1 Dear brothers and sisters,* when I first came to you I didn't use lofty words and brilliant ideas to tell you God's message.*1
2 For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross.
3 I came to you in weakness--timid and trembling.
4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. I did not use wise and persuasive speeches, but the Holy Spirit was powerful among you.
5 I did this so that you might trust the power of God rather than human wisdom.
6 Yet when I am among mature Christians, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world, and not the kind that appeals to the rulers of this world, who are being brought to nothing.
7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the secret wisdom of God,* which was hidden in former times, though he made it for our benefit before the world began.2
8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would never have crucified our glorious Lord.
9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."*3
10 But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, and his Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God's deep secrets.
11 No one can know what anyone else is really thinking except that person alone, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit.
12 And God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
13 When we tell you this, we do not use words of human wisdom. We speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths.*4
14 But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means.
15 We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others can't understand us at all.
16 How could they? For, "Who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who can give him counsel?"* But we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.5
Read 1 Corinthians 3