Many years ago when I was in Bible College, I was given an opportunity to preach on a Sunday evening at my church. At that particular time I was finishing up a huge Greek translation assignment that had nearly 40 hours worth of work in it. I learned a ton in all the research that I had done. Among the books that were examined were Greek lexicons, word study books, and commentaries that were written by theologically sound writers or, as I would call them, “heavy hitters.” There was so much information that I gathered and I felt like I did a pretty good job of communicating the things that I leaned from other men.
At that time I was doing some work for this older Christian lady. We began to talk about the things of God and I mentioned that I had the opportunity to preach the Sunday before and she asked me what I preached on. Since I was now so knowledgeable on this particular passage, I began to “tell her” the different things that I learned from those great commentaries about that text.
Then this little old lady, who had never attended a Bible school or learned how to translate a Greek text, began to teach me deep things from that passage that I missed. I stood there in awe and I was humbled, because I knew those things that she was telling me were not read from a commentary or taught in a Bible school–God himself taught her these deep truths through His Spirit who resided in her.
The Apostle Paul was an effective communicator; he was trained by the best teachers of his time. He put in the effort to learn and to excel in everything that he did; but Paul does not associate these deep teachings of God with man’s wisdom or his efforts. If man did not teach him these things, who did?
For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Through this revelation of Jesus Christ: Paul was indwelt with the Spirit of God and taught by God Himself. All over Scripture we see Paul relying on the Holy Spirit as he confronts false teachers and boldly preaches the gospel. In First Corinthians chapter two, we see Paul relying on the Holy Spirit as he expounds on God’s wisdom versus man’s wisdom.
Paul’s message was not with persuasive or convincing words of man, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. Paul relied on the Spirit, and the Corinthians could not deny that God was with him. This was done, “so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God,” (v. 5).
I learned a humbling lesson from that little old lady. Man’s wisdom is good, but God’s wisdom is so much more superior. Like Paul, as we rely on the Spirit of God to direct us we can be empowered to do God’s work and to even learn the deep things of God that cannot be learned from a book written by man, because “the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God,” (v. 10).
God has great wisdom to teach us and we have the mind of Christ (v. 16); so I encourage you to spend the time in His Word, so that God can teach you the deep things about Himself.
By Brian Hill