“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.” (I Corinthians 2:14)
The Bible makes a clear distinction between the “natural man” and the “spiritual man”. These are not terms used to distinguish between an outwardly good person and an outwardly bad person. This is about people from two different worlds.
When Worlds Collide
On the one hand, there is the spiritual man in whom the Spirit of Christ dwells. A person who has the life of Christ within him. A new creation. A born-twice individual. Regardless of how he may or may not exhibit good works in his life.
On the other hand, there is the natural man. He is one who has not accepted the salvation of Christ. He is like the living dead on the TV shows and in the movies. One who exhibits outward life but who is spiritually dead. One who maintains a life that is limited to this earth. Regardless of how he may or may not exhibit good works in his life.
So, we face two realities here:
- The nature of a man without the indwelling Christ
- The nature of a man in whom Christ dwells
This is about two entirely different men. One who has life and one who does not. Regardless of outward works or appearances.
The True Source of Our Works
Now, I know that this is not a great revelation to most Christians. Generally speaking, this is pretty elementary stuff.
Nevertheless, it is often overlooked or forgotten by believers. We fail to grasp the significance of what the Lord has done for us. And in us.
Men mistakenly think that all their works are good works because of their sincerity or zeal in doing those works.
But this is not the case.
We tend to think that all the labor men perform is good work if it is of an honorable character. Such as the farmer, the banker, the butcher, the cook. And that God accepts all work if it is done in honesty and sincerity.
In the Old Testament, there is a verse often overlooked. “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.” (Proverbs 21:4)
Whoa! Even plowing can be considered wicked.
That does not fit within modern culture at all.
Because, we often say that the farmer is the salt of the earth. His work is often used as a universal example of honorable, solid labor. Giving us all a goal to strive for in fulfilling an honest day’s pay and a good work ethic.
Yet, God doesn’t see things as we do. He sees well below the surface of our lives. He sees to the core of the soul and spirit of a man.
So that, if a man does not know Christ, he is wicked in God’s sight.
Regardless of his works.
To Be Continued . . .