the natural person

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned… (I Corinthians 2: 14 ESV)

Who is the natural person?

Normally, I would say a natural person is someone who highly regards nature and its resources.

However, according to Paul, the natural person is someone who has not received the Spirit of God. Therefore, he cannot understand nor can he accept the things of God. To the natural person, God’s purposes are invisible, inaudible and unfathomable. This person considers the things of God – foolishness.

I was that natural person at seventeen. I said I was a Christian and attended a Japanese-American church. Everything in the Bible was foreign to me, but I was curious about spiritual things. A good friend’s mother welcomed me into the family of God and took responsibility to nurture my growing faith. As Japanese was her native language, her English was not strong. I appreciated her, but I am ashamed to admit I judged her because of her limited vocabulary.

When I returned to my friend’s house after a studying abroad in Japan. Her mother asked me (in fluent Japanese) about my experience – what God taught me, where he was leading me, how God used the experience to make me more like Jesus, etc. She was very gracious and praised my Japanese even though it was choppy and basic. I was humbled by her insight, wisdom, and love.

The difference in my response was not due the removal of our language barrier, but the removal of my spiritual barrier. God placed his Spirit in me and with it came an understanding of his word and a recognition of his Spirit in others.

My friend’s mother is in heaven now. But I am so grateful for her influence in my life and faith. I am also grateful for God’s Spirit in me – giving me understanding, guiding my steps, convicting me of sin, and reassuring me of his love.

Are you a natural person, blind to the things of God?

I pray God would open your eyes, so you might see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 4:6 ESV).

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (I Corinthians 3:16 ESV)

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God (I Corinthians 2:12 ESV).

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