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Remember the promise of the Lord to His disciples before he left them:

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. . .  But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.” –

John 14:16-17; 16:13-14

Here Paul is explaining how all of that works by the agency of the Holy Spirit.  These promises were made to those apostles who would be the authors of Scripture.  Then he makes application to how people either understand and accept the God’s wisdom or reject it as foolishness.

Gordon Fee: As with much that immediately preceded (in 1:18 – 2:5), what comes next is full of bite. The Corinthians, enamored by wisdom and thinking of themselves as “spiritual” (= “people of the Spirit”), are less than enchanted with Paul’s message, which they regard merely as “milk.” With fine irony Paul demolishes these various misperceptions and false boastings. The gospel of the crucified Messiah is wisdom all right, he affirms, but not of the kind they are now pursuing. True wisdom is indeed for those who are “spiritual,” meaning for those who have the Spirit, who has revealed what God has really accomplished in Christ. Because they do have the Spirit, and thus the mind of Christ, they should have seen the cross for what it is — God’s wisdom — and thereby have been able to make true judgments. But by pursuing sophia, they are acting just like those without the Spirit, who are likewise pursuing wisdom but see the cross as foolishness. The net result — and the irony — is that they are “spiritual,” yet “unspiritual”; they are pursuing “wisdom,” yet missing the very wisdom of God.

The argument, which is in three parts, can be easily traced:

(1)  Paul begins (vv. 6–10a) by setting forth the nature of God’s wisdom in terms of the basic contrast between those for whom it was destined and those who cannot perceive it. God’s wisdom, predestined by God to bring us to glory, was therefore held “as a mystery” (= secret), hidden from the present age and its leaders.

(2)  He then goes on (vv. 10b–13) to explain how believers are let in on the secret, and why others are left out. We have received the Spirit, who knows the mind of God and has revealed to us what God is doing in the world.

(3)  The final paragraph (vv. 14–16) concludes by reaffirming all this in terms of “natural” and “spiritual” people, that is, as the NIV rightly has it, persons without or with the Spirit.

John MacArthur: The Holy Spirit is the Trinity’s agent of transmission and communication.  The first step of His transmission of God’s truth is revelation.  As a member of the Godhead, the Spirit knows the mind of God perfectly. . .  The truths of His Word God revealed through the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the divine author of Scripture.  He used many human agents, but the message is entirely His. . .

The process of the Spirit’s transmission of God’s truth is called inspiration.  His truth cannot be discovered by man; it can only be received.  In order to be received, something must first be offered.  God’s truth can be received because it is freely given.

The we’s and the us of verses 12-13 (as in vv. 6-7, 10) do not refer to Christians in general but to Paul himself.  God’s Word is for all believers, but was revealed only to the apostles and the other writers of Scripture.  Only those men properly can be said to have been inspired. . .

The third step in the Spirit’s transmission of God’s truth is that of illumination. . .  God must open the eyes of our understanding before we can truly know and rightly interpret His truth.  His truth is available only to those with a regenerate spirit and in whom His Spirt dwells, for only the Spirit can illumine Scripture.  Just as the physically blind cannot see the sun, the spiritually blind cannot see the Son. Both lack proper illumination.


A.  God’s Wisdom Not Discoverable by Man

but just as it is written,

‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,

Thomas Leake: Combination quote; not an exact quote – Is. 64:4; 65:17; 52:15 – clustering a number of OT ideas; an exact representation of OT teaching – man’s mind and heart cannot probe into the mind and heart of God; eliminating all of the 5 senses; all of the forms of philosophic empiricism as well as the recorded experiences of others.

John MacArthur: Do you find anything in this context about heaven? Is he talking about heaven here? He’s talking about ignorance, isn’t he? He’s not talking about Christians not being able to know what heaven’s like, he’s talking about unbelievers not being able to know what salvation is like. That’s his whole point.

B.  God’s Wisdom Designed to Impact the Heart of Man

And which have not entered the heart of man,

Thomas Leake: Heart = focus of rationalism and the mind; human intelligence or contemplation; can’t understand ultimate truth this way

Mark Taylor: The citation emphasizes the hiddenness of God’s plans and the incapacity of humans to know them, which sets up the emphasis on the revelation of the Spirit to follow in the succeeding verses (2:10–13).

