Paul’s Message of Wisdom
1When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters,*2:1a Greek brothers. I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.*2:1b Greek God’s mystery; other manuscripts read God’s testimony. 2For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
6Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 7No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God*2:7 Greek But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery. —his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”*2:9
10But*2:10 Some manuscripts read For. it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
13When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.*2:13 Or explaining spiritual truths in spiritual language, or explaining spiritual truths to spiritual people. 14But people who aren’t spiritual*2:14 Or who don’t have the Spirit; or who have only physical life. can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16For,
“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach him?”*2:16
But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.