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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 2 - Verse 10
Verse 10. But God hath revealed them. That is, those elevated views and enjoyments to which men everywhere else had been strangers, and which have been under all other forms of religion unknown, have been communicated to us by the revelation of God. This verse commences the third part of this chapter, in which the apostle shows how these truths, so full of wisdom, had been communicated to Christians. It had not been by any native endowments of theirs; not by any strength of faculties or powers, but solely by revelation from God.
Unto us. That is, first to the apostles; secondly, to all Christians—to the church and the world through their inspired instructors; and, thirdly, to all Christians, by the illuminating agency of the Spirit on their hearts. The connexion shows that he did not mean to confine this declaration to the apostles merely, for his design was to show that all Christians had this knowledge of the true wisdom. It was true that this was revealed in an eminent manner to the apostles, and through their inspired preaching and writings; but it is also true, that the same truths are communicated by the agency of the same Spirit to all Christians, Joh 16:12-14. No truth is now communicated to Christians which was not revealed to and by the inspired writers; but the same truths are imparted by means of their writings, and by the illumination of the Spirit, to all the true friends of God.
(1.) that men by nature are not able to discover the deep things of God—the truths which are needful to salvation,
(2.) That the apostles were inspired by the Holy Ghost; and if so, then the Scriptures are inspired.
(3.) That all Christians are the subjects of the teaching of the Holy Spirit; that these truths are made known to them by his illumination; and that but for this, they would remain in the same darkness as other men.
For the Spirit. The Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of God. 1 Co 2:11.
Searcheth. This word does not fully express the force of the original, ereuna. It means to search accurately, diligently, so as fully to understand; such profound research as to have thorough knowledge. So David uses the Hebrew word
in Ps 139:1. So the word is used to denote a careful and accurate investigation of secret and obscure things, in 1 Pe 1:11. Comp. Joh 7:52; Ro 8:27; Re 2:23, where it is used to denote that profound and accurate search by which the desires and feelings of the heart are known—implying the most profound knowledge of which we can have any conception. See Pr 20:27. Here it means, that the Holy Spirit has an intimate knowledge of all things. It is not to be supposed that he searches or inquires as men do who are ignorant: but that he has an intimate and profound knowledge, such as is usually the result of a close and accurate search. The result is what the apostle means to state—the accurate, profound, and thorough knowledge, such as usually attends research. He does not state the mode in which it is obtained; but the fact. And he uses a word more emphatic than simple knowledge, because he designs to indicate that his knowledge is profound, entire, and thorough.
All things. All subjects; all laws; all events; all beings.
The deep things of God. He has a thorough knowledge of the hidden counsels or purposes of God; of all his plans and purposes. He sees all his designs. He sees all his counsels; all his purposes in regard to the government of the universe, and the scheme of salvation. He knows all whom God designs to save; he sees all that they need; and he sees how the plan of God is fitted to their salvation. This passage proves,
(1.) that the Spirit is, in some respects, distinct from the Father, or from him who is here called God. Else how could he be said to search all things, even the deep purposes of God? To search implies action, thought, personality. An attribute of God cannot be said to search. How could it be said of the justice, the goodness, the power, or the wisdom of God, that it searches, or acts? To search, is the action of an intelligent agent, and cannot be performed by an attribute.
(2.) The Spirit is omniscient. He searches or clearly understands "all things"—the very definition of omniscience. He understands all the profound plans and counsels of God. And how can there be a higher demonstration of omniscience than to know God? But if omniscient, the Holy Spirit is Divine—for this is one of the incommunicable attributes of God, 1 Ch 28:9; Ps 139:1; Jer 17:10;
(3.) He is not a distinct being from God. There is a union between him and God, such as may be compared to the union between a man and his soul, 1 Co 2:11. God is one; and though he subsists as Father, Son, and Spirit, yet he is one God, De 6:4. This passage is, therefore, a very important and a decisive one, in regard to the personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit.
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