The Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 2:1-5, 10-16; 3:16; 6:11, 19; 7:40; 12:1

This coming Sunday, January 24, 2021, I will teach the fourth in a series of lessons about the Holy Spirit at The Sanctuary UPC in Hazelwood, Missouri, where Mitchell Bland is pastor. These lessons are drawn from my book The Holy Spirit: A Commentary, published by the Pentecostal Publishing House. The book is available in hardback and as an e-book at It is available from Amazon as a Kindle download and as an Apple Book.

The study guide for January 24 is posted below. I plan to post the video of the lesson no later than Monday, January 25.

If you would like to read the previous study guides and to see the videos of the lessons, you can do so here on this blog. The study guides and videos were posted on the following dates:

Lesson 1: The study guide was posted on January 2 and the video on January 3.

Lesson 2: The study guide was posted on January 8 and the video on January 10.

Lesson 3: The study guide was posted on January 15 and the video on January 17.

The Holy Spirit in I Corinthians 2:1-5, 10-16; 3:16; 6:11, 19; 7:40; 12:1

January 24, 2021

Daniel L. Segraves, Teacher

Twitter: @danielsegraves

Paul’s ministry was characterized, wherever he went, by the confirmation of the word with signs following. In his letter to the church at Rome, Paul said his ministry to the Gentiles included “word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient—in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Romans 15:18–19). In much the same vein, he wrote to the Corinthians, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (I Corinthians 2:1–5, ESV).

[2] In I Corinthians 2:10–16 Paul interacted with a paraphrase of Isaiah 64:4, which appears in I Corinthians 2:9: “But as it is written: ‘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.’” The New Covenant is not characterized by the kind of obscurity to which Isaiah referred. Instead, the Spirit makes the New Covenant an era of revelation:

These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. . . . For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:10–16, ESV)

[3] The comparison in I Corinthians 2:11 between human knowledge and God’s knowledge provides insight on the oneness of God. No man is distinct from or separate from his spirit. One’s spirit is an integral part of who a person is, one’s identity. Likewise, the Spirit of God is essential to who God is, not distinct or separate from God in any way.

[4] The Holy Spirit is a teacher, further confirming that the Spirit is not a force, influence, or merely an attribute of God. To the natural man, that is, a person who is not led by the Spirit, the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness, for they are spiritual.

[5] Paul’s conclusion of this section is remarkably clear: “But we have the mind of Christ.” With its contextual references to the revelatory work of the Spirit, the “mind of Christ” is parallel with the Spirit of God. To have the Spirit of God is to have the mind of Christ, and the mind of Christ is the mind of the LORD.

[6] To compare I Corinthians 3:16 with I Corinthians 6:19 is to see that the term temple of God is synonymous with temple of the Holy Spirit: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Corinthians 3:16); “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:19).

[7] The role of the Spirit in transformation is seen in I Corinthians 6:11. After identifying the kinds of behavior that bar a person from the kingdom of God, Paul wrote, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Both the name and the Spirit are essential elements of regeneration.

[8] In his response to a letter from the church at Corinth that asked various questions concerning marriage, Paul said a widow “is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment—and I think I also have the Spirit of God” (I Corinthians 7:40). In this chapter, Paul gave his opinion about matters Jesus did not address. (See, e.g., I Corinthians 7:12, 25–26.) In the case of a widow, Paul thought his judgment was in agreement with the Spirit of God. We should keep in mind here that some of Paul’s judgments were influenced by “the present distress” (I Corinthians 7:26). We may not know the nature of this distress, so we should remember that in God’s creative work, He said, “It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Marriage is a gift from God, and even Paul noted that a widow is free to marry (Romans 7:1–3).

[9] The questions from the church in Corinth were not limited to matters of marriage. A clue as to what these questions were and where Paul began to answer them is seen at places in I Corinthians where Paul wrote, “Now concerning.” The first is at I Corinthians 7:1. The second is at I Corinthians 7:25, “Now concerning virgins.” Next is at I Corinthians 8:1, “Now concerning things offered to idols.” Fourth is, “Now concerning spiritual gifts” (I Corinthians 12:1). Fifth, “Now concerning the collection for the saints” (I Corinthians 16:1). Sixth and final is, “Now concerning our brother Apollos” (I Corinthians 16:12).

[10] Some of their questions required a lengthier response than others, and the most comprehensive seems to be their question about spiritual gifts. Paul’s answer requires three chapters, I Corinthians 12–14.

(c) 2021 Daniel L. Segraves