C.  God’s Wisdom Brings Unimaginable Blessing to His Children

All that God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

Leon Morris: The glories that come to believers are not haphazard, but are in accordance with God’s plan from of old.

Richard Hays: Whatever the source of the quotation, its sense is clear: God’s way of bringing salvation to the world through the cross was hidden from all human understanding, but God had “prepared” this plan from before the foundation of the world for those who love him. It is perhaps significant that Paul brings love into view here: the Corinthians might have expected Paul to say that God has prepared all these things “for those who know him.” For Paul, however, we relate to God not primarily through knowledge or wisdom, but through love. This is a theme to which Paul will return later in the letter.

Dan Nighswander: We cannot determine Paul’s source for this purported quotation, but Paul does say that the eschatological hope is reserved for those who love God. It is not special knowledge of God, but rather love for God, expressed in appropriate behavior (see 1 Cor 13), that determines who is blessed by God and who is cursed (Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord, 16:22). The contrast between knowledge and love is restated in 8:1: Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

Daniel Akin: Paul’s words in verse 9 are often read at funerals to speak about the wonderful glories that will be ours in heaven. However, in context, Paul is not talking about what will be ours in the future but what belongs to believers right now. Paul brings together several Old Testament texts (Isa 64:4; also Isa 52:15; 65:17; Jer 3:16). They demonstrate that humans could never learn the wonderful wisdom of Christ crucified on their own. No eye, ear, or heart could conceive (ESV, “imagine”) such a thing. God had to reveal it. He has revealed it “for those who love him.” Rationalism cannot reason to God. Empiricism cannot locate God. But as John MacArthur puts so well, “What man cannot find God has given. Man cannot come to God on his own, but God has come to him” (1 Corinthians, 62).

Gordon Fee: Paul thus argues: “We speak God’s wisdom, salvation through Christ crucified, which none of the rulers of this age understood; but even as it is written: What no one could see, hear, or understand about God’s ways, these are the very things God has prepared for those who love him.”  The next part of the paragraph goes on to explain how those who love God do understand the divine “wisdom.”


Dan Nighswander: The Corinthians valued the rational wisdom expressed in the eloquent rhetorical style that philosophers taught, especially the Sophists (Winter 1997). Therefore Paul goes to some length to assert that God’s wisdom is revealed by the Spirit, not by human invention. This is the first extended discussion of the activity of the Spirit, which will be elaborated later in the letter, especially in 12:3-13. Here the focus is on the Spirit of God functioning as the communicator and revealer of God.

Paul Gardner: In [verse 10] Paul insists that the deep things of God include the very revelation that Paul has been talking about, the self-revelation of God in Christ crucified. The Spirit alone can penetrate the depths of God’s purposes and his self-sacrifice in Christ. He alone enables people to understand something the rulers of this age are unable to comprehend. Grammatically, the preposition “to us” (ἡμῖν) is emphatic in its position, while “these things” is brought forward from the quotation of Scripture. The quotation thus completes the previous discussion but serves also to introduce the next section concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in this revelation. By using “us” with emphasis here, Paul seeks to bring on side all the Corinthian Christians, but especially to identify them with “those who love him [God].” “We” therefore stands in direct contrast with those mentioned in v. 8 to whom what is hidden has remained hidden. . .

The (Holy) Spirit fully knows God. He alone has access to and understanding of the deep things of God. However, in the same way that “God’s wisdom in a mystery and hidden” (v. 7) did not refer to some special revelation shared with a few “spiritual” people, neither does the term “depths” (τὰ βάθη). They are not the deeper content of the mystery religions or some gnostic special knowledge. They are things shared with all those who have the Spirit (v. 12), those who love God, that is, all Christians.  The Spirit “searches all things” (πάντα ἐραυνᾷ) in the sense that he seeks out and knows what is the plan and purpose of God. He does this to communicate it with and activate it among “those who love him” (v. 8).

A.  Revelation To Whom – Identification of the Recipients of Revelation

For to us

B.  Revelation By Whom – Identification of the Originator of Revelation


C.  Revelation How – Explanation of the Process of Revelation


Mark Taylor: The fact that God has revealed his plan to us through the Spirit once again strikes at any notion of boasting or self-sufficiency, which is critical to Paul’s overall argument (recall 1:29–31).

