As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Spirit dwells and works in us to snuff out who we were in our sinful past. Thanks to God, we are no longer who we were when we “walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). Christ’s blood freed us from the spirit of the world “that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Paul expresses our new state of mind and spiritual state like this:
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 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. 1 Corinthians 2
In these verses, Paul highlights two general ways the Holy Spirit works in us, namely:
- Teaching us to know the things of God.
- Teaching us to speak the things of God.
All the things God has prepared for us to receive came at a ginormous price tag that he paid, but it is given to us as a free gift of his grace. We received the Holy Spirit by grace through faith in Christ because God wanted us to know and utilize as much as we can from the vast amount of resources he has given to us. The Holy Spirit is truly the best teacher we could ever hope to have as we navigate through this dark, evil world. He teaches us the highest and truest knowledge that helps us rise above the worthless offerings of the world.
Knowing the things of God not only means we have an awareness of what they are, such as spiritual gifts, fruit of the spirit, the meanings of passages in his word, and doors or windows of opportunity he opens to us. Knowing the things of God also means we can have confidence, assurance, and accuracy in godly things.
When the Spirit teaches us to know the things of God in these ways, he then teaches us how to speak or convey them to others, whether verbally, in writing, or in some other form, as when the prophet Ezekiel did what we might call “performance art” to convey God’s prophecies against Jerusalem in Ezekiel 4. Regardless of if it’s God using Hosea’s bad marriage, or Ezekiel’s performances, or Paul using the inscription “To The Unknown God” in his speech at Athens, or John’s letters, all of them spoke by wisdom taught by the Holy Spirit to compare spiritual truths to spiritual matters and to compare scripture with scripture for a spiritual message.
Since we are God’s church living in the last days, it shouldn’t be unusual to expect the Holy Spirit to teach us the same way he taught the apostles and other saints in ancient times. After all, when he distributes his gifts and any calling on those he chooses, the gifts and calling are without repentance, never to be rescinded (Romans 11:29). So we believers should seek opportunities to bask in whatever the Spirit wishes to teach us.