Written by Ryan Lawrence
“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. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).
Was there a time in your life when you didn’t understand the things of God—the Bible, prayer, or church? Maybe you came to church with your family or friends and didn’t understand anything that the preacher was saying? After leaving confused, you asked the question: “I don’t get it, what’s the big deal?” Maybe this is you right now. Well, you’re not alone! In fact, many people have experienced this.
Without the Spirit, we try to understand the Christian life only to be puzzled and unaware; it’s hard for us to understand the depth of God’s love for us through his Son Jesus. This is what it means to be “spiritually discerned.” But for those who believe, what seemed to be strange has now effected everything about you. At some point in your life everything changed—the revelation of Jesus came into your life, you repented of your sins, and received the gift of eternal life.
So, how does this change happen?
In today’s world we experience a heavy variety of worldviews, philosophies, human logic, and religious teachings, leaving humanity desensitized to absolute truth and the work of the cross. The foolish man says in his heart there is no God (Psalm 14:1) because he is blinded by his sins. The “natural person” thinks in a way that is against the gospel—the message of the God who came in the form a child, born into poverty, putting the needs of others before himself, servant of all, dying for all, so that those who believe would have eternal life. But this supernatural message can change the natural person, as the Gospel of Christ is revealed to us through the Spirit. This is a work of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10, “these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
When we understand that this is not by our own doing, our human efforts are laid aside and we now can receive the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Those who have “the spirit of the world” will never understand the things of God because it is “strange” to them. But God has given His Spirit and His living Word so that we would be able to grow in the knowledge of our Savior and have the “mind of Christ.”
As we live in an unbelieving world, let us use wisdom as we share the gospel with others and rely upon the Spirit. The Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip, “how can I [understand], except some man should guide me?” And then Philip, being filled with the Spirit, “began at the same scripture and preached unto him Jesus” (see Acts 8:30-35). Like Philip, we can help people know God and understand His Word.
The gospel may appear foolish and strange to the unbeliever. But for the Christian, we know that God’s Spirit is working through his people, as a confused world finds clarity through Christ.