Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Aug 6 2013 - 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4 – What God has prepared for those who love him

In the face of the boasts of some at Corinth to possess spiritual wisdom and discernment, Paul reminds them of the wisdom of God revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul tells the Corinthians that God’s plans have been hidden from the wise and the powerful of this world. God had a clear plan before time began that would result in a display of glory. We might expect that Paul would say that God’s plan was to bring glory to himself, but he says that God planned glory for us (1 Corinthians 2:7). A couple of verses later he writes,

No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him.

We often end the quote there, but that is to miss the point for Paul concludes, “But God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” (vv 9-10).

The “us” in these words is firstly the apostles who had received that revelation from Christ. The gracious and glorious purposes of God towards the world that he has created have been revealed in Christ and proclaimed by those he first commissioned to preach the good news. But that “us” embraces all of us who have received this message and trusted in Christ. We can see this in the words Paul writes to the Corinthians.

For Paul, the glory of God has been made visible in Jesus Christ; he is “the Lord of glory” (v.8). Paul had seen his glory on the Damascus road and had been blinded by the vision. While the manner of that vision was peculiar to him, Paul affirms that all Christians have seen “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). This is what it means to be a Christian; a Christian is one who has seen the glory of God in Christ and has been drawn to him. We have come to know and love God through the Lord Jesus Christ. These things have been taught to us not by mere rote but have been impressed on our hearts by the Spirit of God – “revealed to us by his Spirit.”

But the most wonderful part of all this, says Paul, is not just that we have seen something of God’s glory in Christ, but that the Spirit of God teaches us that we are to share in that glory. Christ in us is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). God planned from the beginning not simply that he would display his glory in Christ but that we would share his glory. Think of this as you read these amazing words again:

No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him –
but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.

Make a point of never again quoting 1 Corinthians 1:9 without including the first part of verse 10. To miss out the phrase, “but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit” is to miss Paul’s point entirely.

It’s sad when people pretend to revelations from God and then declare trivia. It’s like chasing after pennies when God has poured out upon us the riches of his grace in Christ and opened wide the treasury of his purposes in Scripture.

Heavenly Father, I stand amazed at the wonder of your purposes and plans for us in the Lord Jesus Christ. You have revealed to us your mind and heart. Help us not to keep these wonderful things to ourselves but to declare them to a world whose eyes have not seen these things, whose ears have not heard them and whose minds could not imagine them. Help us to declare your love for the world revealed in Jesus Christ.

Peter Misselbrook