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1 Corinthians 2:15

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But he that is spiritual judgeth all things - He who has the mind of Christ discerns and judges of all things spiritual: yet he himself is not discerned by the mere animal man. Some suppose that the word ανακρινεται should be understood thus: He examines, scrutinizes, convinces, reproves, which it appears to mean in 1 Corinthians 14:24; and they read the verse thus: The spiritual man - the well-taught Christian, convinces, i.e. can easily convict, all men, (παντα, accusing), every animal man, of error and vice; yet he himself is convicted of no man; his mind is enlightened, and his life is holy; and therefore the animal man cannot convict him of sin. This is a good sense, but the first appears the most natural. See Pearce and Rosenmuller.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But he that is spiritual - The man who is enlightened by the Holy Spirit in contradistinction from him who is under the influence of the senses only.

Judgeth - Greek: “Discerns.” (margin); the same word as in the previous verse. It means that the spiritual man has a discernment of these truths in regard to which the sensual man was blind and ignorant.

All things - Not absolutely all things; or not that he is omniscient; but that he has a view of those things to which the apostle had reference - that is, to the things which are revealed to man by the Holy Spirit.

Yet he himself is judged - Greek, as in the margin, “is discerned;” that is, his feelings, principles, views, hopes, fears, joys, cannot be fully understood and appreciated by any natural or sensual man. He does not comprehend the principles which actuate him; he does not enter into his joys; he does not sympathize with him in his feelings. This is a matter of simple truth and universal observation. The reason is added in the following verse, that as the Christian is influenced by the Lord and as the natural man does not know him, so he cannot know him who is influenced by him; that is the Christian.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
God has revealed true wisdom to us by his Spirit. Here is a proof of the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, 2Pe 1:21. In proof of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, observe, that he knows all things, and he searches all things, even the deep things of God. No one can know the things of God, but his Holy Spirit, who is one with the Father and the Son, and who makes known Divine mysteries to his church. This is most clear testimony, both to the real Godhead and the distinct person of the Holy Spirit. The apostles were not guided by worldly principles. They had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God, and the saving impression of them from the same Spirit. These things they declared in plain, simple language, taught by the Holy Spirit, totally different from the affected oratory or enticing words of man's wisdom. The natural man, the wise man of the world, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. The pride of carnal reasoning is really as much opposed to spirituality, as the basest sensuality. The sanctified mind discerns the real beauties of holiness, but the power of discerning and judging about common and natural things is not lost. But the carnal man is a stranger to the principles, and pleasures, and actings of the Divine life. The spiritual man only, is the person to whom God gives the knowledge of his will. How little have any known of the mind of God by natural power! And the apostles were enabled by his Spirit to make known his mind. In the Holy Scriptures, the mind of Christ, and the mind of God in Christ, are fully made known to us. It is the great privilege of Christians, that they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit. They experience his sanctifying power in their hearts, and bring forth good fruits in their lives.
Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 361

The experiment of the world's wisdom had been fully tested at the advent of Christ, and the boasted human wisdom had proved wanting. Men knew not the true wisdom that comes from the Source of all good. The world's wisdom was weighed in the balances, and found wanting. You are giving the students under your guardianship ideas that are not correct. If they had received far less of them, they would have been better fitted for the prosecution of their work. You do not properly consider the instruction and the method of our Lord Jesus Christ, yet He was the only perfect Educator in our world. “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. 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. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” FE 361.1

You need to be learning in the school of Christ today. The Lord has power to work with His own agents. You are loading down poor finite men with weighty advantages to do a large work, when they will have no opportunity or call to use a large share of the burden of studies that they have undertaken to master. Golden opportunities are passing into eternity, and counsel has been given that should have been withheld; and much more and better work might have been done, than has been done, if the period spent in Battle Creek by many of the workers had been materially shortened. They should have been set at work communicating the light and knowledge they have received to those who are in darkness. The God of all grace will give grace for grace. Those who go to work in the Lord's vineyard will learn how to work, and will call to remembrance the instruction they have received during their student life. The Lord is not pleased with encouraging these workers to spend years in accumulating knowledge which they will have no opportunity to impart. Precious youth, who ought to be laboring for God, have come to Battle Creek to receive an education, and to gain a better knowledge as to how to work. They ought to have been taught that which is essential in a very short period. They ought not to require years for their education before they can respond to the call, “Go work today in my vineyard.” Instead of sending them forth as laborers after they have put in months and years at the College, they are advised to take other studies, and to make progress along additional lines. They are counseled to spend months and years in institutions where the truth is denied and controverted, and where error of a most specious, unscriptural character is insidiously introduced. These doctrines become mingled with their studies. They become engrossed in advancing in educational lines, and they lose their love for Jesus; and before they know what is the matter with them, they are far from God, and are all unprepared to respond to the command, “Go work today in my vineyard.” The desire for missionary effort is gone. They pursue their studies with an infatuation that closes the door to the entrance of Christ. When they graduate, and have full commission to go out as properly educated students, some have lost all burden for the work, and are far less prepared to engage in the service of God than when they came to Battle Creek at first. FE 361.2

