12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
First, the Holy Spirit revealed truth to the apostles (writers of Scripture), then He inspired their writings (vv. 12-13).
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world,
The human authors of Scripture could not find God’s wisdom through human faculty—“the spirit of the world.” The spirit of the world is the prevailing principles working in man today. These principles are autonomous from God and alien to God. This knowledge is limited to the realm of the world.
but the Spirit who is from God,
The only way they could know God’s wisdom was by revelation through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gave us the Word of God by verbal inspiration. God did not leave writers of Scripture to themselves to write Scripture.
that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
The “we” in this verse refers to the apostles. The “things that have been freely given by God” is the Word of God—Scripture. Inspiration of Scripture is an act of the grace of God.
These things we also speak,
“These things” are the words” freely given to us by God,” which is divine wisdom.
not in words which man’s wisdom teaches
Scripture is not human wisdom or a compilation of man’s thoughts.
Inspiration of Scripture comes in “words,” not merely in thoughts. The Holy Spirit did not give general thoughts to the human authors of Scripture and then let them put down whatever words they wanted. He guided them to use each and every word.
John 17:8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
The Holy Spirit teaches consistently with what Scripture says. He combines divine revelation with spiritually guided words. The apostles did not source their knowledge of God’s wisdom from human means but from the Holy Spirit. They did not resort to oratorical technique.
We must know God’s Word before we can apply God’s Word.
The reason the Holy Spirit placed Scripture in words is so that the believer can know with accuracy what God has to say. The role of the pastor is to expound Scripture so that his congregation can understand God’s message with clarity. We hear people say that doctrine is boring and dry. That is the same as saying that what God has to say is boring and dry. We live in a day where people “will not endure sound doctrine.” Instead of hunger for the Word, they want to imbibe their “desires.” All of this is a turning from truth.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.