The Spirit Searches

Greetings to all readers! We’re going to be continuing on this fine Sunday our study on the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re in the New Testament now and in the Pauline epistles and namely, the first epistle to the Corinthians. Many of our passages focus on the deity of Christ, but today, we’re going to be looking at the deity of the Holy Spirit mainly. I want to touch briefly on another passage before that, but then we go to the main text. We’re going to be reading 1 Corinthians 2:9-11.

9However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him” 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

First, let’s say something about verse 9. How many people have heard this passage and said that this is talking about Heaven? Now I agree on an applicational basis, this could very well apply to Heaven, however, as the apostle is writing it at this point, he is not talking about Heaven. Instead, he is talking about the incarnation.

This should be something that brings joy to us. In Paul’s mind, the incarnation gets the description of what we would use to describe Heaven. Paul is telling us that the love and grace of God is so amazing that we could not even begin to think about what he did for us, and that was sending his Son to die for us. If the revelation of the Son is that good on this Earth, think about how the revelation of the Son will be in eternity.

However, verse 11 is the main focus of what we wish to speak about and that is the Spirit searching the deep things of God. Paul is using this argument to point to the knowledge of the Spirit and how the Spirit knows the deep things of God. He uses an analogy in relation to the spirit of a man.

Who knows a man? It is only the spirit of the man that knows the man. The spirit of the man is nothing external to the man. You have a spirit within you. It is that spirit that knows what is within you and is probably the same spirit that Paul refers to in Romans 8:26-27.

God’s spirit is also not external to him. It is his Spirit that knows his very being from the inside-out as it were. (This is the best way I can express it. I in no way wish to apply corporeality to the very nature of God nor do I wish to say the Spirit is a part of God.) The only way the Spirit can know all that there is of God is if that Spirit has the full nature of God. In this passage then, Paul is ascribing full deity to the Spirit.

I would recommend using this passage on Jehovah’s Witnesses if the opportunity ever came up. Most of us turn to passages like Acts 5 and 13 which have been used earlier and are good passages. My preference however is to go where I don’t think my opponent is expecting and use that passage. This is one that would fit within that criteria as while Witnesses know many verses, they tend to not have a systematic theology.

We shall continue our study further tomorrow.

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