The messenger turned to the congregation and said, “Do you believe the prophecies? Do you who know the truth, understand that the last message of warning is now being given to the world,—the last call of mercy is now being heard? Do you believe that Satan has come down with great power, working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in every place? Do you believe that great Babylon has come up in remembrance before God, and that soon she will receive from God's hand double for all her sins and iniquities?” Satan is pleased to have you hold men and women in Battle Creek who should be laborers together with God in His great moral vineyard. If the enemy can keep workers out of the field on any pretext, he will do so. This advanced preparation which keeps talent out of the field gives no chance for the Lord to work with His workers. Many are led to occupy time, talent, and means selfishly in obtaining an advanced education, and at the same time the world is perishing for the knowledge which they could impart. Christ called the unlearned fishermen, and gave these men knowledge and wisdom to such a degree that their adversaries could not gainsay or resist their words. Their testimony has gone to the uttermost parts of the earth. FE 362.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 483

These words mean very much to the soul that is trying to run the race set before him in the gospel. “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. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” TM 483.1

Read also the third chapter of this book, and study and pray over these words. As a people our faith and practice need to be energized by the Holy Spirit. No ruling power that would compel man to obey the dictates of the finite mind should be exercised. “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils,” the Lord commands. By turning the minds of men to lean on human wisdom, we place a veil between God and man, so that there is not a seeing of Him who is invisible. TM 483.2

In our individual experience we are to be taught of God. When we seek Him with a sincere heart, we will confess to Him our defects of character; and He has promised to receive all who come to Him in humble dependence. The one who yields to the claims of God will have the abiding presence of Christ, and this companionship will be to him a very precious thing. Taking hold of divine wisdom, he will escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Day by day he will learn more fully how to carry his infirmities to the One who has promised to be a very present help in every time of need. TM 483.3

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 352

Is it necessary that in order to solve the problem of education one must commit robbery toward God, and refuse to give God the willing service of the powers of the spirit, soul, and body? God calls upon you to be doers of His word, in order that you may be thoroughly educated in the principles that will give you a fitness for heaven. No method of education should be followed that will crowd out the word of God. Let the word of God be the man of your counsel. The purpose of education should be to take in light in order that you may impart light by letting it shine forth to others in good works. The highest of all education is the knowledge of God. “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Read the first and second chapters of 1 Corinthians with deep interest, and pray that God will give you understanding so that you may comprehend and put into practice the truths there revealed. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” “The Lord is exalted; for He dwelleth on high: He hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.” FE 352.1

Time is short, and there are but few workers in the vineyard of the Lord. Several have been sent from this part of the world to be educated at Battle Creek, in order that they may become laborers together with God. It was hoped that the Holy Spirit would work with them for the salvation of those who are in the shadow of death. These students have been supported by the sacrifices of men and women who, to my certain knowledge, have hired money to pay the tuition and to cover the expenses. The world is to be warned; and yet you have thought it necessary to consume time and money in making an unnecessarily large preparation for the work that these students may be called upon to do. The same God lives today that Isaiah saw in his vision, and can give enlightenment to those who are acting a part in the work of fitting men for a solemn, sacred work. He says: “I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” FE 353.1

Those who are directing in the work of education are placing too large an amount of study before those who have come to Battle Creek to fit up for the work of the Master. They have supposed that it was necessary for them to go deeper and deeper into educational lines; and while they are pursuing various courses of study, year after year of precious time is passing away, and golden opportunities are flitting by never to return. There is procrastination in setting these men to work; and students are losing their burden for souls, and are depending more and more upon an education in book-knowledge, rather than upon the efficiency of the Holy Spirit, and upon that which the Lord has promised to do for them. FE 353.2

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 481-3

God declares, “I will be glorified in My people;” but the self-confident management of men has resulted in putting God aside, and accepting the devisings of men. If you allow this to continue, your faith will soon become extinct. God is in every place, beholding the conduct of the people who profess to represent the principles of His word. He asks that a change be made. He wants His people to be molded and fashioned, not after man's ideas, but after the similitude of God. I entreat of you to search the Scriptures as you have never yet searched them that you may know the way and will of God. Oh, that every soul might be impressed with this message, and put away the wrong! TM 481.1

We would do well to study carefully the first and second chapters of 1 Corinthians. “We preach Christ crucified,” the apostle declared, “unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” The human being who undertakes to become wisdom for another will find himself coming short. TM 481.2

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