1Cor 2:1-5: How does Paul describe his work among the Corinthians in establishing them in the faith? Why does he say he conducted himself in such a manner? Is this different from the way most ministers present themselves today? What do his words here have to do with the divisions in chapter 1?
1Cor 2:6-8: What does Paul mean by mature in 1Cor 2:6, and what does the wisdom of which he speaks have to do with the divisions and strife among the Corinthians? See 3:1-3. What exactly does he mean by “God’s wisdom”? Why is it not of this age nor understood by the rulers of this age? See Mat 20:25-28.
1Cor 2:9-11: To what do the “things” mentioned in 1Cor 2:9 refer? Is it to heavenly joys that God has in store for us in the future and that we cannot now imagine, or to the wisdom he has been speaking about that has now been revealed? See 1Cor 2:10. Is man able to discern or discover such things by his own intellect or understanding? How are they made known to him?
1Cor 2:12-13: Who or what is the “spirit of the world”, and how is it different from the “Spirit who is from God”? In 1Cor 2:12, why does Paul say that Christians have received the Spirit who is from God? What are the things freely given to us by God? See again 1Co 2:9. In what sort of words does Paul say he must speak of these things? See 1Co 2:13. Note: “combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words” is very ambiguous in the Greek, and may mean “explaining spiritual things with spiritual words” or “explaining spiritual things to spiritual men”. This latter rendering makes the most sense in light of the context of the following verses.
1Cor 2:14-16: Why is a natural man unable to accept the things of the Spirit? What does Paul mean by “appraised” in these verses? See Luk 23:14, Acts 12:19, 17:11, 28:18 for how this word means to examine carefully as a judge. What does he mean that a spiritual man is appraised by no man? Note: a man operating under the influence of spiritual wisdom cannot expect to be examined and understood by any natural man operating under the influence of the world’s wisdom. Notice also that 1Cor 2:16 translated literally is “Who (interrogative pronoun) has known the mind of the Lord, which/who (relative pronoun, most naturally referring either to the mind of the Lord or to the Lord Himself) shall instruct him? (prove to him, put things together for him, make sense of it all for him, see Acts 9:22, 16:10, 19:33, Eph 4:16, Col 2:2,19 for other uses of this word)”. Who does Paul say has the mind of the Lord that is able to instruct the natural man? Again, how do Paul’s words here relate to the problems in the Corinthian church he is addressing?