1 Corinthians 2:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Corinthians 2:7, NIV: "No, we declare God's wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began."

1 Corinthians 2:7, ESV: "But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory."

1 Corinthians 2:7, KJV: "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:"

1 Corinthians 2:7, NASB: "but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;"

1 Corinthians 2:7, NLT: "No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God--his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began."

1 Corinthians 2:7, CSB: "On the contrary, we speak God's hidden wisdom in a mystery, a wisdom God predestined before the ages for our glory."

What does 1 Corinthians 2:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul describes mere human wisdom, with its limited perspective, as fatally incomplete in understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ. Reason and evidence are important, but they do not force a person to accept the truth (James 2:19; Romans 1:18–23). Gospel truth doesn't need to be dressed up in showmanship to be understood and accepted (1 Corinthians 2:1–2).

Paul points to a higher, better, wisdom, which he does teach to those who are mature, meaning those who are in Christ and have God's Spirit with them. Paul describes this wisdom of God as secret and hidden. God decreed this wisdom before "the ages"—before time began—for the glory of those who believe in Christ. God's wisdom is secret and hidden in the sense that it cannot be obtained by mere observation of the world. Evidence can point towards God (Psalm 19:1), but it won't help those who don't want to seek God (Matthew 7:7–8). God's wisdom is above and beyond what humans can perceive in our natural state apart from Him (Isaiah 55:8–9). God must reveal His wisdom to us or we will not be aware of it.

At the heart of this hidden wisdom is the gospel itself, God's plan put in place from before the beginning. Paul put it this way in Ephesians 1:4–6, "even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved."