Saturday, March 23, 2013

Essay 1—Cross and Unity—(3) Wisdom Through Spirit

Outline: E1.3-Wisdom Through Spirit
Passage: 1 Corinthians 2:3-16
Discussion Audio (1h27m)

The Lord of glory was crucified for our glory.

The cross of Christ continues to be the center of Paul’s message. In this next section of his first essay, Paul writes that the Spirit of God is necessary for a person to comprehend the mystery of the wisdom and power of the cross. What is this mystery of the wisdom and power of the cross?

This mystery teaching of the Spirit is that “God decreed before the ages” (2:7) “the Lord of glory” (2:8) would be crucified “for our glory” (2:7). In other words the wisdom and power of the cross is its power to transform believers into Christ’s character.

Behind the Greek word doxa (glory) is the Hebrew word kabod (weight). In Middle Eastern culture, a "weighty" person (rajul thagil) has to do with wisdom, balance, stability, reliability, sound judgment, patience, impartiality, nobility and the like.[1]

It is this teaching that Paul believes he was called to preach. It is the only teaching that can unite peoples of different ethnicity, culture, socio-economic backgrounds, and religions. It is a teaching that requires both Reason (Logos) and Spirit (Pneuma) to comprehend fully.

Logic and reasoning are not enough. There is a component in the gift of grace that equips the believer to understand the things of God. Paul moves in a world that cannot be reconciled to the worldview of the Enlightenment.[2]

[1] Bailey, Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes, location 1227

[2] Bailey, loc. 1323

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