you respond in a scripted way to that head knowledge and keep all of the many rules, (some are unwritten in the Bible) you can go to heaven. These rules include the name of the church you must attend, when you must attend, what you must do when you attend, and you must do it right or God will damn you. Also you must not only do the right stuff at the right time but you must also believe the right stuff as well. Never mind that one elder in Tenn. might say something is a “salvation issue” and an elder in Texas, or Alabama might add another or disagree with the first, it is your job to be “right” or you go to hell.
What a horrific hoax and a shame in the name of Christ! What kind of gospel (good news) is this? Paul had something far different in mind when he penned the words quoted above to the Corinthians. Read that chapter slowly and carefully and I think you might agree with me that only the “spiritual” person will understand the import of the message of grace.
Some men read the Bible as they would any other book. Those who are born again and have God’s Spirit living in them read it with supernatural understanding. There is a huge, life or death, difference.
This is reiterated in Romans 8:7:
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
In any situation, theological debate or not, we can make our arguments and suggestions on how to handle a particular problem, but unless and until we are dealing with a person who is spiritually minded no progress will be made. There are some things only God can do. One of those is give enlightenment of His word.
To me this is such an illustration of the absolute necessity of the regenerative work of Christ for ALL! It’s not just a heaven & hell issue – it’s a victorious living issue. What a terrible way to go through life – at enmity with God & considering His ways to be folly.
I’m a Believer!
You are absolutely right about the lack of communication and the use of two completely different languages at the “Grace Conversation” blog.
One camp speaks a language of love, mercy, sacrifice, grace.
The other speaks a language of righteousness, justice, law, judgment.
One of the two camps is better at being able to speak the language of the other.
Probably because of where most of them used to pitch their tents.
Can we not bridge the gap and have righteousness, justice, law, judgment flowing forth from love, mercy, sacrifice, grace?
I decided reluctantly to approve your comment. I still don’t know what you said. Sorry
Sorry Royce. I was just saying we sometimes get the cart before the horse. I mean Law has its place but it should come forth from grace and a proper understanding of Gods love. Today, we have many within the conservative church of Christ putting Law before grace. Sorry I wasn’t clear.
Thanks for the clarification. I agree.