What Are the Deep Things of God? Find Out Here

a man searching the bible with a magnifying glass
Photo by Nathan Bingle
"But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10).

I like this photo. It's a photo that portrays a man holding a magnifying glass and engaged in an in-depth search of the word of God. This photo captures the spirit of this blog. It symbolizes the longing desire, and determination to dig deeper into God’s word.

However, in our search for truth, we need not use a physical magnifying glass. We only need the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our search.

Our world is full of deep things.

There are deep things in the natural world. For example, a natural phenomenon like the formation of rain is deep. The changes in seasons are deep things. The physical laws that govern our universe are deep things which scientists are still investigating.

There are deep things in the spiritual or religious world. For example, in the Christian faith, the incarnation, atonement, and redemption are deep things. In fact, spiritual matters are so deep they can only be “spiritually discerned.” Why? Because in the spiritual world, “we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). 

Greek Influences 

At the time when the words in 1 Corinthians 2:10 were penned down, Greek philosophy and culture had flourished for close to 400 years. This period witnessed the rise of prominent philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. As a result of the influences of these philosophers, Greek society placed a high premium on intellect above other things.

Most of the inhabitants of Corinth, as well as in many other Greek cities, were committed to pursuing the philosophical wisdom and knowledge of the time. Many became ardent followers and disciples of the many philosophies and philosophers of the day.

It is probable that some new Christian converts at Corinth had been exposed to the works and discourses of the city’s resident and visiting philosophers. The apostle Paul admits that the Corinthian church was “enriched in all speech and knowledge” (1 Corinthians 1:5).

This endowment in “speech and knowledge” came with its dangers. Some new converts to the Christian faith attempted to mix philosophical thinking and approaches into their beliefs. They rationalized faith and revelation to the extent that knowledge took the precedence of devotion.

And there lied their problem. 

Challenging Times 

The Church at Corinth was facing internal and external challenges which threatened to divide it.

From within the Church were some who were disposed to “quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder” (2 Corinthians 12:20). Each quarreling party sought its own thing, “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:22). Sectarianism crept in and divided the church.

From outside the Church, the negative influences and trappings of the fertility cult of Diana with its many immoral ceremonies threatened to choke the faith of the Corinthian believers.

These were challenging times for the young Church at Corinth. Amid all these negativities, Paul still refers to this Church as, “The Church of God in Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2). 

The Limitation of Human Wisdom 

In the second chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthian church, Paul reveals the following about human wisdom: 
  • Human wisdom was characterized by “lofty speech or wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:1) and, “plausible words of wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:4). 
  • Human wisdom boasted of having some unique or mystical knowledge which the apostle Paul warned would lead some of them to “rest faith in the wisdom of men” (1 Corinthians 2:5). 
  • Human wisdom clouded the judgment of rulers or leaders, “None of the rulers of this age understood it”(1 Corinthians 2:8). 
  • Human wisdom did “not accept the things of the spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The Boundless Divine Wisdom

Paul further reveals the following about divine wisdom:
  • Divine wisdom was decreed in advance, “God decreed before the ages for our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7). 
  • Divine wisdom could not be comprehended by the rulers, “None of the rulers of this age understood this” (1 Corinthians 2:8). 
  • Divine wisdom could not be conceived through the natural learning processes of seeing, hearing, and thinking. For, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man” (1 Corinthians 2:9). 
  • Divine wisdom is now revealed through the Holy Spirit, “These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Divine wisdom is “freely given us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). 
  • In the real sense, you cannot know God through human wisdom, “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

The Spirit of Revelation

The natural man, apart from the Spirit-filled person, is limited in his or her knowledge of the Divine.

William Barclay describes the natural man in these terms:

He is the man who lives as if there was nothing beyond physical life, and there were no needs other than material needs, whose values are all physical and material. A man like that cannot understand spiritual things.
Only those who are spiritual can discern and appreciate spiritual truth, 
"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth, not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned," (1 Corinthians 2:13,14).
The divine mind then must be revealed. There is no other method of gaining spiritual knowledge except through revelation.

