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The Scriptorium


Whatever gets in the way of loving God. 1 Corinthians 1.9-12

1 Corinthians 2 (4)

Pray Psalm 71.1-3.
In You, O LORD, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.

Sing Psalm 71.1-3.
(Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
In You, O LORD, I refuge claim; O let me never be ashamed.
In righteousness deliver me; incline Your ear and hear my plea.
Refrain v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
my Rock and Fortress ever be!

Read 1 Corinthians 2.1-12; meditate on verses 9-12.


1. What have we received?

2. Why have we received this?

Wonders, glories, mysteries, holy pleasures, profound insights, deep understanding, real and increasing fellowship with God, insights to true beauty, power for righteousness, and peace and joy indescribable—all this has been prepared for us by God our Father, is granted to us through Jesus Christ our Lord, and comes to be our possession and experience through the indwelling Spirit of God (vv. 9, 10).

The one condition for knowing such things is that we love Him above all else.

The Corinthians were not experiencing this (as we shall see) because rather than look to Jesus and submit to His Spirit, speaking in His Word, they were busy fashioning their lives around the wisdom of men. “I am of Paul!” “I am of Apollos!” “I am of Cephas!” Great as these men were, to make them the focal point of their faith was to set obstacles in the path of knowing God and Christ. The Corinthians were loving themselves in the guise of professing loyalty to one or another man. No wonder the churches were divided. God-blockers—Paulism, Apolloism, Peterism—were diverting their focus from Jesus, so that they could not see Him, and Him crucified, and thus were unable to access the “things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (v. 9.

Had they, indeed, received the Spirit of God (v. 12)? Paul wanted them to consider the question, since they seemed uninterested in knowing “the things that have been freely given to us by God” and were busy studying and celebrating the spirit of mere men (v. 11)—in the Name of the Lord, of course. They who have the Spirit will be prompt and diligent in His school, for great and transforming mysteries await our attention.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Are you content to accept this as a truth about yourself?
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man
the things which God has prepared for those who love Him”? (1 Cor. 2.9).

I think we all would prefer to fully see, hear, and have God’s Word penetrate the deepest part of our heart regarding the things He has prepared for us who love Him. The only catch is: we need to love Him and be filled with His Spirit. As Paul wrote, when we receive the Spirit of God into our hearts, it is then, and only then, that “we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2.12).

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom. 8.15).

The Crosfigell column for today is about the Irish saint Colum Cille, a man full of God’s Spirit. His life reflects the salient features of Paul’s words of instruction to us “Colum was filled with Jesus because he emptied himself of Colum. Filled with Jesus, guided by His Word, and empowered by His Spirit, Colum spread the grace of God wherever he went, such that many were saved, many others were healed, and much evil was driven out wherever he went to serve. Colum’s word to us is Paul’s to the Corinthians: ‘Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal’ (2 Cor. 4.16-18).”

When we are living, full of the Holy Spirit, like Colum did, and Paul; when we empty ourselves of ourselves so that we can be filled up with the Spirit of God, we are then able to understand the truths of Scripture, equipped to understand God’s own heart.

“The works of the LORD are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them…
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever” (Ps. 111.2, 10).

Through His Word and Spirit we will see and hear Him and begin to understand all the glorious things that He has prepared for us…including the works He has “prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2.10) for the good of others, to “spread the grace of God” as we are going in our Personal Mission Field. 

For reflection
1. What does it mean for you to empty yourself?

2. What should you expect when you are filled with the Spirit and walking with Him?

3. Whom will you encourage today to be filled with the Spirit in working their Personal Mission Field?

The apostles were not guided by worldly principles. They had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God, and the saving impression of them from the same Spirit. These things they declared in plain, simple language, taught by the Holy Spirit, totally different from the affected oratory or enticing words of man’s wisdom. The natural man, the wise man of the world, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. The pride of carnal reasoning is really as much opposed to spirituality, as the basest sensuality. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on 1 Corinthians 2.10--16

Pray Psalm 71.14-18.
Ask God to fill you with His Spirit, that His Spirit might teach you the things of Christ and empower you to live and speak for Him today.

Sing Psalm 71.14-18.

(Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
But as for me my voice I raise to sing in hope and constant praise!
With saving grace my voice will swell Your never-ending grace to tell.

Refrain v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
my Rock and Fortress ever be!

O LORD, I praise Your righteousness Who me from youth have taught and blessed.
Forsake me not when I am old,‘til I Your mercies all have told!

T. M. and Susie Moore

The Church in Corinth needed revival. But there was much to be done before that would happen. The Church today needs revival, and the same is true for us. Our book, Revived!, can help us to discern our need for revival and lead us in getting there. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalteravailable by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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