Posted by: missionventureministries | April 26, 2018

THOSE WITHOUT THE SPIRIT CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE WORD OF GOD – 1 Corinthians 2:12-15

Now we have received, not 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, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. (1 Corinthians 2:12-15) 

In these first 2 verses, we learn that God is delighted to reveal His deep thoughts to us as Paul writes, “Now we have received, not 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, 13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 

How is it that some people can read a biblical passage and find it tiresome, confusing, or even foolish, whereas others receive great understanding and blessing from the very same passage? The answer is that many are functioning only by the spirit of the world, “the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2), while others are indwelled by the Spirit of God, having received the Holy Spirit when they trusted Christ for forgiveness and salvation. 

The moment we trusted in Jesus Christ and decide to follow and obey Him, we were given the Holy Spirit as a “guarantee” of your salvation (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:14). Therefore, the Holy Spirit has been provided to every believer so we can get God’s answers through the truth of His Word; and the Spirit of God, who knows the innermost thoughts of God communicate these realities to us. 

In contrast, Paul explains why some people do not respond to the Holy Spirit: “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 

The “natural man” is a person who does not have the Holy Spirit. Their natural values are physical and material. A person like that cannot understand spiritual things. They are controlled by feelings, moods, urges and desires. They can only think by natural reasoning, logical choices made on the basis of goals centering like success, wealth, power, and pleasure. Such a person does not “accept the things of the Spirit God for they are foolishness to him.” This literally means they do not welcome the things of God and therefore cannot discern those things which are true, because they do not have the spiritual receiver, the Holy Spirit, to enable them to appreciate God’s truth. 

If you say that the Bible is too difficult to understand, that you do not have time for it because it is too boring, you need to understand that you have not been born again and you don’t have the Holy Spirit living in you. 

A newborn Christian may not have much knowledge about the Bible, but they have the desire to learn more and so seek the truth of God and are eager to ask questions, which is a sign that the Spirit dwells in them. 

As Paul continues he now gives a contrasting perspective: “But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.” Spiritual persons are those Christians in whom the Spirit has become the fundamental power of life, and who consistently obey the teaching of Scripture. As a result, they have great potential for being used of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul understood and preached the message of the cross he was a spiritual person with the ability to discern the hearts of the Corinthians. In contrast, their inability to comprehend the cross revealed their unspiritual condition and disqualified them from critiquing Paul (verse 15). 

The mature believer can therefore discern, appreciate, and understand the essence of spiritual truth. They pray about difficult issues and check God’s word for answers in everything they do; and by doing so; they have the assurance to take a position on values and issues that the natural world is totally confused about. In reality, the natural world can’t figure us out. We are a mystery, and they can’t understand why someone would volunteer for children’s ministry or youth ministry year after year, or give 10% of their income to the Lord’s work. They can’t appreciate why someone would want to talk about Jesus all the time and make Him the center of their attention. Our lifestyle appears strange to the people of this world and we hold convictions that other people don’t, we are kind and compassionate when others are cruel; this, because we have insight into the mind of Christ. 

Paul closes out this section with these dramatic words: “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Here Paul quotes Isaiah 40:13 where the prophet was extolling the majesty and unfathomable mystery of God, and remind us that we can’t know the mind of God apart from the Holy Spirit. For without the light of God’s Spirit, we’ll be in the dark. 

The mind of Christ is the disposition to serve rather than to be served and to give our lives as servants for others, and this can be seen in a person’s understanding of the cross and whether they take up their cross daily to follow Christ (Luke 9:23). 

If you’ll commit your life to Jesus Christ, He will send the Holy Spirit the truth teacher to live in you and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:32). You will finally have the ability to understand and will have a desire to learn and to obey His Holy Word. It is sad to see however that, light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). 

You have a choice though, “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: