Thursday, February 06, 2014

Three types of people

Pulsating spiritual symbols
The Bible—a living book.
TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Corinthians 2:10-16

TO CHEW ON: "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one." 1 Corinthians 2:14,15

If you came to Christ as an adult, or even a teen, you may have experienced what verse 14 talks about. As a "natural man" or woman, the Bible made no sense to you. You couldn't understand its appeal.

But then, however it came about, you accepted Christ. After that perhaps almost mysteriously, the Bible came alive. You began to see that it is a story in which you have a part—and you were eager to understand that story and more fully grasp your part in it.

Those are two types of people Paul names here: natural and spiritual. Here's how Donald Pickerill, the writer of my Bible's notes on 1 Corinthians describes them:

NATURAL: "… unregenerate and devoid of the Spirit has no appreciation for the gospel" Donald Pickerill, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1582.

SPIRITUAL: "… regenerate and possessing spiritual maturity, as seen in freedom from sectarian strive (1 Corinthians 3:3,4), has a nature that responds to the truth and unbelievers find him difficult to understand" - Ibid.

There's a third type. Paul talks about it in the next chapter—the carnal. These people have accepted Christ but you'd hardly know it by their lives. Paul calls them "babes in Christ," the kind that need milk, not solids. You can tell who they are by their behaviour—characterized by envy, strife, divisions "behaving like mere men." Mr. Pickerill's description:

CARNAL: "The carnal man, regenerate but living much like an unregenerate, is a believer with childish ways, as seen in a jealous and sectarian spirit. An immature Christian lives more for human opinion than for Christ" - Ibid.

The question each of us needs to ask is—which person describes me? And if we are Christ's but find ourselves more like the carnal than the spiritual, at what point did we stop growing? 

Let's ask the Holy Spirit to do the things Paul says He does: search, impart and teach (1 Corinthians 2:10,12,13) so we can again grow and mature.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be tuned in to the deep things of the Spirit, teachable, obedient and growing. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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