Online Bible Commentary
1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him—10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.
The writer of 1 Corinthians is the apostle Paul. He wrote this letter to the church at Corinth, Greece during his third missionary journey. The church was established by Paul during his second missionary journey when he ministered in Corinth for a year and a half during A. D. 51-52.
Paul wrote this letter during his two year and three-month ministry in Ephesus, Asia in A. D. 54-56. It was actually his second letter to the church (1 Cor. 5:9). However, the first letter obviously was lost. The purpose of this letter is to emphasize that Jesus is our Lord and Master.
In this passage Paul writes of the revelation of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian the moment he or she becomes a Christian. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand the mind of God.
Paul begins by quoting a prophecy from Isaiah 64:4. The prophecy tells us that God will reveal “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” (v. 9a). God will reveal these “things” to “those who love him” (Christians), at His appointed time (v. 9b).
These “things” are wonderful truths directly from the mind of God and are “revealed to us by his Spirit”, the Holy Spirit (v. 10a). The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God, even “deep” into the mind of God. Just as our human “spirit” is the only one who knows our own thoughts, the Holy Spirit is the only One who knows “the thoughts of God” (v.11). Therefore, the Holy Spirit is the only One who can inform us of the mind of God.
God sent the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, to earth on Pentecost ten days after Jesus ascended to Heaven. This year Pentecost was celebrated on May 20, 2018. The Holy Spirit does the work of God on earth.
Christians receive the Holy Spirit, not “the spirit of the world” (v. 12a). In this world, there exists worldly wisdom and spiritual wisdom. Worldly wisdom is the wisdom of those who are not followers of Jesus. It is the wisdom that originates from Satan and is spread from those who come under his influence. Spiritual wisdom is the wisdom of Christians and is spread from those who come under the influence of Jesus Christ and are indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit indwells Christians so that “we may understand what God has freely given us” (v. 12b). God has freely given us Jesus Christ, the crucifixion to pay the penalty for our sins, and eternal life in Heaven.
We cannot earn these blessings by doing good works. They are freely given to us through our faith in Jesus Christ and by the grace of God.
The Holy Spirit reveals the mind of God to us. Without the Holy Spirit man is unable to understand the mind of God. He is unable to understand the Bible, and the ways of God.
Man is only able to understand the mind of God and receive the blessings of God by first becoming a Christian. Man will never understand God until he becomes a Christian.