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1 Corinthians 2:6-16

You can read the text here.

Paul continues his discussion of the nature of the message of the cross and its relationship with the world. The Corinthians need their world view to be reshaped by the message via the agency of the Holy Spirit.

God's wisdom is of a different sort than the wisdom that they knew before following Jesus. It's insight into the way things really are and who is really the king in opposition to what the powers pursue and believe to be true.[1] If the powers had understood that self-sacrifice was the way to true glory, and that God was truly working through Jesus to bring peace and glory they would never would have crucified him. While they may think they have the glory, it's the ones who follow Jesus who actually will be glorified in the end![2]

We know the truth, but only because we, as the church, have the Spirit who reveals it to us. It is only through God's Spirit that God can be known. Once we have his Spirit we evaluate everything differently, and through the Spirit we can know and possess God's blessings.

To the ordinary person, who is not indwelt by the Spirit, God's gifts don't seem to be worth much. It would seem to them better to have power the way the rulers do than the "weakness" of cruciform Christ-likeness. But they don't have what the Christian community has, an ongoing connection to Christ via the Spirit. That communal connection changes everything about how we see reality.

This is Paul's goal, to bring the Corinthians back together. The mind of Christ is their joint possession, and isn't something that only the "spiritually elite" have. The community has it, so they need each other.[3]


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[1] With both Thisleton and Ciampa and Rosner, I believe the identification of the powers as human powers with some degree of evil influence to be likely.

[2] Ciampa and Rosner make this point really well.

[3] The mind of Christ must be a community possession, shared as a community, otherwise bringing this up would just exacerbate the problems of lack of unity and status-seeking.

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