1 Corinthians 2:9-16

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
This verse is a quotation from Isaiah 64:4. This verse is kind of a mystery verse because it reveals something that remains hidden. First, it teaches us that man is incapable of knowing the things that God has for His children, corporately as well as individually. Each Christian is different and has a different ministry, therefore, what applies to one Christian does not apply to another. This verse is one of great encouragement in that it teaches us with great anticipation the glorious things God has for His children. A Christian may be going through rough times on Earth but they have the knowledge that God will never forsake them in the times of deepest need. Even though God reveals to us that we have a place in Heaven, He cannot describe the true beauty of Heaven because He can only explain according to earthly terms. Now this verse is not aimed at the unbeliever or the religious unbeliever. God has future plans of glory only for His Elect and He has plans for the Elect here on Earth which must be completed by the last day. So this particular verse speaks not only of things to come, it speaks of things that already are. Are you in a ministry? Did you ever think that you would be in ministry? It never entered into your heart did it? As God brings His children along, He reveals His plans to them.
1 Corinthians 2:10
(A) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: (B) for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
A) God’s Plans for the believer are only made known through the revelation from God but not all at once. However, the big picture is revealed at once which is Eternal life. God did not reveal His plans by physical means, to be seen, or heard, or understood by mere words but His plans for his elect are revealed through the indwelling Holy Spirit. This is why the unbeliever can never truly serve God since they have never received marching orders through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Religion, not the Holy Spirit, is the director in the lives of the unbeliever.
B) Searcheth - search diligently or examine carefully for full comprehension
Deep Things - the depths or deeper things by means of spirit - One can only know the deeper truths of Scripture through the indwelling Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit has the full knowledge and insight into God’s plans, purposes, or direction. This is the area that man will not be able to comprehend and because of the infinite nature of God, we are only able to scratch the surface of knowing God. To us the Bible is a very deep book but to God, it is a very simple book because of the unending wisdom and knowledge He possesses. Since the Holy Spirit is God, then we can easily conclude that He has the full knowledge and wisdom of God the Father, even though He is a distinct personality being the third person of the Godhead. One could probably write books on this subject but let us have faith that the same Holy Spirit who indwells us, has the understanding of every mystery and every infinite thing. He understands everything.
1 Corinthians 2:11
(A) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? (B) even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
A. Knoweth - Recognize or fully understand
Each human cannot know the other thoughts of a human unless that person chooses to reveal them. This would mean the plans, thoughts, and intentions of a person. You can look at a person and really think they may be a kind person and then later on you find out they are a criminal. Take a look at a picture of Baby Face Nelson, by looking at him would you think he was a strong arm for Al Capone and then a berserk bank robber and killer? He had the face of a teenager, yet, this meant nothing as he robbed and murdered his way around the Midwest. No human, can, with certainty, know what another human is thinking.
B. The natural or unregenerate man cannot understand the things of God but only those who are saved can understand what God reveals to them. The Holy Spirit is the one who reveals divine truths to us through the Scriptures. It is said if you want to learn about water you don’t go to the fish. Why? Because it is the only environment they know and since sin is the only environment we know, we can never learn the things of God naturally. We may learn superficially of His creation but never the spiritual depths of God unless the Holy Spirit teaches us. Finite can never truly understand infinite!
1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
The Holy Spirit is the gift from God who gives us the understanding of the things which pertain to God and our salvation.
(Dan 2:47 KJV) The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.
(John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
(2 Pet 1:2-3 KJV) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, {3} According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
The Holy Spirit creates the gulf which divides the believer’s understanding of God and the unbeliever’s understanding of God. Those who have Him (the saved) will understand the things of God and those who do not (the unsaved), will not understand and then go on to create all sorts of false ideas. These few verses teach us that the Holy Spirit is the key person in the believer’s life for understanding spiritual things. We must clearly understand one thing that not every mystery will be revealed to us, simply because we would not be able to handle it, nor understand it. This is why we have faith in God, and His ability to handle our situations, because we would never be able to understand our situation on the deep level which God can.
(Deu 29:29 KJV) The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Before we were saved we had the spirit of the world which was dead to the things of God. Compare what we know about God now and what we thought we knew before we were saved.
1 Corinthians 2:13
(A) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; (B) comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
A. Here Paul is saying that his words are not the words of man’s fatal wisdom but they are the divine words which are above man’s words and thoughts. He continues his discourse from verse 12. We receive the Spirit of God and because we have the Holy Spirit living within us, we speak the things of God through the enablement of the Holy Spirit.
