1 Corinthians 2:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 2:12, NIV: "What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us."

1 Corinthians 2:12, ESV: "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God."

1 Corinthians 2:12, KJV: "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."

1 Corinthians 2:12, NASB: "Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God."

1 Corinthians 2:12, NLT: "And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us."

1 Corinthians 2:12, CSB: "Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who comes from God, so that we may understand what has been freely given to us by God."

What does 1 Corinthians 2:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul knows that the Corinthian Christians have received God's Holy Spirit, because they have come to genuine faith in Christ and have been saved (1 Corinthians 1:4–9). Every believer who trusts in Christ for salvation is given by God the gift of the Holy Spirit. Paul will state this clearly later in this letter (1 Corinthians 12:13), as he has in his other letters (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13–14).

Paul writes that, as Christians, we have not received the spirit of the world. In other words, we have not been given an attitude that only accepts those things which we can observe for ourselves and work out with human wisdom and reason.

When we came to faith in Christ, that worldly spirit was replaced with the Spirit of God. Through Him, we gain the ability to understand what can only be understood spiritually, apart from our physical senses. God has freely revealed these things to us about His Son and the opportunity to be included in His family. He wants us to know them and trust them as true.

Put negatively, this knowledge from God and the ability to believe it is not available to those who do not have God's Spirit with them. Intellectual knowledge can never force a person to trust in God (James 2:19; Romans 1:18–23).