The Natural Man

1-spirit-god

In today’s scripture from Corinthians, Paul teaches us that we have to focus our attention on the Spirit who animates our relationship with our Father. Paul contrasts those in the Spirit with an unbeliever, whom he refers to as the “natural man.”  Why should we choose to depend on the Spirit instead of ourselves?

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.

Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God,
for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything
but is not subject to judgment by anyone.

For “who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.

If we depend on ourselves we can easily fall into the trap of measuring our actions by the standards of our culture when we should be listening to what the Spirit intends for us. When we listen first to the Spirit we can be confident that our decisions comport with the will of our Father.

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One Response to The Natural Man

  1. Lee Surkin says:

    Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go. The most confused you will ever get is when you try to convince your heart and spirit of something your mind knows is a lie, this is when we need to listen. Our Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit will lead us on a safe passage home!

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