In validating his apostolic office, Paul reminds the Corinthians how he came to them; not with flattering words or wisdom, but in “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” in God. When he refers to having come to them in “weakness”, the context doesn’t agree with the thought of a physical infirmity or mental lack; the apostle speaks metaphorically in comparison to others that would come with great oratory skills, yet without any genuine substance. Paul’s desire for them was to have faith “not in the wisdom of men but in the power of God”.
This next verse is strategic in making application to balance of the chapter. “We speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.” The “we” in context seems to be referring to the current Apostles of that day; yet it is inclusive and applicable to believers of all time. This will be clarified later in this chapter.
The wisdom which Christ had was unknown to “rulers of this age”, speaking of Jewish leaders who “crucified the Lord of glory”. Had they known, comprehended, discerned or understood Who He was, they would have never had Him killed.
Verse 9 isn’t a direct quote from Isaiah; rather it is Paul’s version of what he had read from Isaiah. The eyes, ears and heart referenced speak of the “natural” man, not the “spiritual” man. The “spiritual” man can know “the things that have been freely given” to us by God.
The functioning and role of the Spirit in the life and ministry of apostolic ministry is essential.
There were and are those who say this is speaking exclusively about the Apostles and that the “normal” Christian can’t have spiritual comprehension of spiritual things. For everyone who has received “the things of the Spirit of God”, they too can be recipients of “revelation” from the Holy Spirit as He knows all that God knows. He is divine and communicates those things that are of eternal value the mind of the “spiritual” man.
The paradigm from which we live is different than that of the world system. We operate on the foundation of “things of the Spirit of God”; rather than the world’s paradigm of worldly, fleshly and carnal thinking. Because we “judge”; which in this context means to discern, on the basis of “spiritual” discernment. On the basis of being “spiritually” minded individuals, we have the capacity “discern”, which no one can do for another, only God.
As a “spiritual” man, we “have the mind of Christ”; because we have the “wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1: 30), we have righteousness, sanctification and redemption.