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].
For those people who are [controlled] by the flesh think about [i.e., desire] what the flesh wants; but those who are [controlled] by the Holy Spirit [desire] what the Holy Spirit wants.
For you did not receive the Holy Spirit, to enslave you again to fear, [Note: Some translators take "Holy Spirit" here to be "spirit," making the verse say "you did not receive the spirit of slavery"], but you received the Holy Spirit [who produces] sonship, so we can call out, "Abba", [which means] "Father."
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.
including Paul, and Apollos, and Cephas [i.e., Peter], and the world, and life and death, and present and future things. All of these things are yours. [Note: Paul is showing that, as Christians, they really possessed and should value all preachers and circumstances of life alike].
For the god of this world [i.e., Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that they would not see the light of the Gospel of the splendor of Christ, who is the image of God.
You practiced such things when you lived according to the evil ways of this world, and according to the ruler of the [spiritual] powers of the air. [Note: This refers to Satan, whose influence permeates life around us]. He is the [evil] spirit who is now at work in people who are disobedient [to God].
Or, do you think that the Scripture says [this] for nothing? [Note: No specific passage is here cited, but the idea occurs in several Old Testament passages]. "The Holy Spirit, whom God has made to live in us, longs jealously [for us to be faithful to God]."
But, you people have a "special gift" from the Holy One [Note: The Greek word for "special gift" is "charisma" and probably refers to the Holy Spirit (See Acts 2:38); "Holy One" probably refers to Jesus, (See Acts 2:27; 3:14)], and all of you know [the truth].
And this is important to you: The "special gift," which you received from God [See verse 20], continues to live in your hearts, [so that] you do not need anyone to teach you [anything different]. But, since this same "special gift" teaches you concerning everything that is true, and [what it teaches] is not false, you should continue to live in [fellowship with] Christ.
[But], you people are [followers] of God, little children [i.e., dear ones], and you have overcome them [i.e., these false teachers] because He who is in your lives [i.e., the Holy Spirit, See 3:24] is greater [i.e., more powerful] than he who is in [i.e., dominates] the world [i.e., Satan. See II Cor. 4:4].
We [also] know that we are [children] of God and that the people of the whole world lie under [the control of] the evil one [i.e., Satan].
Then the great dragon was thrown out [of heaven]; he is the snake from ancient times who is [also] called "the Devil," and "Satan," the deceiver of the entire world. He was thrown down to earth along with his angels.
Then the angel [See 21:9] said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His servants [i.e., through the apostle John] the things that must happen soon [See 1:1].
He will honor me, for He will receive what belongs to me and will declare it to you.
God did not withhold His own Son [from dying], but offered Him up for all of us. [Since He did that], will He not, along with Jesus, freely give us everything [else] also?
But God chose what the world considers foolish [i.e., people with little apparent ability], in order to shame the "wise people." And He chose what the world considers weak in order to shame what it considers strong.