Natural Or Spiritual?


Audio of Sermon:

Sermon Notes: 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (KJV)  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  [15]  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  [16]  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

There Is A Natural Man And There Is A Spiritual Man.

The word translated “natural” in our text is ψυχικός psychikos which means “sensual or fleshly”. The Psychikos person is focused on the flesh, on logic, on the five senses – touch, taste, smell, hear, see. The Psychikos man will not receive truths from anything higher than his five senses. His attitude is “show me, then I’ll believe”.

The Psychikos or Sensual person is self focused. The ME is the center of the universe. This person is said to be “in the flesh”. The Apostle spoke of the fleshly person in:

Romans 8:5-8 (ESV) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The lost person – the person without Christ – lives according to the flesh.

They live according to the thought patterns that Jesus spoke against.

Our Lord said: Matthew 6:24-33 (ESV) No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. 25 Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles {the unbelievers} seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The Psychikos or Sensual person is the person continually making self the center of all things.
This is natural for the lost – but UNnatural for the saved.
God calls His Children NOT TO BE FLESHLY – living according to the five senses
– but to be SPIRITUAL.

The word translated “Spiritual” in our above text is πνευματικός pneumatikos, which means “Spirit led”. Psychikos means to be “led of the senses” but Pneumatikos means to be “led of the Spirit”.

You can be Psykikos – from which we get our word Psychotic or Psychosis,
or you can be PneumatikosSpirit filled and at peace with God.
You can be flesh oriented, approaching life from feelings and senses,
or you can be Spirit oriented, approaching life with God at your side.
A locomotive engine on the tracks stays steady and strong,
But a locomotive engine off the tracks goes no where.
The Christian is called to be God oriented, Spirit led, and Bible fed!

It Was The Spirit Of God Who Led You To Salvation

If you are saved, born again, then you are saved because you heard the Gospel, and the Spirit revealed the Gospel to you. The Apostle writes:

1 Corinthians 2:2-5 (KJV)  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  [3]  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  [4]  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  [5]  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

And then states:

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (KJV)  But as it is written, EYE hath not seen, nor EAR heard, neither have entered into the HEART {FEELINGS} of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  [10]  But GOD HATH REVEALED THEM UNTO US BY HIS SPIRIT: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

It is the Gospel that is the very power of God unto salvation. But how can the Psychikos or sensual person hear the Gospel? They cannot. But God reveals them to us by His Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit Who opens the eyes, who enables the lost to see Christ as Lord and Savior. We who are saved have …

1 Corinthians 2:12-14 (KJV) … received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  [13]  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost {Pneuma – Spirit} teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  [14]  But the NATURAL MAN RECEIVETH NOT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Those who are in the flesh – Psychikos – CANNOT RECEIVE THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD. The lost cannot understand God. But the Holy Spirit opens the eyes as the Gospel is preached. It is not I nor you that save a soul, but the Spirit of God Who saves. What did Jesus say?

John 6:63-65 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

If you are saved, you are saved because God opened your eyes to the Gospel.
The Spirit enabled you.
He lifted the fog of flesh.
Those who are saved are not saved because of their works,
but because of the Spirit’s work and the Son’s work.

It Is The Spirit Of God Who Indwelt You At Salvation

1 Corinthians 2:12 (KJV)  Now WE HAVE RECEIVED, not the spirit of the world, BUT THE SPIRIT WHICH IS OF GOD; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

Once a person hears the Gospel – through the Spirit – and receives the Christ – the Spirit of God indwells that person. The Bible is very clear on this. We read:

Romans 8:9-14 (ESV) You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Only those who are led by the Spirit of God are the Sons of God. The Holy Spirit saves the believer by opening our eyes to the Gospel. But then the Holy Spirit indwells the believer so that we can walk with God.

If you are born again you are to be Spirit led. The Christian is commanded to …

Galatians 5:16-25 (ESV) walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

It is normal for lost people to live abnormally and sinfully, but it is abnormal for a believer to live this way. The Spirit of God indwells the believer so that we – submitting to Him – will follow the pathway of righteousness and love.

The Holy Spirit is given to the believer to lead us in the truths of God’s Word. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:50). Those who are saved by Grace are REGENERATED – made new – born again. The Scripture declares:

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) … if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

If you are in Christ you are a new creature. We may live in the human race, but we run according to our Christ and His Spirit. We live for Him.
We are to be Pneumatikos, Spiritual.

In the previous chapter the Corinthian believers began to fight among themselves as to who was the more perfectly converted. They debated among themselves, arguing …

1 Corinthians 1:12 (KJV) … every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

Some came to Christ under Christ’s preaching, and felt they were superior to the other believers. Some came to Christ under Peter’s preaching – that’s who Cephas was – and felt they were superior because of it. Some came to Christ under Apollos preaching, a famous Evangelist of that day. They felt they were superior. And some felt superior because they came to Christ under Paul’s preaching.

The truth is, it did not matter who preached,
but it was the Holy Spirit who in every case made the difference.
The Apostle preached the Cross of Christ,
but it is the Spirit of God that opens the eyes of the lost.

The Holy Spirit Is Given To Us
To Guide Us In God’s Truth

1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (KJV) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  [16]  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

When the Apostle said “We have the mind of Christ” he was not speaking of the Corinthian Church. He was speaking of the Apostles, including himself. The reason that Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to His Church was …

John 16:13-14 (ESV) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

The Holy Spirit – also called “The Spirit of Truth” – came to guide God’s people “in all truth”. What is truth? Jesus prayed prior to Calvary for His Church, saying…

John 17:14-17 (ESV) I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

The Holy Spirit came to guide the Church in the Word of God, His Bible.
The Corinthians were not God focused nor living by the Spirit.
If we are walking together in TRUTH there will be NO division.

1 Corinthians 3:1 (KJV)  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto SPIRITUAL, but as unto CARNAL, even as unto babes in Christ.

This is amazing. The Apostle said:

I cannot speak to you as if you were PNEUMATIKOS {Spiritual}
But I have to speak to you as you are SARKIKOS {Fleshly}
As if you were BABIES in Christ

Paul doesn’t call the Corinthians Psychikos – a word reserved for the sensual and lost, but he calls them Sarkikos or Fleshly. What is the difference? The Christian is saved by God the Holy Spirit to walk in the Spirit. We are saved to be above the petty things of this world. We are saved to be world changers, to live for Him. We are not saved to be PART of the world, but to be God’s Light IN the world. We are to put off the old man – that old dead way of life – and put on the New Man, to be like Christ.

How did Paul know that the Corinthians were Sarkikos and not Pneumatikos, fleshly babies and not Spirit led believers?

Because they were divided.
They were like babies playing in a sandbox.
Fighting over the Tonka toy.
Tossing sand.
As babies mess on themselves,
They messed on themselves.
And they even stunk to the world.

1 Corinthians 3:3-5 (KJV)  For ye are yet carnal: {SARKIKOS} for whereas there is among you …

and strife,
and divisions,

are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  [4]  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?  [5]  Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

It is God Who saves the soul. It is God Who receives the glory. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 (KJV)  I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.  [7]  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

God must give the increase.

To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life our redemption to win,
And opened the life-gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice;

Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory; great things He hath done.
Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;

The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport when Jesus we see.

Where there is disruption and division, God is not. But where God’s people gather to cherish His Word, to heed His Spirit, there is unity and peace. We glorify Christ. We follow the Spirit’s lead. It is all of God, and none of my strength. All glory to Him!

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 (KJV)  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;  [22]  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;  [23]  And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.

If you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s, then you are God’s. You belong to Him. Live for Him. Read His Word. Seek His face. Glorify Him. This is the Way of the Christ.

May God touch your hearts to know Him as He is.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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