1 Corinthians 1:22-24. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
The church at Corinth were what we might call “super spiritualists.” Remember, they weren’t all about the law, they were all about the Spirit, but in all the wrong ways. They wanted to use the Spirit of God to their own advantage. They wanted power and they wanted wisdom. Not to glorify God, but to glorify themselves. What they were failing to see is exactly what we talked about yesterday- that the real power and wisdom is in the cross. That is, it is in a life of sacrifice and humility- Christ’s life in us.
There are lots of us that are “super spiritualists” today. Many seek a spiritual experience beyond Christ. But, as we’ve said before, THERE IS NO SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE BEYOND YOUR UNION WITH CHRIST. There is no greater experience of the Spirit beyond what you have already experienced in your co-crucifixion and co-resurrection and co-glorification with Christ. We want to hear “Jesus Calling” as a voice outside of our union with Christ, a radical receiving of “wisdom” and “power” from Jesus that is not connected to our progressive sanctification. Rather than relying on the Spirit of Christ’s connection to our spirit, which brings a slow, progressive, transformation into the mind of Christ by faith, we want a unique revelation of God in a specific moment of time.
We are “super spiritualists” when we cry out to God for things that we already have. We want to experience them in fantastic ways, right here. Right now. Rather than trusting that we already have them in Christ. How many times have you asked God to help you or forgive you just so that you can feel good in the moment. But the reality is you already have all the help and forgiveness you are ever going to get- in Christ. Faith in this reality takes time and growth, it doesn’t come in a spiritual lightning bolt.
We are “super-spiritualists” when we want an experience of Christ that does not include the cross. Jews demand a sign, and Greeks seek wisdom. What about us? What do we demand that is beyond the cross? A feeling of closeness in a worship service? An answer to a question? A change of a situation? An increase in knowledge? A freedom from guilt?But none of these is Christ.
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
We don’t receive ideas, theories, systems, feelings, or experiences as our new life. We receive a PERSON. Christ. Our life no longer consists in law keeping (the book of Galatians), nor does it consist in having spiritual experiences (the book of 1 Corinthians). Our life is his life. His life is our power. His life is our wisdom. THERE IS NO POWER OR WISDOM BEYOND HIS LIFE. No other way to get it. No other source. No other experience of it beyond union with him (yes I already said this, but it bears repeating).
“To live is Christ” means that the experience that we should be looking for each day is the experience of faith in our union with Christ’s death and resurrection. We don’t look for new wisdom, we trust the Wisdom that we already have. We don’t look for new power, we trust the Power that we already have. We don’t look for new forgiveness, we trust the Forgiveness that we already have. The life of Jesus inside of our life gives us everything we need for life and godliness. We are full. We are complete in him. There is no more. You have all of him and therefore you have it all.
Have you been looking for a spiritual experience beyond the cross and resurrection of Christ? How would your life look different if you really trusted in your union with Christ rather than in an experience that would change how you feel or change your situation?