SET APART BUT NOT ALONE
1 Corinthians 2:6–16
There once was a college student taking an introduction to philosophy course. His assignment one weekend was to look attentively at a clear drinking glass half filled with water. He was to determine if the glass was half full or half empty.
Wanting to get a good grade, he started his study on a Friday night in his grandmother’s kitchen.
The older woman inquired about what he was doing, and the young man dismissed her, thinking she was too old and uneducated to be of any help.
Hours went by, and occasionally the grandmother would offer her help to no avail. Sunday afternoon rolled around, and the young man remained fixated on the glass. Finally, he expressed to his grandmother his dilemma regarding the glass containing water. “I cannot commit to an answer!” he exclaimed. “My boy, the answer is obvious,” replied the grandmother. “Are you pouring or are you filling?”
Wisdom can come from all people, even if we are not expecting it. God is the only source of true, lasting wisdom. Secular philosophies and world religions permeate our culture, but that so-called wisdom is not rooted in the fear of God (Prov. 1:7). It is foolishness.
As God’s children, we have something far greater than worldly wisdom. (6–9)
It profits a person nothing if he or she is wise in the things of this world but does not know and trust in the finished work of Jesus.
Godly wisdom is a mystery for those who do not believe in faith. Paul reasons that if the rulers of the present age understood the ways of God, they would not have chosen to crucify Jesus.
The Holy Spirit helps us understand the things of God. (10–13)
Head knowledge about God is not the same thing as knowing Him relationally. Academics are important, but they do not settle our sin problem. Only the atonement provided by Christ can do that.
Do you realize that any minuscule detail you know about God is only because He chose to reveal it to you? Karl Barth, a theologian of old, was asked what the deepest theological truth was that he knew or ever pondered. He replied, “Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
I can think of nothing more profound, and at the same time more rewarding than knowing God loves me. The events of the cross and resurrection reveal this to me and are made alive in me when the Holy Spirit calls me from darkness into His marvelous light.
The Holy Spirit helps us see things from Christ’s perspective. (14–16)
The young man pondering the glass of water was earnest in his search for understanding, but his perspective was narrow.
As humans, our perspectives are equally narrow when it comes to the mind of God. We see through eyes of flesh and through a “glass darkly.” If the Apostle Paul was limited, we should expect the same in our search for godly knowledge.
Always be quick to learn. The Holy Spirit will guide you to the truth you seek. This truth will always be based in Scripture and complementary to the nature and attributes of God.
Start with prayer, open your Bible, grab a pen and notebook and have a glass of water. You can decide if you want it to be half full or half empty.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi