How do we know what we know? How can human beings know genuine truth? That seems to be a challenge today. Everything that humans touch seems to get polluted. News may be phony. Scientific fact may be politically manipulated falsehoods or just plain wrong conclusions from incomplete data. So, how can we ever come to any real understanding of truth?
As much as finding truth may appear to be a 21st-century problem, it isn’t. Paul discusses an aspect of this problem with the first Christians in Corinth. They had been taught the Gospel but had gotten off track soon after. They added human reasoning to the truth given to them and had not been following after Jesus Christ.
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom…and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1
Paul’s point to the Corinthians is that human reasoning does not lead one to salvation. Coming to genuine truth and understanding the things of God, about his plan for us, cannot be understood on a purely intellectual level. God must impart that knowledge to us through His Spirit.
Over the years I have tried to convince others about the truth of the gospel message through human reasoning. I rationalized that if I was clever enough, I could find the key to unlock others’ brains to help them understand the Gospel. My success rate was terrible.
Paul explains that an understanding of God and His purpose can only be understood one way through the Holy Spirit. Our faith must be based upon revelation from God, not upon human intellectual understanding. Our walk with God must be based upon revelation from God and not our human perceptions. Paul tells us that God’s secret and hidden wisdom cannot be deduced by us, but we can have access to it through the Spirit.
There is no false news through the Spirit. There is no interfering agenda through the Spirit, or misinformation due to lack of data. Holy Spirit has access to the depths of God. There is nothing but complete truth from Him. We can totally rely on His instruction.
So, as we walk as Christians, following Jesus, we need to be sure that we are attuned to what God has said in Scripture and open to the instruction of the Holy Spirit. If we don’t, we will fall into error, and into sin as the Corinthians did. Real truth comes from God, not from human reasoning.