1 And when I came to you, brothers, it was not with eloquent words or [superior] wisdom that I proclaimed to you the testimony [or, mystery] about God. 2 For I have decided not to know anything [while] among you, except Jesus Christ and His being crucified. 3 And I was weak, apprehensive and fearful when I was [there] with you. [Note: This probably refers to Paul's sense of inadequacy in view of the task before him]. 4 And I did not use persuasive words of [human] wisdom in my message and preaching, but they were [accompanied by] a demonstration of the Holy Spirit and power [from God]. [Note: This "demonstration" could have included the evidence of miraculous spiritual gifts which Paul utilized while there in Corinth. See 14:18]. 5 This was so that your faith would not [have to] depend on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
6 However, we speak [divine] wisdom among people who are [spiritually] mature, yet it is not a wisdom of this current age, nor of [its] current rulers, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we [apostles] speak God's secret wisdom, which has been hidden [through the ages], which God predetermined for our honor before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age knew about this [divine] wisdom, for if they had [known it], they would not have crucified the glorious Lord [i.e., Jesus]. 9 But as it is written [Isa. 64:4], "The things which no eye saw or ear heard, and which did not [even] enter the mind of men, is what God has prepared for those who love Him."
10 But God has revealed [to us] these things [i.e., His divine wisdom. See verses 7-8] through the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God. 11 For what person knows the thoughts of a man except that man's [own] spirit which is in him? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except God's Holy Spirit. 12 But we [apostles] did not receive the spirit of the world [i.e., human wisdom. See verse 6], but the Holy Spirit from God, so that we could understand what was freely given to us from God [i.e., the gift of inspiration. See verses 9-10]. 13 These also are the things we [apostles] speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but [in words] taught by the Holy Spirit. We use [or, combine] Spirit-taught words to express [or, with] Spirit-given truth. 14 Now the natural person [Note: Since this person is contrasted with the spiritual person of verse 15, it is taken here to mean the person without the Holy Spirit] does not receive the things [i.e., truths] revealed by the Holy Spirit of God, because they are [considered] foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them because they must be discerned by using spiritual judgment [i.e., judgment aided by the Holy Spirit]. 15 But the spiritual person [i.e., one who has the Holy Spirit] is able to discern all things [i.e., has the ability to make right judgments about things], and he himself [i.e., his conduct] cannot be [critically] discerned by any [unbelieving] man. 16 [Isa. 40:13 says], "For who knows [what is in] the Lord's mind? And who is capable of instructing Him? But we have the mind of Christ. [Note: The "we" may refer to the apostles, who had the gift of inspiration (See verse 12), or to all Christians who have spiritual discernment].