“Now we have received… the Spirit who is from God, that we might know…” (1 Corinthians 2:12)
The Apostle Paul has given us a masterpiece of what we might consider spiritual educational psychology. How do we learn? According to Paul there are several gates of learning through which we must pass if we want to know spiritual truth.
Paul’s thesis is that we learn through the eye gate, which involves everything we observe and read. We learn through the ear gate, which involves everything we hear, including lectures and interaction with others, mentors, and those who are learning with us.
Then the apostle mentions the heart gate, which has to do with volition and the willingness to apply what we’re learning. Apprenticeship, a synonym for discipleship, describes a learner who is doing what they’re learning and learning what they’re doing. This is how Jesus trained His disciples. (John 7:17; Matthew 4:19)
According to Paul the most important gate we must pass through to learn spiritual truth is the Holy Spirit. Paul’s illustration is that no person knows the thoughts of another person except the spirit that is in that other person. In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God but the Spirit of God. Paul is excited about the glorious reality that we have received the Spirit Who knows the very thoughts of God. We can therefore also know the thoughts of God. One translation concludes the Second Chapter of 1 Corinthians with “Incredible as it may seem, we actually have the very mind of Christ!”
Prayerfully meditate on this chapter, then find your way through these gates of learning.
Dick Woodward, 08 June 2010