“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” I Corinthians 2:9
The Apostle Paul has written here to the church at Corinth about the Cross of Christ. He had already informed them that it was a simple enough message, not one which he came up with on his own, and nothing added to it that might confuse them; because, he knew, from his study of the Old Testament scriptures (which at that time were the only scriptures), that men were easily distracted by earthly things and that they would try to dig up something in the message that would somehow point to themselves and the works of their own hands. He wrote from the Old Testament here in this passage, from Isaiah:
“For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.” Isaiah 64:4
To better understand what Paul was trying to get the Corinthians to understand we must review what Isaiah was meaning by his words. Isaiah was writing about how men would tremble before God if God would but come down and make Himself known in the physical, where mountains would melt in His Presence, and seas would boil, but that is not how God chooses to operate. Isaiah acknowledged this as he wrote the above words, and went on, writing how those who would know God’s ways of righteousness and follow them, those would be met by The Lord, meaning that they would have Him with them. Yet, Isaiah acknowledged that no man had done that, and no man does that ever.
All of us are sinful and our sin takes us away captive. Isaiah wrote that we are in a desperate state and that we, being clay in the potter’s hands, are totally reliant upon God and His will for us. The prophet pleaded to The Lord on all of our behalf that He might not be angry forever, and find mercy for us all in all of our ways before God. Well, this is the exact state we continue to remain in until we accept Jesus, and maintain our faith in Him and in what He has done at the Cross.
Paul is saying that Isaiah was correct and that the sinful state of man is to turn away from God, and seek any and all means of self righteousness and self sanctification through works, for that is what all men do. The problem with that, aside from the fact that only God could do the actual work that needed to be done, is that each man sees his own way to do things, and that causes conflict between men, for each believes himself to be right. There is only one Way, one Spirit, and Paul addressed that before coming to this point in his epistle. That we are one Body had been explained, but Paul went further into the Truth of the gospel.
That Truth is found in the simplicity of the Cross. There is no other work to be done, because all of it was done by Jesus on the Cross. The Old Testament sacrificial system pointed to Christ, and Paul knew that where one man brought sin, one Man could take it away. Only God could become that Man and do it. So, Paul wrote, that we should preach the Cross, for there was to be found the power of God, but men, who were not spiritually inclined, would not hear of it, and consider it idiocy.
Paul even wrote that nothing we could do would be anything, unless God did it through us. It is never we who do any of these “good works,” it is God Himself. And the only way God chooses to do anything through a believer is through our faith in the Cross. We must very simply maintain our faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He then brought the point of our focus of faith back around to include all of this fact. Only God could do what needed to be done at the Cross, and that trickles down into all things. Only God can do what is right, because without God’s operating through our lives, we would perform all things selfishly. When we take our eyes off of Jesus, we begin to do just that, and those things God asked of us to do do not get done, or, if we attempt doing them, they don’t get done the way God desired.
So, born again Christian, who has the Holy Spirit residing within him, do not be like those early Christians who were working in their own strength, without the anointing of The Lord upon them and, therefore, without the power of God to support their efforts. Keep your eyes on the Cross, and surrender all things to Christ. Let the Spirit guide into all activity, that we may each do the Lord’s Will, the Lord’s Way, and not only bless the entirety of the Body, but be blessed ourselves in serving The Lord God Almighty. It really and truly is the only way, brethren. He that hath an ear, let him hear.