The sophists (or wisdom orators) of the day used wise and persuasive words to prove their the value of their worth as communicators and to attract followers. Over against this attitude, Paul establishes two key principles in these verse; God’s Spirit alone can interpret God’s wisdom to Christian believers and God’s Spirit grants the power for believers to demonstrate God’s wisdom. This is why we need to be careful not to give undue value to the wisdom of the ‘fine orators’ of our day – be they external or internal to the Church. From a human perspective we can search the depths of human knowledge but only God’s Spirit is able to search the depths of God’s heart and demonstrate it to us humans. In reality, only you in your spirit know the deep thoughts you have and so it is with God’s thoughts and God’s ways – the Holy Spirit can plumb them, reveal them and convey them to us, his children. And in vs 12-13, we find that the Spirit not only reveals God’s thoughts and ways to us but the Spirit also enables us to comprehend the ways of God in such a way as to live lives that resemble the ways of God; This is True wisdom at work. The mature spiritual disciple of Jesus allows the wisdom of the Cross of Jesus the Christ to guide them and direct their words and ways thereby demonstrating the mind of Christ in the way they live.
What does this mean for us then as we seek to live in the shadow of the Cross. One significant implication is that we as disciples of Jesus must be more concerned with living in the shadow of the Cross (that is let the Cross so overwhelm us that it impacts all of our life and what we look like) than in valuing the attractiveness of the preacher or pastor. A second one is that the Spirit gives us power to be able to overcome the temptation to live by the standard of human wisdom. In order to action this, we must be disciples who lean into studying the word of God, not for the sake of doing biblical study, but to initiate life change; transformation! What is the Spirit of God stretching you into right now?