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1 Corinthians 2:6-10 by Robert Dean
Series:Revelation (2004)
Duration:50 mins 42 secs

The Importance of Your Thinking; 1 Cor. 2:6-10

 

Human history plays a vital part of the cosmic conflict that takes place and Satan is attempting today to blind the minds of the lost to the truth of the gospel. He does this through various means: through various philosophies, religious systems, to blind men to the existence of God—and that produces things such as atheism, or through false substitutes of gods through polytheism, pantheism, and various other religions that promote different concepts of God. Just because somebody is talking about "God" does not mean that they are talking about the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a Trinitarian God, a God who is defined through two key terms in the Scriptures: His holiness, which has to do with His righteousness and Justice, and the other term is His love. God is the one who defines everything in His creation, and so when we align our thinking with His thinking we understand reality as it is. When we go to some other source for truth and we think that we find it in some religious system or we find it in some philosophical system, or elsewhere other than the Bible, then we are operating on a system that is basically a fantasy. It is not grounded in truth and therefore there will always be a problem, there will be inconsistencies, and our life will never be what God intended it to be because we are not living on the basis of His creation as he created it.

 

Christianity is basically related to thinking. Believe in Christ has to do with thought; that is what belief is. Belief is not an emotion, although one of the ways Satan seeks to distract from truth is to muddy up the waters with vocabulary, and we live in a generation today where people often want to express what they believe by what they feel, like "I just feel this way about that." The Bible teaches that there is this contrast between the thinking of the world and the thinking that is expressed in the Word of God, which we sometimes call divine viewpoint, because the Bible in its entirety reflects a consistent integrated whole. There is no contrast, no conflict, no discord between the forty plus writers of the Scriptures; they agree and compliment each other throughout the Bible. So the Bible in its entirety presents a unified thought of God, about everything within His creation—not everything in the sense that He gives us a comprehensive or exhaustive historical analysis or scientific analysis, but He gives us a framework for understanding everything in His creation.

Throughout the Bible we see this contrast between the thinking of the world and the thinking of God, and one passage where we see this very clearly is in 1 Corinthians 2:6-10 NASB "Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age [a)iwn] nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away…" The focus there is on a finite, temporary foundation, where as the wisdom of God comes from the thinking of God. God is eternal, omniscient, and infinite, and therefore the thoughts that are based on His revelation are thoughts that are based on absolute truth that never changes. The more we wish to live biblically and to think biblically the more we are going to come into conflict with the culture around us wherever we are because the culture around us, wherever we are, is going to express and autonomy and an antagonism to God in different ways. 

"… but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden {wisdom} which God predestined before the ages to our glory; {the wisdom} which none of the rulers of this age has understood…" God's divine wisdom is not understood by human rulers. "… for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory …" What Paul is emphasising there is that this wisdom of God is incorporated into the Old Testament revelation which predicted and promised a Messiah. "… but just as it is written, 'THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND {which} HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART [thinking] OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM'..."  This talks about the fact that this knowledge about God's wisdom comes only from the Scripture, it doesn't come from experience or empiricism; neither does it come just from human thought or rationalism.  "… For to us God revealed {them} through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God."

When we study the whole issue of the cosmic system we have to answer certain questions:

1.  What do we learn about ultimate reality from what a person says? In light of what they say, how do they view ultimate reality? Is ultimate reality impersonal or personal. If it is impersonal, like the "force that you have with you" in Star Wars movies, then you have ultimate reality in the universe of the impersonal, so where did personality come from?

2.  Are we just living in a world governed by impersonal forces (in which case that has tremendous implications for who man is)? So we have to understand the nature of external reality itself isn't just mechanical processes, immaterial forces?

3.  What does that say about mankind? If there is no personality we are nothing more than a cosmic accident, just a chance collection of atoms and protoplasm, and there is not eternal, nothing distinct about man, he is just the result of inanimate forces. And that has a lot to say about responsibility, how we view volition, how we view criminality. All of these things are going to change, depending on how we see ultimate reality.

4.  What happens when a person dies? Do they just go into the ground and that is it, or is there another life afterwards? 

5.  Why can we know anything? How do we know anything with certainty? This gives us the whole issue of truth. All kinds of claims can be made, but we have to be able to weigh these things and evaluate them. How do we know what truth is all about?

6.  How do we know right from wrong? This gets into values. Every system starts with values. If ultimate reality is just matter then how do we ever get to right or wrong? We can't! It would just be personal preference, just a choice made by individual cultures. That is what has happened in our world today with multiculturalism, it is consistent with the foundation of Darwinistic origins. If we start from just matter and everything is just the product of time plus chance then right and wrong are simply terms we use to express personal preferences or cultural preferences. But if ultimate reality is God and God is holy and righteous in His very nature, then what he expresses is absolute truth and it can't be changed, and it is going to be expressed consistently throughout His creation.

7.  What is the meaning of history? Is history just the accidental events of human decisions or is it actually going somewhere, is there some ultimate resolution? The Bible teaches that all things will be resolved in judgment by God.

So we start with these and as a Christian we begin with an understanding of God as a personal and infinite God. He is personal, and that means He is able to have relationships with people. If God is personal that has to imply that God is capable of social relationship. That involves persons.

God's attributes: Righteousness means that He is perfect in all that He does' He is absolute perfection. Just means the application of that perfection or standard to His creation. He is truth, i.e. there is no shifting within Him. What He says is true; He is the standard of all things. He is love. That means that He is capable of relations with other people, and those are governed by this absolute quality of love. He is also immutable and is eternal life; He never changes and He is eternal. That means that billions of years ago God would have to be love. Before God created the heavens and the earth and all that He did He would have to be a God of love. In eternity past God would have to be a God capable of relationship. This takes us back to the very nature of understanding God. The Bible describes God as a triune God, that He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are three distinct persons, yet one in essence. In Scripture we have this eternal society which is the Trinity: the Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Spirit is eternal. So the Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit loves the Father; there is an eternal society an eternal personality an eternal love operating within the Trinity that is not dependent upon the creature at any particular time. This is why love is ascribed to the God of the Bible hundreds of times in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. But if we look at the Koran for instance love is never ascribed as an attribute of Allah. There is an attempt to do that is later works of Islam but it doesn't work because Allah, a solitary god, can't be eternally loving because there is no one for him to love in eternity past. He either isn't loving at all, or if he is he is dependent upon creatures, which makes him less than God.

This works itself out in the way the different cultures express their understanding of authority relationships. In Christianity based on the Bible—this is not to say that Christians haven't abused the Bible and become tyrannical—it rejects tyranny because authority functions within the framework of love. But in Islamic culture and society, for example in marriage, there is just an autocratic authority line which is quite different from what we have in the Bible.

So our ultimate reality is based on God who is a triune God that makes Him a loving God. And what is so important is to understand this attribute of love. Scripture says that God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. John 3:16 says, NASB "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." So love becomes a defining attribute of Christianity. This sets Christianity apart from any other philosophy, any other things, because it is ultimately grounded in the revelation of God.

We start off when we think about what we believe and aspects of the cosmic system and ask. What is ultimate reality? For the Christian, ultimate reality is a personal, infinite God who is capable of relationship, of interrelationship with His creatures, is able to communicate with His creatures, and when His creatures sin and rebel against Him then in love God has solved the problem through His Son. In contrast, all other philosophical systems and all other religions fail, because they have no solution to the sin problem whatsoever.

8.  How do we know anything? Other systems are based on inadequate or finite starting points. There are basically four ways in which people have ever claimed to know anything in history. The first is              rationalism where the starting point is man's innate ideas. Ultimately it is based on faith in human ability to think clearly, logically, and to arrive at ultimate truth just on the basis of his own reason. This is an independent [of Scripture] use of logic and reason. Second, empiricism which starts with sense perception, external experience. It is the basic foundation of the scientific method. It is just faith in human ability to properly interpret the data that comes to man. But something new and different can always be discovered tomorrow that changes the thousand points of data that has already been discovered, and so it is never eternal, it is always finite. Again, it is based on an independent use of logic and reason. Rationalism and empiricism always fall apart. Historically they have always collapsed and this results in mysticism, which is different from rationalism and empiricism in that it is not logical, not rational, and it is non-verifiable. When man tries to do anything where he grounds his thought on these three foundations it will always fall apart. It is building on shifting sands. The only thing that is certain is the revelation of God. God revealed Himself through the prophets and the 66 books of the Bible and we are to think within that framework. We are to think within the parameters that are laid out in Scripture.

9.  How does any kind of cosmic system get developed? Everybody makes four basic assumptions in answering certain questions. The assumptions relate to ultimate reality, they relate to who man is, what the human race is comprised of—are we just a cosmic accident, are we created by God in His image? These are the two broad contrasts. We also develop certain assumptions about knowledge. How do we come to know ultimate truth, ultimate reality, and then ethics? Ethics has to do with our values: what is right, what is wrong. So we take the answers to these basic areas of questioning and then they all get kind of churned around in cosmic thought. Then this goes into a cosmic mix-master and it comes out the other side in terms of various philosophical systems and religious systems. It develops idea on origins, for example, and that is why we have such a battle going on today, and has been going on for over 150 years, related to creation versus evolution. And this is at the very core of what some have called the culture wars. The culture wars are cosmological wars. Every view of life is affected by cosmic thinking, and as believers we have to learn to think about these things.

What we have is something called absolute truth. John 16:7 NASB "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. [8] And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment." This is what the Holy Spirit is doing when we witness to people; He is making them aware of the fact that they are sinners, i.e. because they don't believe in Christ—[9] "concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me." If a person does not trust Christ as their Saviour they are suppressing that truth, and that is the sin that is in focus here. It is not all the sins that one has committed in life but the fact of not having trusted in Christ up to this point. [10] "and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me." The righteousness here is the realisation that man does not have his own righteousness. [11] "and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged." In other words, Satan is judged at the cross, just as sin is judged at the cross. Because of that we can know that the problem is solved by Christ's death on the cross, and therefore the only solution is to trust in Him for salvation.

This is the essence of worldliness: thinking about all of creation apart from God. The solution to that as a believer is the Word of God, because it is only when we take in the Word of God, study the Word of God, that we can learn to think about God as he has revealed Himself. We are to think about salvation as God has revealed it, and learn to think about creation as God has revealed it. We fight this continuously. Scripture says that three enemies: the world, the flesh [OSN], and the devil. The word is those systems of thought that we latch on to to justify our own rebellion, our own suppression of truth in unrighteousness, our own desires to make life work apart from God. The solution is to come to the Word of God and let our thinking be conformed to the Word. 

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