The Holy Spirit is the agency through which spiritual truth is revealed and imparted. It is the Holy Spirit alone who comprehends the mind of God and searches “everything” even the “depths of God” (v.1 Corinthians 2:11).

Through the Holy Spirit, we understand what God has revealed. Because, “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God so we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12). This is what Christ had promised before His ascension that when the Holy Spirit would come, He would, “Take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14). 

The Spirit Searches All Things 

What does it mean that the Holy Spirit “searches all things”?

It means that the Holy Spirit has complete, intimate, and insider knowledge of the mind of God. He has a comprehensive, thorough, and accurate understanding of the whole counsel and purposes of God.

Albert Barnes, in his book Notes on the New Testament, explains it this way:

“It is not to be supposed that he searches, or inquires as men do who are ignorant; but that he has intimate and profound knowledge, such as is usually the result of a close and accurate search” (Notes on the New Testament, p. 36).

What Are the Deep Things Of God?

Christ is “the deep things of God."

Let me explain.

The same verse that mentions "the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10) also states that these things have been "revealed by God through His Spirit." That is past tense language which signifies a done deal. The deep things of God are no longer secret or hidden but are all revealed now to the people of faith. They can't be things in heaven as claimed by the common and prevalent schools of interpretation. They were revealed by God to the Church some 2000 years ago. How true is that? It is in the Bible and the context makes it clear just read on.

In first Corinthians chapter two, “the deep things of God” are given different names. They are called, “The testimony of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1) and, “The secret and hidden wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 2:7).

The preceding chapter that is 1 Corinthians chapter one is the ground upon which our key text (1 Corinthians 2:10) draws its thrust. As we read the verses in that chapter in context, we discover that “Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2) is the subject of the deep things of God.

The deep things of God are personified in Christ who is now wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. “And because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).

It follows that the redemptive work of Christ from the beginning to the end is “the deep things of God.” 

The apostle Paul is, therefore, telling the Corinthians not to seek mystical knowledge but to seek Christ the power and wisdom of God. 
"But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24).
This exactly what the Corinthians congregation needed - Christ who was everything to all. To the Jewish members who loved signs and wonders Christ was the "power of God." To the Greeks who loved knowledge and wisdom Christ was the "wisdom of God." That was deep and life changing information for the Corinthians. Their minds were directed to Christ who was above petty church politics. Christ was and still is the solution to the divisive politics doing the rounds in most churches today.

Christ is the complete manifestation of God. James Hardy Flowers in A Prayer of St. Paul puts it this way:

“(We) do not need to seek the guidance of men or angels. Jesus contains the whole of God’s revelation in Himself. He is the consummation of all that went before, and the principle of all that is to follow. Through Christ alone, men enter into the knowledge of the saving purpose of God.”
There you have Christ is the whole revelation of God - the deep things of God in verity. 

Not the Worldly Methods

Just like the Corinthians, our faith is always in danger of being consumed by the world. The opinions and views of men are openly competing and contradicting those of God.

In our quest for relevance and acceptance, we end up using worldly methods and approaches contrary to our faith. We put our trust in learning, rationalizing, and free thinking. We philosophically present the truth to earn credit with people.

What we need is an understanding of who Christ is, what He has done, what He is doing right now, and what He will do for us in the future. We don’t need some mystical knowledge.

The knowledge of God is sufficient spiritual knowledge, which is the essential ingredient we need to exert positive influences at home, workplace, and everywhere. Our salvation is hinged on this knowledge. “And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

Christ and Him crucified must be our all-absorbing subject. We must be intentional in seeking divine knowledge. We must share His love and make Him known to the world.

The Deep Things of God blog is about Christ. Each post is curated to inspire faith, hope, and love among the people of God.

Please leave a comment below and let me know if this post has been helpful and don't forget to subscribe to get similar posts.


Dear Lord, help us seek you always. Help us grow in your knowledge. Open our ears, hearts, and minds to receive the deep things you have freely given us. Amen.

Further reading: 

Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 11:3; John 16:13; John 16:13; Matthew 11:25.

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