Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament, Part 97

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16

As we’ve mentioned in a previous bulletin (4-26-09), the first three chapters of Paul’s earliest letter to the Corinthian church deals with the schisms in the body created by competing ideologies or affections based upon human wisdom versus the wisdom of God as revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, His predetermined plan set forth from before the foundation of the earth. We need to be aware that the city of Corinth and many of its inhabitants valued and were enamored with the great orators and philosophers of their day.

Babes in Christ who were still fleshly (as the apostle stated) would be easily swayed and led astray from the apparently “weaker” message of Christ.  Here we consider another Old Testament passage alluded to by the apostle Paul offered in that context. The passage Paul alludes to is found in Isaiah 40:13 & 14: “Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counselor has informed Him? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge, and informed Him of the way of understanding?” Prior to these verses, Isaiah had just rhetorically asked who had measured the earth’s waters, marked off the heavens by span, counted the dust upon the earth and weighed the mountains and hills on a scale. The prophet makes it clear God didn’t seek counsel from man in setting forth the physical creation which, by the way, functions perfectly within His design. The LORD’s power in executing His creation and the wisdom of His plans are far superior to anything that would be offered by man. It stands as an example that God knows what He’s doing. In context then, the apostle is making the same point in reference to things of a spiritual nature. God is not going to seek the  advice or counsel of natural man in reference to things spiritual. Sensual, fleshly man is going to properly appraise and then communicate spiritual things proceeding from the mind of God?  Absolutely not! Paul had pointed out that just as you don’t know the thoughts flowing through the mind of the individual (the spirit of the man) until they speak them, so can no man know what is in the mind of the Lord until they are disclosed through the work of the Spirit, who is in God and who is from God. (1 Cor. 2:10-12) Paul makes the point that the mind of Christ, God’s mind, has been revealed and it is through the words that the Holy Spirit gave the apostles to speak. “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak…” (1 Cor. 2:12, 13a) The mind of God concerning Christ and the church had been concealed, hidden, a mystery until the Spirit moved the apostles (and New Testament prophets) to speak the words to reveal God’s ultimate intentions. These words are spiritual, defining the types of the Old Testament, designed perfectly to help us to understand the Lord’s plans and thoughts. These words are illustrated and defined by one another leading to the proper appraisal of principles revealed by the Spirit in the mind of God. These are plain statements of facts that need no window dressing of worldly wisdom attached. And yes, there can be some difficult things hard to understand. Jesus Himself knew this. When He made the statements about the necessity to eat His flesh, and drink His blood, many of the disciples said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60) Jesus, in responding to their stumbling over His statement, noted that His words are spiritual words, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (John 6:63, 64a) If you’re viewing things of the Bible from a worldly or earthly perspective, you’ll miss the mind of Christ. Brethren, holding that Bible in our hands and believing the words are from the Spirit as intended, gives us the opportunity to say “we have the mind of Christ.” Jude, through the Spirit, reminds the called that the worldly-minded are devoid of the spirit (vs19) He has one other reminder. “But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 17) You want instruction? Trust the apostles teaching! Amen.


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