Understanding the concept of the Holy Spirit can be difficult, however, it becomes much easier when we recognize that we are spiritual beings ourselves. Verse 11 makes this comparsion as part of the explanation of one of the roles of the Spirit. “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” Our bodies are a container holding our spirit for a short time before our spirits go to an eternal home. We can visualize Jesus because he had a physical body and we can somewhat visualize God as having a physical form, whether it is as a bright light or a powerful voice like a waterfall. But the Holy Spirit doesn’t have a container/form that’s easily visualized. However, sometimes he uses our bodies as containers.
In this chapter, Paul talks about being guided by the Spirit when he and his team were teaching. One of the purposes behind this was so that the Corinthains’ faith “might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (v.5. Self-examination question: Am I building my faith on the power of God rather than the wisdom of men?). Another is so that their words would be “interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual” (v.13). And what are the spiritual truths they are interpreting to the Corinthians? I think it is that we have access to the depths of God and his wisdom through the Spirit. The deepest part of God is reaching out to the deepest part of us to show us who he is, how to love him and how to live in covenant with him. When we know who God is, we can build our faith on his power. When we build our faith in his power and recognize the intimacy from his depths reaching to our depths, how can we help but love him? When we live according to what the Spirit shows us, we look different from the world (v.14). The less we look like the world, the less we seek the spirit of the world and the more we can seek the Spirit of God (v.12).