The Astonishing Revelation We Read Right Over

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August 27, 2021

1 Corinthians 2:6-10 (NIV)

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

CONSIDER THIS

The second chapter of 1 Corinthians is a wonder. It is the astonishing revelation we read right over. It is pure second half of the gospel material. Paul calls it, “a message of wisdom among the mature.” This is a new dimension of “information,” this message of wisdom among the mature. Think of it as “in” and “formation.” This is the “in” “formation” that leads to “trans-formation” (as in transcendent formation). 

He then draws a sharp contrast of this “message of wisdom among the mature” with the “wisdom of this age” and the “rulers of this age.” Human beings have not changed from the first century to the twenty-first century. We are fundamentally the same people. The “wisdom of this age” and the “rulers of this age” have played their parts in every age, right up to the present age. In fact, the Bible only speaks of two ages: the “present evil age” and “the age to come.” On this point Paul is emphatic: the wisdom of this age and the rulers of this age are “coming to nothing.” Now, as an aside, if this is true, we should think very deeply, soberly, and carefully about our adoption of the wisdom and our investment in the rulers of this age. 

The gospel of Jesus Christ in its most sweeping terms is as follows: With the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus of Nazareth, the age to come has broken in on the present evil age. The most revolutionary words ever spoken on the face of this planet—straight from the mouth of the Son of God—came in his first sermon and what I maintain is his only sermon (all the rest is his teaching, which is not to in any way minimize it, but to distinguish his preaching from his teaching). Here’s the message of the gospel (First Half. Second Half. Third Half. And beyond)

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the gospel!”

Translation: the age to come has broken in on the present evil age. Old has gone. New is come. I no longer live. Christ lives in me. I have been crucified with Christ. I have been raised with Christ. 

First half of the gospel: repent and believe. 

Translation: Wake up and come on! (i.e. “Follow me”)

Second Half of the Gospel: Behold and become! (i.e. “Abide in me and I will abide in you,”)

Third Half of the Gospel: Kingdom comes in final fullness with the return of Jesus Messiah. (a.k.a. the closing ceremonies of the present evil age and the opening ceremonies of the fullness of the glorious age to come). 

So the Church, the one Jesus referred to as, “I will build My Church,” is the colony of the Kingdom. Every little “c” local church is a little colony of the Kingdom—right here and right now. It is not a building. It is not merely “the people,” which, apart from the Holy Spirit, are at best a crowd. The Church is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit shared in the bonded attachment (a.k.a. agape) of the sons and daughters of God caught up in the bonded love of Father-Son-Holy Spirit. Indeed, the Church is the Body of Christ. Everywhere the Church goes (even in two or three), the Kingdom comes. Darkness flees. Death loses. Healing flows. Joy sings. Faith rises. Hope swells. Love wins. And yes, the world awakens to the grace and glory of God, Jesus builds his Church (aka establishes another little colony of the Kingdom), and the gospel movement swells and spreads. 

Now, we are all thinking, “But this doesn’t sound much like my church.” Truth be told, we are generations in our history away from this kind of church (at least in this country). Much that once was is no longer, for none now live who remember it. There are outliers for sure, but they are rare. We have drifted into a quite institutional organization we have built that we call church, but it is not Church. There has been a lot of singing and a lot of service projects, but very little supernatural Kingdom of Jesus to point to. (And please don’t be angry at me for saying so. I am not criticizing you, just trying to tell the truth about the reality we find ourselves in.) 

This is why we must have great awakening. And great awakening will not just fall out of the sky one day. Great awakening begins with me and you, and it spreads person by person, until one day critical mass catches up to the Kingdom of Jesus and it tips over into a social, societal, cultural, even global phenomenon. Hearts. Homes. Churches. Cities. 

The second half of the gospel is the hinge on which this mighty door of the Kingdom swings. It is the academy of deep in-formation, the abbey of contemplative and comprehensive re-formation and the apostolate of profound transformation. Here’s what that looks like: 

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

Note the verb tense of v.10. Just saying. 

THE PRAYER

Jesus, I belong to you. You are my Lord and my God. I receive your life in exchange for my life, all of it, right now. I no longer live. You live in me. I can never attain it and I will never have to, for you have attained it all and you are in me. I have been crucified with you. I have been raised with you. Everything in you is mine, and everything is mine in you. And everything in me is yours. The old has gone. The new is come. I have put off the old self with its deceitful desires and I have put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of my Creator, created to be like you in righteousness and holiness, in beauty and splendor, in love divine all love’s excelling.

I receive this life which is all at once perfected and yet being transformed with ever increasing glory, from one degree of glory to the next, and all of this from you Lord Jesus through the Holy Spirit. I am filled to the measure of all the fullness of God and yet it is a fullness that ever admits more. I now live in your Kingdom and this new way of asking and receiving, of seeking and finding, of knocking and opening for I have you. You are the treasure buried in a field and I have found you, and for joy I exchange everything I have for that field and the joy of finding you and being found by you over and over and over again and being found in you with a righteousness and goodness and love not my own but from that comes from you, first to last. You are my longing fulfilled. You are my answered prayer. You are my all in all. Amen, Amen—it is so. 

THE QUESTION

How are you invested in the present evil age, its wisdom and its rulers? How are you invested in the glorious age to come– the right here right now Kingdom of Heaven breaking in on the present evil age? How compromised are you? How undivided and wholehearted do you desire to be? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

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