Matters of Faith: It’s Not Natural

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

That’s why only someone who has God’s Spirit can understand spiritual blessings. Anyone who doesn’t have God’s Spirit thinks these blessings are foolish. 15 People who are guided by the Spirit can make all kinds of judgments, but they cannot be judged by others. 16 The Scriptures ask, “Has anyone ever known the thoughts of the Lord or given him advice?” But we understand what Christ is thinking.”

I Corinthians 2:14-16 CEV

Have you ever wondered why you could talk till your blue in the face, demonstrate and illustrate all kinds of examples, yet not able to persuade some people of the Lord’s existence? You might have thought that you were doing something wrong, or just an ineffective witness. Perhaps what you didn’t consider was that the person you were talking to was incapable of understanding or receiving the divine revelation. I know that’s a difficult thing to make sense of, but the Bible says that the natural man is utterly unable to comprehend the things of God. To them, it is total foolishness.

There was nothing that you could have said that would have persuaded them, nothing you could have done that would change their thinking. It’s not that they were just unwilling to entertain anything that comes from the mind of God, they couldn’t entertain anything from the mind of God! You see, you were talking to the natural man. The natural man is completely incapable of comprehending the things of the spirit. It is lacking spirit. The natural man (woman)’s reasoning is based on principles of science and reason, not revelation. The only way for the natural man to receive spiritual revelation is through a spiritual rebirth. To better understand this, look at the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus when He told him, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).

We all are three-dimensional beings; natural, spiritual, and carnal. The natural is spiritually blind and does not realize his hopelessness; the spiritual is divinely mature, has Jesus as his Lord and Master, and seeks spiritual revelation; while the carnal is spiritually immature and lives more for human opinion and pleasure than for Christ. It’s understandable why Jesus also told Nicodemus, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again” (v.7).

Being spiritual is not natural, it’s not carnal, it’s being guided by the Spirit of the Lord so that you have, as the Living Bible Paraphrase defines it, “’insight into everything.” When you’re spiritual, you can make all kinds of judgements, and cannot be judged by anyone; not the natural or the carnal because neither have discernment. Only those who are spiritually alive can acquire spiritual wisdom. It is not natural, but it is possible and desirable for the natural and the carnal man in each of us to be spiritually revived; “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:5-7 NKJV). Being born of the spirit is not natural…, it’s spiritual!

Be Blessed +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell, associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448), author of Matters of Faith: The Book.

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