Friday, August 29, 2014

The Mind of God

“...but just as it is written [in Isaiah 64:4], ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’ For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit Who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words...for [as it says in Isaiah 40:13] ‘who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him’? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:9-13,16).

When the apostle speaks of “God” when also speaking of the Son and Spirit (as in the passage above), we have reason to believe he is specifically referring to the Person of the Father:
  • “Grace to you and peace from God our Father...” (1:3).
  • “...for us there is but one God, the Father, from Whom are all things and we exist for Him” (8:6).
  • “...then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father” (15:24).

The world certainly cannot know the thoughts of God (the Father), otherwise they would have known the eternal mystery of God revealed in the cross of Christ: “...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; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (2:7,8). When the New Testament speaks of “mystery,” it specifically means God’s eternal plan to save a people through His Son in the fullness of time (Romans 16:25-27; Ephesians 1:9,10; 3:1-12; Colossians 1:25-2:2; 1 Timothy 3:16). If they did not understand the mystery (despite the fact that it was attested to by the Old Testament, Luke 24:26,27,44-47; John 1:45; 5:39; Acts 26:22,23; 28:23), they could not comprehend the blessings that would come through its fulfillment in Christ.

Oh, there are eternal, infinite, joy-unspeakable (1 Peter 1:8), absolutely complete blessings through the Son of God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him” (Ephesians 1:3,4). “Has blessed” (ευλογησας, aorist active participle) means...well, it means exactly what the English says it means. The Father has blessed (in the past, not in the far future) the saints with every blessing in His Son, and every eternal (“heavenly”) blessing is in the Son without exception. What we gain in union with Christ is the all-sufficient and eternal provision of the Father. We need nothing else than is already our re-birthright in Christ.

How does our experiential knowledge of this occur?

Believers are given insight into the thoughts of the Father through union with the mind of the Son by the revelation of the Holy Spirit (see the Trinity here!).

Knowledge of the Father’s mind, will, plan, and provision are revealed through His Son.
  • “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27//Luke 10:22).
  • “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1:18).
  • “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also...He who has seen Me has seen the Father...” (John 14:7,9).

The Spirit, Who is one God with the Father and Son, knows all the thoughts of God. He comes to us through the Son (Luke 24:49; John 15:26; 16:7; Acts 2:33) and at the same time seals us in union with the Son (Ephesians 1:13). Our “contact point” with the Triune God is the indwelling Holy Spirit. How do we experience Him?

We experience the Holy Spirit through the Word He has given us. Notice that 1 Corinthians 2:9-16 begins and ends with quotes from the prophet Isaiah (both Isaiah, 1 Corinthians, and all of Scripture is breathed forth by God the Holy Spirit). The Spirit unites us to the mind of the Son and thereby reveals the thoughts of the Father to us through the Scripture. It is by the Word and Spirit (together, never separate) that we know the mind of the Trinity.

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