B. Comparing - Interpret or evaluate
Here is the primary hermeneutical rule of understanding the Bible. It is the comparison or interpretation of Scripture by the Scriptures alone. This means in interpreting the Bible we must exclude all biased para-biblical materials. This is especially true in the prophecy camp where they make national Israel the center of their biblical thinking rather than Christ. If we are going to come to a true Biblical interpretation on any given passage, we must never interpret the Bible by newspapers, magazines, messianic literature, or any other materials which lead only to an assumption on the part of the teacher. God tells us specifically that to understand the Bible, we are to compare the writings of Scripture with the writings of Scripture without any influence from secular sources such as the Jerusalem Post, Newsweek, or Time, etc. The Bible is its own interpreter. There is probably no bigger violation of the Scripture with Scripture rule than in the prophecy camp. With almost every news article published, they come out with another prophecy. Instead of trusting Scripture alone to interpret Scripture alone, they look everywhere for truth except in the Bible. It is easy to say that Zechariah 14:12 is the Neutron Bomb and without further investigation and verse isolation, we can come to that conclusion and sell books. That verse is speaking of Judgment Day when God is going to judge those who fought against the Body of Believers which is called the New Jerusalem. Couple Zechariah 14:12 with 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, we see they harmonize about Judgment Day.
(Zec 14:12 KJV) And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
(2 Th 1:7-9 KJV) And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, {8} In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: {9} Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Natural - Pertaining to the secular life, physical or unspiritual
Discerned - Examine, judge, or inquire
The unsaved man cannot understand spiritual things because he does not possess the spiritual ears. He has no ability to know spiritual things. If God did not give the unbeliever the Holy Spirit, they are not privy to the deep things of God that the Holy Spirit can make available to the child of God. In fact, they are not privy to any spiritual understanding of Scripture. In the first chapter of Corinthians, we read about the difference between the spiritual and natural. The natural man deems the spiritual things of God as foolishness. This is why unbelievers who are placed in pulpits are so dangerous because they will always twist God’s word because they cannot understand God’s word. That is why when you attend a church under the authority of an unbeliever, you will get sermons on either doing good or love. Then the unbelievers in the church will believe they have been ministered to. Since the unbelievers cannot discern anything spiritual, what is the sense of having a debate with them? Many Christians become frustrated when they are verbally engaged with an unbeliever and then cannot figure out why they cannot see what they see. The reason is found in this verse. The unbeliever does not have the Holy Spirit so they lack spiritual understanding. Remember, we are alive unto God and the unsaved are dead to the things of God. Keep this in mind and you may keep your blood pressure down.
1 Corinthians 2:15
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
Judgeth & Judged = Discern=to identify as separate and distinct.
The word used here for judge, both times, is the same word used for discern in verse 14. Those who are saved have the ability to make spiritual judgments or discernments. This is because we have the added resource of the wisdom of The Holy Spirit, but the world only discerns from its own wisdom. This is why the unbeliever cannot figure out the Christian. So, since they are unable to discern us, instead, they mock and persecute. What man doesn’t understand, he attempts to denigrate and remove from his sight. Why do you think there is a great onslaught against manger scenes around Christmas time? If Christ is who He says He is, and who Christians say He is, and He is, then they think by removing all vestiges of Christian Christmas scenes, they will be safe. All they are doing is storing up wrath on their own heads for Judgment Day.
(John 3:3 KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
The unbeliever cannot see the kingdom of God spread out among the tares and therefore thinks they are safe hiding on their little planet. One day the shout will come and believe me, there will be many tears.
1 Corinthians 2:16
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Here is the question, what natural man is able to be the Lord’s counselor and give Him instruction? God asked Job a similar question. (Job 40:2 KJV) Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. The unbeliever contends with God by reason of being at enmity with Him. Does the unbeliever think that they can know the mind of God or they know how God should respond in situations? Some time ago the “What Would Jesus Do” movement was big and many unsaved manufacturers made money producing items for it. How does anyone know what Jesus would do? He is almighty God and how are we to know the mind of the Lord, being finite creatures?
(Isa 40:13 KJV) Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?
(Rom 11:34 KJV) For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Remember how Peter tried to be the counselor of the Lord? He told Jesus that he would die for Him and that He would never go to the cross. Peter did not know the plans which Christ had and that His crucifixion for His Elect had to take place. This is why, the unbeliever can never know the mind of God. We have the mind of Christ. As Christians we are able to discern what the Lord would have us to do in areas of obedience or works. Only the Holy Spirit can give us the spiritual understanding in every situation, if He so chooses to. Even the Christian, who still has a body of flesh, is unable to understand the ways of God totally and this is why many of us mess up. We think that God is sending a hint for us to go in a certain direction, when He is not sending any type of hint. Spiritual discernment is delicate and that is why God must lead us and not the other way around.