6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
mature (v.6) = full-grown — It is Paul’s desire that every person reach this level (Colossians 1:28) — Hebrews 5:14
coming to nothing (v.6) — ineffective, unable to accomplish the desired results
God (v.7) — stressed — in contrast to “of this age” (v.6)
wisdom (v.7 — second use) — not in the original manuscripts. It was the mystery that was hidden.
before the ages (v.7) — before time began
glory (v.7) — redemption — Romans 8:18-23
The word “which” points to “God’s wisdom.” the verb “ordained” used here means “to mark out beforehand, to determine before.” It does not mean simplyl “ordain;” it means something predestined and determined before the world was spoken into existence. The same word is used in Acts 4:28; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:5,11.
God’s love for sinners, God’s grace extended to sinners, God’s wisdom as having to do with the Gospel of His grace, was not brought about because of circumstances or changed conditions upon the earth. It was all predetermined by Him before time began.
Peter sheds light on this divine truth in his first epistle: Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God (1 Peter 1:18-21). — Greene, page 102.
rulers of this age (v.8) — the rulers who crucified Christ represent all earthly rulers who are antagonistic or indifferent toward Christ
It was the great revelation of the mystery which Paul proclaimed to the more mature. And, he says, the proclamation of this great message was “ordained before the ages unto our glory.” This harmonizes with half a dozen other Pauline declarations about the mystery, but especially with Colossians 1:27, where he says that God would have His saints know what is “the riches of the glory of this mystery …”
This agrees too with verse 8 where, referring back to the “wisdom” of “the princes of this world,” he says that they knew nothing of this, for “had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” He does not make this statement in defense of those who crucified Christ, of course. They knew at the very least that they were condemning an innocent man to death, and after they had crucified Him they knew that He was indeed the Christ (John 8:28). Rather the apostle makes this statement to point out that had these princes known about the mystery at the time and had therefore not crucified Christ, the mystery — God’s eternal purpose in the crucifixion, could not have been accomplished, much less revealed. Therefore God let them crucify His beloved Son without letting them know beforehand His purpose in permitting it. — Stam, pages 60-61.