D.  Revelation of What – Content of Revelation


E.  Revelation Through Whom – Focus on the Crucial Role of the Holy Spirit

through the Spirit

Robert Gundry: With “through the Spirit” Paul lays claim for himself and other Christians to new revelation communicated by God’s Spirit and supplementing the Old Testament Scriptures as represented by the quotation taken from Isaiah. The Spirit’s investigation of “all things” implies that those Scriptures contained only some things which God wanted his own to know, and that new revelation in the gospel makes up for the old omissions. “Investigates all things, even the deep things of God” portrays the Spirit as a kind of detective, explorer, or researcher who just because he’s the Spirit of God can plumb the depths of God’s predetermined wisdom. This portrayal carries an assurance of the new revelation’s authenticity. Paul then elaborates this assurance, the elaboration starting with an analogy.

3 Arguments Supporting the Role of the Spirit as the Agent of Revelation

  1. Argument from Function – Only the Spirit can plumb the depths of God

for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God

David Garland: Paul shifts his focus to the means by which God reveals heavenly truth that is naturally unknowable. How can something that has no place in the human heart be made known? How do humans cross the divide between the world and God? These can happen only through God’s Spirit, who searches all things, even the depths of God. Human creatures do not have access to these things and do not even have the grammar or vocabulary for them until it is graciously bestowed by God’s Spirit.

  1. Argument from Human Illustration – No one else knows our thoughts but us

For who among men knows the thought of a man except the spirit of the

man which is in him?”

  1. Argument from Divine Application of the Illustration – Only the Spirit knows the thoughts of God

Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.”

Craig Blomberg: The contrast between those who possess the Spirit and those who do not (vv. 10b–16) begins with a syllogisma three-part argument in which two premises, if true, logically entail a particular conclusion (vv. 10b–12).

(1)  The major premise observes that only a person’s own spirit or mind knows that individual’s thoughts unless he or she chooses to disclose them to someone else (v. 11a), an affirmation which is true for God as well as humanity (vv. 10b, 11b). “Search” (v. 10b) thus equals “knows the thoughts of” (v. 11b).

(2)  The minor premise reiterates that Christians have God’s Spirit living in them (v. 12a). “The spirit of the world(v. 12a) refers to fallen, human nature and ideologies, not to anything more directly demonic.

(3)  The conclusion logically follows then that Christians can know God’s thoughts, at least to the extent that his Spirit graciously reveals them (v. 12b).

Adewuya: Paul goes on to provide an illustration that will show that the spiritual wisdom and truths of God can be understood only through the Holy Spirit, just as human wisdom needs the human spirit to understand it. So no one truly comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God: The conclusion is that only the Holy Spirit can reveal God’s wisdom and truth to humankind. In contrast to some other kind of spirit, through which some might try to know God’s wisdom and truth (like the spirit of the wisdom of this world [1 Cor 1:20; 2:6; 3:19]), believers have received the Spirit who is from God — as such, they can now understand and know the gifts that are bestowed on them by God.


A.  NT Writers (Apostles and Prophets) Possess the Spirit of God

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God

Paul Gardner: Paul continues building his argument that there are two classes of people who must be distinguished: those following “the spirit of the world” (τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου) and those who have received “the Spirit of God” (τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ).  God is the one from whom the Spirit comes. This is a primary focus of differentiation: What “spirit” does a person have? The differentiation is neither to be based on a social status nor on the “wisdom” the world counts as valuable. It is not to be based on who has received gifts from the Spirit such as “knowledge” or “word.” All Christians are the “mature” and “those who love God” and must therefore be those who “have received the Spirit of God.” The aorist “received” (ἐλάβομεν) looks back to the time when they came to faith as, for example, in Galatians 3:2 and 2 Corinthians 11:4.  All of this leads to a completely different mindset and approach to life for the Christian. It will be a way of existence, as Paul has already begun to show, that focuses on Christ and recognizes that all that a Christian has and is depends on God’s work alone, upon grace. It is this differentiation based on which spirit a person possesses that will allow Paul to talk about what is or is not “spiritual.” It will also allow him to begin to address questions of maturity of Christian life and ethics without dividing Christians into those who are “superspiritual” and those who are not (something the Corinthians seemed keen to do).

B.  NT Writers Know the Body of Truth God Wants Communicated

so that we may know the things freely given to us by God

C.  NT Writers Were Inspired by the Holy Spirit to Communicate that Truth

which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those

taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.”

Importance of verbal, plenary doctrine of inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture

Richard Hays: The conclusion of all this is summarized in 2:13: Paul and other Christians can speak now about the identity of God not because they have received advanced philosophical instruction or lessons on rhetorical declamation but because they have been taught by the Spirit of God how to speak of God through the word of the cross. The obscure phrase “interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual,” which could be translated in several different ways, should probably be understood as one more ironic dig at the self-styled Corinthian pneumatikoi: If you were really as spiritual as you think you are, Paul suggests, you would understand that our rhetorically unembellished speech about Christ crucified is the message that comes from the Spirit of God.

Another way to put Paul’s point is that the truth about God is revealed not through philosophy but through prophecy, not through rhetoric but by revelation. The “deep things of God” (2:10; cf. Dan. 2:22) are not arcane Gnostic trivia; rather they are the secret saving purposes of God for the whole world, now laid bare by the Spirit’s disclosure that the wisdom of God is made known through the cross.

Anthony Thiselton: The Spirit explores the depths of God’s very Self. Only thereby can the Spirit convey the heart and mind of God-in-Christ authentically. We need not read a dualism of self and spirit into v. 11. Paul’s main point is well summed up in the axiom widely associated with Karl Barth: “God is known through God alone” (Church Dogmatics, II/1, sect. 27, p. 179). Athanasias made broadly the same point: there is no natural “kinship” between “the Spirit and the creatures.… The Spirit is from [Greek ek] God” (Letter to Serapion 1:22 in J.-P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca 26:581).

God’s wisdom is “secret,” or known only to God (v. 11b) in the sense that talk of “spirituality” and “wisdom” comes to nothing unless God’s Holy Spirit activates the message of the cross and brings it home afresh. Hence Paul employs language which the Spirit teaches, interpreting things of the Spirit to people of the Spirit (v. 13).

Daniel Akin: The Spirit instructs us with his spiritual words. Today we have this wonderful gift of “spiritual words” in the Bible. We have an obligation to pass on the wonderful, spiritual words of Holy Scripture to others. A good teacher will gladly honor the teachings of his or her Master.


A.  (:14) Natural Man Does Not Understand or Appreciate God’s Truth

(refers to all of the unsaved = those who do not possess the Spirit of God)

  1. Cannot Appreciate God’s Truth Because He Considers it Foolishness

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God,

for they are foolishness to him

John Piper: Paul implies that the natural man can construe the meaning of the gospel because when he does he calls it foolishness. The things of the Spirit are foolishness to the natural man not because he can’t see their meaning but because he sees it and regards what he sees as a waste of time. The problem in verse 14 is not a lack of clear speech nor a lack of intellectual power to interpret. The problem is that when the word of the cross is clear and the intellect of the natural man has interpreted it adequately he regards it as foolishness. . .  the problem is the moral inability to assign the right value to it.

Daniel Akin: The natural person is spiritually dead (Eph 2:1). There is no spiritual life within these people. They lack the necessary spiritual equipment to correctly process spiritual truth. Tom Schreiner writes,

It is not that unbelievers cannot mentally grasp or comprehend the message of the gospel . . . they are unable to understand the truth and significance of the gospel because such things can be discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians, 84–85; emphasis in original)

They can hear the message, but they cannot translate it as spiritually valuable and wonderful. Only the Holy Spirit can do that, but they don’t have him working on them.

Commenting on the natural person, “the person without the Spirit,” John Piper says one’s “basic problem is not an intellectual inability to construe the meaning of Paul’s message; the problem is the moral inability to assign the right value to it” (“How the Spirit Helps Us Understand”). This explanation helps us to understand what Paul means in the latter part of verse 14. The gospel of “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (2:2) is once again deemed as “foolishness” (Gk. moria) to the person without the Spirit. On a certain level, such can understand it, evaluate it, and consider it. But they will determine it is “foolishness” (MSG, “silliness”). The reason they don’t appreciate the gospel is clear: the natural person “is not able to understand it since it is evaluated [ESV, “discerned”] spiritually.” The natural person without the Spirit cannot “make appropriate ‘judgments’ about what God is doing in the world” (Fee, Corinthians, 2014, 125). The natural person can read the Bible, hear the gospel, and weigh its meaning. However, without the work of the Spirit, he or she will never boast in it (1:31; Gal 6:14). They will never see it as beautiful, precious, and valuable. They are blind to its beauty, deaf to its melody, and insensitive to its fragrant aroma.

  1. Cannot Understand God’s Truth Because He Lacks the Illuminating Work of the Holy Spirit

and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

Gordon Fee: Paul’s argument has now been brought full circle. He began by insisting that his message was in fact an expression of wisdom—God’s own wisdom, revealed as such by the Spirit. He at least — in contrast to the merely psychikos person, the mere human being without the Spirit — understands the mind of Christ. As those who possess the Spirit, the Corinthians also potentially possess that same mind. However, as he will now point out, their behavior betrays them. They do, but they don’t. The concern from here on will be to force them to acknowledge the folly of their “wisdom,” which is expressing itself in quarrels and thereby destroying the very church for which Christ died.

B.  (:15-16) Spiritual Man Understands and Appreciates God’s Truth

(refers to all of the saved = those who do possess the Spirit of God)

  1. (:15) Appreciates God’s Truth Because He Has Discernment

But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.”

Craig Blomberg: Here, therefore, he is thinking primarily of being unjustly evaluated by non-Christians (or by Christians employing worldly standards), who have no authority to criticize believers for their misbehavior, since they themselves do not accept the standards they employ in making their judgments. Christians, on the other hand, may legitimately evaluate the truth or error of non-Christian beliefs and behavior, although their primary concern should be to keep their own house in order (5:12–13).

Paul Gardner: This sentence has received various explanations. However, if, as we have suggested, there is a genuine problem among the Corinthians that they are judging each other and considering some to be more spiritual than others, then Paul is here affirming that Christians, who are spiritual people because they have received the Spirit, cannot be judged by others. Once more, this suggests the verb “judge” has a forensic sense here, and Paul intends something quite similar to what he writes in 1 Corinthians 4:3–5. There Paul is clear that the Corinthians are making judgments about him. To them he responds with the theology of this verse. “It is the Lord who judges me [ἀνακρίνω]. Therefore, do not judge anything . . . before the time, before the Lord comes” (vv. 4–5). In effect Paul writes something along the lines of what he says in Romans 8:33: “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” At present in chapter 2, Paul is pointing out the difference between Christian and non-Christian. As he enters the next stage of his argument in chapters 3 and 4, he will apply the same lessons to people who make judgments against each other within the church. Another quotation from Scripture concludes the chapter.

Adewuya: The person who has God’s Spirit is not subject to judgments by one who does not have the Spirit. This directly relates to Paul’s situation—the Greek philosophers and the sign-seeking Jews may mock and jeer, but they are both incapable and unqualified to judge the message of Paul and other Christians who have the mind of Christ because they do not have the Spirit of God and cannot judge spiritual truths. Unlike the Corinthians who, as a result of their so-called wisdom, were causing divisions, those who have the mind of Christ are not focused on special wisdom or experiences, but on community life. The mind of Christ is characterized by death to selfish ambitions, humbling of oneself, and giving oneself to others. Having the mind of Christ enables Christians to think about life the way that Jesus himself did, with the keen ability to observe what goes on around them and act appropriately. It engenders compassion for the less privileged and suffering, kindness for the destitute, and courage to stand up to the rich and powerful when necessary.

  1. (:16)  Understands God’s Truth Because He Possesses the Illuminating Work of the Holy Spirit = the Mind of Christ

For who has known the mind of the Lord, that He will instruct Him? 

But we have the mind of Christ.”

John Piper: The Spirit enables us to appraise things with their true value, but when natural men appraise us they will always go wrong. Why? Verse 16: Because apart from the Spirit no one thinks or appraises like the Lord, but we who possess the Spirit have the mind of Christ. We have begun to view and assess things the way Christ does. Therefore we do not reject but receive the things of the Spirit even when they mean death to self; because now we know what is really valuable.

Mark Taylor: Paul’s conclusion in 2:16, based on Isa 40:13, amplifies not only the previous statement (2:15) but also provides a succinct summary of the unit as a whole;  God’s ways are inscrutable (2:9), yet his hidden plans have been revealed through the Spirit (2:10). The implied answer to the question raised by Scripture, “Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” is, of course, “No one.” Yet in response to the question, Paul states surprisingly and boldly, “But we have the mind of Christ.”  Strikingly, Paul does not say, as he does in 2:12, “We have received the Spirit that comes from God,” but rather, “We have the mind of Christ,” which, in context, is synonymous with God’s hidden wisdom. One cannot help but note the strong trinitarian focus in Paul’s interplay with the Old Testament text. Furthermore, the reference to the “mind” of Christ recalls Paul’s initial exhortation in 1:10, “to be of the same mind.” Garland notes that Paul particularly appeals to the mind of Christ when a community is rent by divisions (cf. Phil 2:1–5; 4:2).

Paul Gardner: To have “the mind of Christ” (νοῦν Χριστοῦ) must be defined by the context here. It is the summary statement of a lengthy argument. Paul has shown that this “mind,” this understanding or knowledge, is something all Christians should have because they have the Spirit.  It stands in direct contrast to the mind of this world, which judges people on their abilities, their status in the community, their prowess in communication, and so on. The mind of Christ is one that has understood that Christ crucified is what life is all about. That is, the Christian life is to be one of humility and one of accepting that all that Christians may have is by grace and from God. The mind of Christ does not make superficial judgments about people, for that is Christ’s work on the last day. The mind of Christ is able to discern that which is of God’s wisdom and that which is of the world’s wisdom. In other words, this mind is one that is in tune with the “wisdom of God” to the extent that it follows the Lord’s will rather than human will.  It is truly “to think God’s thoughts after him.”

Richard Hays: Once again Paul concludes a section of his argument with a clinching quote, this time from Isaiah 40:13 LXX. Isaiah’s rhetorical question “Who has known the mind of the Lord?” presumes a negative answer: “No one.” Thus, on one level, the quotation reinforces Paul’s point that the natural mind is incapable of understanding God’s designs (cf. Rom. 11:34, quoting the same text). At the same time, however, the quotation also suggests a second, quite different point. The LXX phrase “mind (nous) of the Lord” translates the Hebrew phrase “spirit (ruach) of the Lord.” Given the whole context, it is evident that Paul understands the terms “mind” and “spirit” to be synonymous. Because he also understands “the Lord” to be Jesus, and because Christians have received the Spirit, he can move forward to his final audacious claim: “We have the mind (=spirit) of Christ.” Therefore, in a real sense, it has been given to us to know the mind of the Lord. Who has known the mind of the Lord? Answer: We who have received the Spirit know it, because we, unlike the world, have the mind of Christ. This formulation restates in more striking language what was already explained in verses 10–13.

David Garland: “The mind of Christ” does not refer to some mystical ecstasy (contra Weiss 1910: 68–69) but is related to “sobriety, watchfulness, faith, hope, and life, not ecstasy” (Willis 1989: 118). According to Willis (1989: 118), it refers “to believers having their outlook shaped by an awareness of Christ.” He thinks that Phil. 2:5 provides an important clue for “understanding the meaning of the ‘mind of Christ’ in 1 Cor. 2:16.” This argument shows how Paul’s conclusion ties in with the disputes that cause him to entreat them to be of the same mind (1:10). Willis (1989: 119) asserts, “Based upon other Pauline usage and the immediate context, then, the appeal ‘to have the mind of Christ’ does not mean to think Christ’s thoughts after him, nor to have ecstatic experiences, nor to knowing proper dogma. The ‘mind of Christ’ is not focused upon special wisdom or experiences, but on community life.” The “mind of Christ” refers to Christ’s obedience, and Paul appeals to it as a paradigm for Christians to follow: “And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them” (2 Cor. 5:15). Brown (1995: 145) asserts, “To have ‘the mind of Christ’ is to have a cruciform mind.” It requires putting to death selfish ambitions, humbling oneself, and giving oneself for others. Paul particularly appeals to this mind of Christ when a community is split by dissensions (Phil. 2:2–5; 4:2). The Corinthians’ divisions reveal that they are not living the way Christians, taught by the Spirit and endowed with the mind of Christ, should live. They were called into existence by the word of the cross, and they are to embody the word of the cross in all their relationships. Grindheim (2002: 708) summarizes well Paul’s point: “To be spiritual . . . is to have apprehended the word of the cross in such a way that it has transformed the entire existence of the believer into its image—to a cruciform life, a life characterized by self-sacrificing love, and where power is manifest through weakness.”