1 Corinthians 2:14 (ESV) — 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.
Have you ever lost the ability to do something? Age sometimes confronts us with diminished skill or abilities. When I was younger, I could jump fairly high. As a teenager, I could jump and hang on the rim at the basketball court. My legs had some bounce and spring in them. Now my efforts to jump result in staggeringly different results. I’m still in shape, but I can’t jump the same. Something has changed. Age has put concrete blocks on my feet and changed how high I can get off the court.
Everyone faces diminished abilities. For some it is diminished eyesight. Many people have diminished strength as they keep aging. But our passage today highlights one capacity everyone has had diminished from our original creation: our reasoning. Paul writes, “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.”
The natural person in this text is the unregenerate person. This is the unbeliever whose heart has not been transformed by the gospel. They are the natural person (born into the world, but not yet born again into the kingdom). They do not accept the things of the Spirit of God. The gospel is rejected. Truth is denied. They see the truths of God’s Word as foolish. He claims they don’t understand them because they are spiritually discerned. They require new eyes and new ears to grasp. And the natural man doesn’t have them.
This wasn’t always the case. We were designed and created by God to know and love the truth. We were made to see and obey the Word of God. But we rebelled in the Garden, and have continued rebelling ever since. The only way this reverses is to put our faith in Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord transforms our minds and hearts to give discernment and understanding. Seek that today in Jesus.
Reflection & Journal:
- According to this text, why is it that so many in our world today fail to understand the truth?
- What can change this problem in the world? What is the solution?
- How can those of us who are born again into Christ grow in our spiritual understanding?
Sign up to receive our daily devotions in your inbox here!