But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
There are two different groups of people in the world in the sight of God. One group of people would fit into the category of the “natural man” and this describes those people who do not receive, nor believe the things of the Spirit of God. That same group of people believes the things of the Spirit of God to be nothing but pure foolishness. The second group of people would fit into the category of the “spiritual man” and they are represented by those who do receive, and believe the things of the Spirit of God. It is pretty obvious that all true Christians who have been “born again” of the Spirit would fit into this category.
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:6-8)
Here is the KEY to understanding the things of God. When a person has been truly “born again” of the Spirit, there is a mighty change that takes place inside their heart. They have come to realize that Jesus Christ is exactly the one whom the scriptures declare Him to be. That is how it was with me when I was born again in 1989. It was the Spirit of God who showed me that Jesus was in fact the “Christ” [Messiah] who had come down from above to redeem my sinful soul by His blood. I knew in my heart, that Jesus was severely persecuted, beaten, and eventually slain on the cross for my sins. I also knew that this same Jesus had risen from the dead and had ascended back up to Heaven, just as the scriptures tell us. There was such a strong witness in my heart that all of these things were true, and that has never changed. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ was the only way that a person could be saved and ultimately enter Heaven. The Spirit of God is also called the Spirit of truth, [John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13] and He is the one who showed me these things.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-12)
The passage above shows us that there is a stark contrast between the “spirit of the world” and the Spirit which is of God. The most important thing for us to learn here is that nobody would be able to understand the things which are of God if they were not revealed to us by the Holy Spirit of truth. The passage speaks about the things which are “freely given to us of God” and this pertains to things such as the salvation and redemption which are found in Jesus Christ.
It was that same Spirit of truth who showed me that I was Hellbound without Jesus Christ, and it was that same Spirit of truth who showed me the incredible love and mercy of God in sending His only begotten Son into this world to save my soul. I have listened to the rantings of many people who do not believe in the Bible, nor believe in Jesus Christ. They often make comments such as:
“How could God of love send anybody to a place like Hell?” or
“How could God of love send people to Hell if they do not believe in Jesus Christ?”
But the question that I ask is this:
“How could God be so merciful, gracious, and loving, that He would send His only Son, to die for a wretch like me and you?”
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks [Gentiles] seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:21-25)
There are many who are alive today that think of themselves as intellectuals and they are very proud of their “worldly wisdom.” In this modern day of laptop computers and all the other technology that goes along with that, a person may start to think that they have a great deal of knowledge. But the passage above tells us that God’s wisdom makes all the wisdom of men to be nothing but mere foolishness. The passage also tells us that it pleased God to save souls through the preaching of His word!
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
In the awesome providence of God, He uses those, who are deemed foolish in the sight of worldly-wise people, for His own glory. The Lord uses simple people to confound those who think that they are really something in this life. The Lord uses people who are despised in this life to confound the rich and famous. He will not allow worldly-wise people to bring the extreme stench of their “own glory” into His presence.
THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL MAKE YOU SPIRITUAL!
The Lord Jesus Christ promised to send us a comforter who would guide us and lead us into truth:
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16:13-14)
The Lord Jesus Christ has given us great instruction in telling us that the Spirit of truth [Holy Spirit] would guide us into all truth. Please remember that the truth is the truth, and there cannot be people of different religions and belief systems, believing different things, telling you that they also have the truth. It is absolutely impossible for two opposite teachings to both be true.
In other words, if I tell you that Jesus Christ is the creator of all things and that He is God [John 1:1-3], and somebody else tells you that Jesus is not the creator of all things, and He is nothing more than a prophet [as the religion of Islam teaches], then they both cannot be true. If I tell somebody that Jesus Christ is the Messiah who came into this world at the exact time as the Old Testament prophesied [Micah 5:2], and that He was slain on the cross for our sins as Isaiah prophesied [Isaiah 53:1-12], and a Jewish man tells you that Jesus is not the Messiah at all, it is obvious that we both cannot be telling the truth.
According to the scriptures, the people of Islam and Judaism would fit into the category of the “natural man” because the man who believes the things of the Spirit of God must believe in Jesus Christ, and they must believe what the scriptures declare about Him. When people do not believe and receive the scriptures at face value and take them to heart, then they are basically telling you that they are not true, although there would be some who might not put it that way. Jesus said this:
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: (John 15:26)
The main point that I make here is that a person who has been “born again” of the Spirit, will most assuredly tell you about Jesus Christ. I do not care how much a person may profess to be a Christian, if they tell you that there are other ways to Heaven and that a person can get to Heaven without Jesus Christ, then they are a “bogus Christian” because it is not the “Spirit of truth” who is speaking through them. They may have their names written on their local”church roll” but when the roll is called up yonder [the Book of Life] they will NOT be there, because they have denied the very words of Jesus Christ Himself:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
The main mark of a person who has been “born again” of the Spirit, is that they will speak about Jesus Christ, and seek to tell others about Him, and how to get saved. They will also realize that they have been in deception themselves, until that point in time when they repented and believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will also realize that without Jesus Christ it does not matter a whit what a person’s status may be in this life, because without Jesus Christ they are spiritually dead, lost, and Hellbound, no matter how much they may object to that truth.
But God forbid that I should glory, save [except] in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (Galatians 6:14-15)
Sometimes people look at themselves as being very”spiritual”, and yet they want nothing to do with the person of Jesus Christ. They too would fit into the category of being a “natural man” who does not receive the things of the Spirit of God.
The words of Jesus Christ to the Jewish ruler Nicodemus still stand true today, and these words should be taken to heart by any man or woman who desires to spend eternity with the Lord:
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, [truly, truly] I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth [wishes], and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:3-8)