12 gifts

One of the most attractive and intriguing features of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and one that demonstrates God’s great mercy and love, is that at its most basic expression it is understandable to the simplest of minds. Jesus, the Son of God, died to save sinners, of which I am one. A little child can grasp the concepts, put her faith and trust in Christ, and be sealed for eternity.

Of course there are deeper truths which can be grasped but for these we need a little help. Thankfully, God gives it liberally by his Spirit which indwells every believer. His Spirit is the Spirit of Christ and Christ is “the power of God and the wisdom of God.”1Holy-Spirit

There are basically two kinds of wisdom: earthly and spiritual. Earthly wisdom is that which is obtained through exercise of the human intellect alone, by observation, scientific exploration, and philosophical contemplation. It is a vast store of knowledge that God has provided access to by virtue of the physical capabilities he has designed us with that allow us to apprehend the truths in and around us.

This is the wisdom of the sciences, and though of course it has tremendous value, scientific knowledge has only temporal worth. The physical world as we know it today will eventually cease to exist; knowledge regarding it is useless in matters of eternal significance. What’s more, it can actually hinder spiritual wisdom when achieving a certain level of it engenders pride, such that spiritual wisdom is looked upon as foolish.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18

Spiritual wisdom is available only to those who are spiritual…who have the Spirit of Christ. It is what empowers us to understand all that we have in him. It is what informs our hearts and illuminates our minds concerning the great truths of God, so that what appears foolish to the unspiritual is seen as the profound and eternally significant reality that it is.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

It’s beyond incredible really, that when we commit to following Jesus he unites us with his own Spirit to give us power and wisdom to understand truths like redemption, justification, and free will. He doesn’t leave us to blindly follow like stupid sheep (though there are some real correlations there), but walks side by side with us as he guides, giving us access to his divine thoughts and plans.

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. – John 15:15

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2:14-16

We have the mind of Christ. Amazing. So when the natural, unspiritual person ridicules us for what we profess to be true, we can disregard it, and them. God is not threatened by their blustering and neither need we be. His Spirit is for us wisdom and power, though the world may see ignorance and weakness. What they see as foolishness, we see, and know, as salvation.

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. – 1 Corinthians 1:21

11 Corinthians 1:24