1Co 2:12-13 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
There is often immediacy in the scriptures that we seem to overlook. Paul is not teaching about something that is out in some distant future. There is something we have not received now and something we have received now concerning revelation from God (see 1Co 2:9-10). In considering these things, we have not received the spirit of the world.
We were born with the spirit of the world; shaped in iniquity and conceived in sin (Psa 51:5). Until we are born of the Spirit of God, the wisdom of the world and spirit of the world is all we know. The fruit of the spirit of this world is “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like (see Gal 5:19-21).” By God’s grace and mercy we no longer are bound to this spirit: we have now received the spirit which is of God.
The spirit that we now have has it origin in the One who spoke the world into existence. It is not something that we have earned, but rather something that He has given to us freely: this is the very definition of grace. When we speak of the wonders of the love and power of God, that wisdom comes from this spirit that God has freely given us now. The fruit of the spirit that comes from God is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (see Gal 5-22:23).”
We bear this fruit because the Holy Ghost teaches us directly. We have learned nothing spiritual from the wisdom of man. To beat spiritual fruit is to give evidence of the presence of Jesus and our Heavenly Father in our lives today. It is an immediate and sure consolation and testimony of His truth, and we have not learned it from man. Furthermore, we have not learned it from Paul, Peter, or any of the other apostles. We have not learned it from the prophets. We have not learned it from our pastor or from studying our Bible.
The prophets, apostles, teachers, and pastors that God sends are important; else He would not send them. His holy word is certainly important; else He would not have recorded it. Our study of His word is meaningful; else He would not have commanded it. However, all these things are tools that are used by the Holy Ghost to teach us. The actual teaching of spiritual things comes from God and not man.
We soon learn the importance in life of comparing apples to apples. This is no less important when it comes to the things of God. Spiritual things are compared with spiritual, and we do not need to confuse the two. This is a common problem for us, and it is not new. Nicodemus was suffering from this all too human malady when he sought out Jesus. Jesus plainly told him “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is sprit (Joh 3:6).”
May we understand now that it is the wisdom of God that through the Holy Ghost only do we learn spiritual things!