Over twenty years has passed since Jesus was crucified and ascended into heaven. The disciples were faithful to preach the gospel in most of the Mediterranean countries by this time and the Church of Jesus Christ had more believers who had never seen the events that were being reported by those who were there and witnessed Jesus and his ministry. Believers were having difficulty understanding if the stories about Jesus were true or not. The discontented Jews were working vigorously to undermined these stories, twisting the truth into fables and lies. There was still confusion if truth could only be maintained by continuing to observe the Laws of Moses. Most of the Church was not Jewish and they had no reasons in their heart or minds to subject themselves to the rigidity of the Jewish customs. This debate was building a divided wall between Jewish and Gentile believers. Many of the Apostle's stories were being glamorized to make them more believable, but the simple truths were being deluded. So much so while Paul was in Ephesus in Acts Chapter 19 the disciples there did not even know they should be filled with the Spirit.
Paul responded while in the city of Ephesus by writing a letter to the Corinthians believers who were obviously having more problems with this than others. After addressing the deception being taught that Paul had no authority to make claims for Jesus and clarifying that power and wisdom is from God and not men, he began teaching them in Chapter 2 of this first letter, that he never came to them with a message of anything but to know Jesus and His crucifixion. By this time some were teaching that Jesus never existed and that he never died on a cross for our sins. These self-acclaiming teachers of deception were not filled with the spirit and they were only speaking from their natural human thinking, as they questioned what was God's truth in these matters. Paul addressed the issue that they were unable to understand spiritual things because they lived in the natural and not in the spirit. Paul's argument climaxes in verse 14 when he wrote:
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." [1Corinthians 2:14]
The word discerned here is ἀνακρίνω (ä-nä-krē'-nō) in the Greek, which is a legal term meaning to judge or investigate as in a forensic sense, or to interrogate for the purpose of finding out truth.
A person that only lives in the natural cannot investigate or examine the truths of the spirit because they do not think on spiritual things. They are not capable of thinking on spiritual things because they do not have the spirit to help them. Paul went on to argue that only those who are filled with the spirit are truly capable of looking into the deep things of God. This is the entire context by which Paul is teaching the Corinthians here in Chapter 2. That only by the Spirit of God can one know what the truths of God are; and without the spirit in you it is not possible for you to probe the deep things of God.
Paul is using two different words for the word "know" in his argument.
In verse 2 he uses the word εἴδω (āee'-dō) and in verse 14 he uses the word γινώσκω (gē-nō'-skō).
Aeedow (εἴδω) is the Greek word meaning to know by given knowledge.
Genosko (γινώσκω) is to know by learned experience.
In verse 2 Paul is saying he knew of Jesus and his crucifixion by what was given to him by God.
In verse 14 he was saying that the natural man cannot know by experience the things of the spirit because they are not led by the spirit; He is not in them.
The Apostle John confirmed these things in 1John 4:13.
"By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit."
They received His Spirit when they were filled of the Spirit. Those who had not received the spirit through spiritual baptism, were still living in the natural and remained unable to understand spiritual things as those who were being enlightened for the Holy Spirit abiding in them.
When a person is not filled with the spirit they are guided by the Spirit through things they are exposed to i.e. preaching, prophesies, Bible, praying, and teaching, but they are not capable of probing the deep things of God. Believers that are not filled with the Spirit can be attracted to truth and be attentive to spiritual things but it only leaves them with hopes that are based upon other's experiences they are exposed to.
When a person is filled with the Spirit they are guided from within their being as they can consciously sense what the Spirit is teaching them, then they know they have the testimony of truth in them by the Holy Spirit.
When experiences or information comes:
In the Holy Spirit filled person the truth of experiences or information rises up from within them through the Spirit that dwells in them and they know, that they know a thing is truth or not..
The person not filled with the spirit must seek for that truth and hope in what they are being exposed to without having any spirit testimony rise up from within them.
This is why it is necessary for people to be filled with the spirit.
The Holy Spirit was sent to guide us in all truth from within our beings (John 14:16,26; 15:26 16:13).
The Holy Spirit is here as our helper and comforter much like a lawyer who pleads for the person who is guilty. In these verses in John the helper and comforter is παράκλητος (pä-rä'-klā-tos), a person who proves your case before the judge.
Because the Spirit understands the deep things of God (1Cor 2:10), He can convey them to us and make all things known to us in all truth.
You must realize it is God's will for you to be filled with the spirit:
"Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit. . ." [Revised Standard Version]
The Truth In You
It has been 2000 years since the ministry of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The truth of the Gospel is just as important today as it was then. The words that Jesus shared with the Apostles are just as alive now as they were when Jesus was walking with them on the shores of the sea of Galilee or in the streets of Jerusalem. There has been many come and go who have tried to pervert and discredit the truth of Gospel but by the power of God and the work of the Holy Spirit on the earth, truth has stayed alive.
The Apostles and early church leaders were concerned if the truth would survive beyond their own lifespans because they were witnessing many people coming into faith that had not seen Jesus or witnessed the many things of His ministry and the beginnings of the church as recorded in the Book of Acts. Many were wanting to "Interpret" the stories of Jesus and the Apostles to make sense for them who had not seen all that was being told as "the gospel." This is why Peter wrote in 2Peter 1:20-21 ". . .knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
Peter was clarifying that truth was not ours to interpret, but it was led and guided by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). True revelation or scripture has never been the responsibility of man's understanding; all truth and enlightenment lie solely in the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:17-19
17. that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18. the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19. and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. . .
