We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually. The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, and yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. For who has known the Lord’s mind that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:13-16)
This explains why it is difficult to share our faith with others, even those we know very well. If they do not have the Holy Spirit, they will not understand what we are trying to share. However, if the Spirit is at work within them, then the light will turn on and the truth will begin to dawn on them. Therefore, the Holy Spirit must be active in every opportunity of witness in order for us to have success. This passage explains how we can have success because it gives us the key to understanding our role. Because we have the Holy Spirit, we can sense when the Spirit is drawing someone to God. Their questions ring of honest seeking. They are not defensive but want to know the truth. Their eyes light up when they understand something new. We never convert anyone; the Holy Spirit does the conversion. We are simply instruments of the Spirit who walk alongside someone for a time while the Spirit works within them.
The fact that the Spirit uses us is a reason for great rejoicing. We should rejoice that our names are written in heaven and that we are saved for eternal life. We should also rejoice that the Spirit who began a good work in us will carry that work to completion. The more we engage in spiritual work, the more our lives move toward becoming complete. Many of you know I love oil paintings. Each piece requires a great deal of time and effort. The more time I have with any painting, the better the outcome. But there is a time when I put on the last brushstroke and the piece is finished. Our spiritual life is like this. God has a plan for us and is doing work within us. The more time we spend in communion with God, the more his Spirit has access to our soul. The goal of the Christian life is to become spiritually finished and ready for our eternal home.
Finally, the last phrase is profound, “We have the mind of Christ.” By the work of the Spirit, who is both the Spirit of God and the Spirit that was in Jesus Christ, we have the mind of Christ. We can see the world as Christ sees it and understand the circumstances of our lives as Christ understands them. There is great joy in having the mind of Christ simply because we see things as he does. There is also great joy walking this journey even though the world is filled with trouble and challenge, for we know that we will ultimately arrive at our eternal home, the place that Christ has prepared for us.
Holy Spirit, I welcome you. Take up residence within me to shape my heart, mind, and will according to the pattern of Jesus Christ. Let me know the thoughts of God, let me feel as God feels, and empower me to make decisions as God would make them. Fit me for heaven, even as I journey the earth. Do your work upon me each and every day, so that when the time comes for my departure, I will have been trained in the ways of the kingdom, finished the course set before me, and be ready to take my place in the eternal kingdom prepared for those who love God and follow his Son, Jesus Christ.