1Co 2:6-8 “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
In the first chapter of First Corinthians, Paul spoke about the “foolishness” that preaching the crucified Christ was to some. In the opening verses of this second chapter, he emphasizes that he did not come trusting in man’s wisdom. He now turns our attention to the idea that what some considered foolishness and outside the realm of man’s wisdom is indeed wisdom to some.
The term “howbeit” is basically the equivalent of our usage of “however.” Paul is now redirecting our thinking to a higher form of wisdom. By God’s grace, we realize that the wisdom of God is higher than the wisdom of man. God’s wisdom is not always logical by men’s standards.
Men have made it quite plain today that many consider the ways of God to be at the least outdated if not a complete fabrication. All we have to do is look at the condition of our society to see where the wisdom of men has brought us. We appear more divided today than we have been since the civil turmoil of the 1960’s. Instead of declaring the unity of Christ, men are setting themselves as standards. Congregations have abandoned worship in favor of entertainment and preaching for self-help pep talks.
The truth of God is wisdom among them that are complete (perfect) in Him. It is not the wisdom of this world which says the Bible is not applicable to us. We are not relying on the word of those admired (princes) by the world. We are not willing to take the wisdom of entertainers, professional athletes, politicians, and false prophets as the truth. The true wisdom of God is hidden from the wise and prudent (Luk 10:21).
The wisdom that the apostles and prophets spoke and that the servants of God speak today is in a mystery. It is a mystery because God has not revealed it unto every man. The mystery exists because God limited in advance (see Strong’s definition of the word rendered as “ordained”) those that would possess the knowledge to worship Him (our glory).
We do not always understand God’s ways because they are higher than our ways. He has called us to walk by faith and not sight, so in the perfection of our Lord we are able to trust and serve Him even when we do not see clearly the purpose or the outcome. However, this much of the mystery Paul makes quite plain: God hid his wisdom from the princes of this world so that His purpose of salvation would come to pass as He had ordained.
If the leaders of the world had understood who Jesus was, they would not have crucified Him. This would not be because they loved Him or worshiped Him, but because it is man’s nature to always seek an advantage. We still see men in the world today fawning over the offspring or emissaries of those they consider to be powerful, not because they truly respect these people, but because they hope to find favor in the sight of the one that sent them for their own self-glorification.
May God continue to grant us the perfection to see that the wisdom of men is ultimately for the glorification of man while the wisdom of God is ordained for us that we might worship and honor Him!