Because there is no one living today who has actually witnessed the ministry of Jesus Christ and the workings of the Church as recorded in the Book of Acts, it is necessary that we have the work of the Holy Spirit in us so we can experience similar things that will produce the power of God in us also. We need in every generation the testimony of the Holy Spirit working in signs, wonders and miracles the same ways they did 2000 years ago. Thanks be to God that we have the New Testament as a written testimony that shows us what they did back then and guides us along with the Holy Spirit, in us, to testify that these things are true. But there is more. . .
You Must have a Relationship to Justify Truth
It is not enough just to know that these things are true but you must also have a relationship with the Christ and His Holy Spirit. Relationship is always real. When you have a relationship with someone you begin to know them and you learn to trust them. Having an open relationship where you communicate and interact with Jesus brings you into knowing him and trusting him. The same is true with the Holy Spirit. We have relationship with Jesus and He communicates with us through the Holy Spirit being in us, which you obtain through baptism of the Holy Spirit; otherwise known as being filled with the Spirit.
The best way for us to convey the gospel of Jesus Christ is people must see Jesus in us, in our lives, in our word, in our deeds and nothing else is enough. Faith is not always explaining or teaching, it is observing and experiencing. When people see us living Jesus, breathing out the Holy Spirit in power and strength, walking out the truth and light that is shed abroad in our hearts, then they will believe.
Truth will Make You Free
Jesus said in John 8:31-32 "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make your free." When you know God's truth because you are walking in a relationship with Christ, you become free of the troubles in the world. Though you still have troubles you are free from them. They cannot overtake you because you know the truth.
The suffering that we go through in life will squeeze our souls dry, down to its deepest roots.
We will wither and grow weary to where we feel we cannot take one step more.
Our light will fade to the faintest glimmer, but it will never disappear nor will our soul die of weariness, because of the promise we have that Jesus will never abandon us. We have this faith because of God's truths that are in us and testified to us by the Holy Spirit.
We cannot allow ourselves to be tricked by men's words or religious traditions that motivate people to believe these religious orders and rules will bring you to a better understanding of God's truths, for they will not (2Corinthians 11:17-21; Colossians 2:8, 18-23)! These things did not produce truth in the days of the Apostles and it still do not produce truth today, after 2000 years of being preached. Many religious orders have risen up through these twenty centuries trying to convince Christians that their methods of faith and convictions are the only ways to find truth. But these have all failed because they did not let the Holy Spirit be the one guiding in all truth (John 16:13). It is only by the truth that is in you of the Holy Spirit that people can know what is truth and from God. This is why the Apostle John wrote in 1John 2:27 "But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him."
The Holy Spirit's Testimony in You is Always True
The greatest testimony we have from the Holy Spirit is that you are saved?
Do you remember the day you first believed?
That day when you knew by the power of the Holy Spirit that you were truly saved!
Every day since then has been filled with so much more life. It has been as though all days before you had faith were only a half-life. It is the testimony of the Holy Spirit that keeps this alive in you!
When I think back of my first day in faith with Jesus, I still become excited anew!
Just as though it were that first day all over again!
Everything about the world changed that day!
That first day when I knew I was being looked at by Jesus himself.
From that day on I have never been the same!
And now all these years later (I was 16 now I am 65) my excitement soars higher and higher because of what I experience every day through my relationship with Jesus Christ!
You must allow the Holy Spirit to keep alive in your heart the testimony of your first day in faith with Jesus Christ.
It keeps you overwhelmed and exploded with excitement that you understand Jesus love You!
Don't ever let that moment go. . .! Every day of your life treasure your first day of faith!
This will keep the weight of the world from outshining the light of truth that is in You.
Just as Mary understood she was carrying Jesus in her womb; that he was the Son of God yet was in her and part of her; We too have to understand this truth is in us; being a part of us; being carried by us.
We must understand that being filled of the Spirit is part of the spiritual experience God expects of us in His will (Ephesians 5:17). He expects us to experience the Holy Spirit in us as truth and as power, just as Mary understood the power that overcame her by the Spirit when she became pregnant with Jesus in her.
When you took Jesus into your heart on that first day of faith, it was your heart beating with his heart just has Mary's heart beat while Jesus' heart beat in her womb.
The hands of Jesus fumbled to reach for Mary's breast to draw food.
His hands were the worn hands of a carpenter that worked the wood.
His hands held the sick and made them well.
They touched the blind and made them see.
His hands showed mercy to the weak and lost and caressed the risen Lazarus when he came out of the grave.
His hands raised to feed thousands and trembled with pain as the nails pearce the clods of dirt and blood that dripped as they were nailed to a cruel cross.
Now we are the heartbeat of the Lord in us!
Now we are his hands to suffer in life while being victorious over sin and death!
Now we are his flesh and his blood because we are His temple!
Now His suffering is our suffering also.
When we look into each other's eyes we see they eyes that Marry look into, the eyes of Jesus. . .
For He lives in us and the truth of this is testified by the Holy Spirit which abides in all who are filled of the Spirit.
If you do nothing more in life from this day forward, remember the moment when you first knew that Christ was in you and looked upon you and you were saved!
How your soul rejoiced like Mary did when she realized salvation was upon her.
The darkness was lifted as the light that was now in you filled you with truth that Jesus saves!
As you continue to remember that first moment in faith everything you do from this moment on will glorify the Lord!
That light that was created in Mary's darkness has also worked in the darkness of our souls and has brought rejoicing.
As Mary's soul was crushed from experiencing the suffering from knowing Jesus, so our soul has experienced the crush of suffering for Jesus.
As Mary's soul was killed from Jesus dying on the cross, so is our soul killed by knowing what He suffered for us.
But then as Mary soul was resurrected in Christ Jesus, so is our soul raised to newness of life in Him, victorious and full of power by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.
And from these things Jesus has made it IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO FAIL if YOU will believe the truth that is in you by the Holy Spirit.
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.