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1 Corinthians 2:14-3:4
INTRODUCTION: the apostle Paul has spent the beginning of his letter laying down his foundational thinking regarding the necessity and priority of the message of the cross. He has declared that divisions in the church were a result of forgetting the message of the cross. He has declared that real wisdom is discovered by embracing, not rejecting the message of the cross. And, he has declared that God’s message and wisdom concerning the cross are not attained by human means, but by divine revelation and personal interaction between God and man.
Paul now moves on to answer what must have been a nagging question in the minds of the Corinthians, “What does it take to understand what God wants to teach us?” Paul answers this reservation by describing three types of men, and their relationship to spiritual truth, and walk with God.
I THE MAN WITHOUT THE SPIRIT (The Natural Man)
A The kind of man he is
1 Literally – “A man who is living”
a A man who has breath
b A man who has consciousness
c A man who has never progressed in his spirit
2 An “earthbound” man
a A man who is ruled by what binds him to earth
3 A natural man
a A man who is morally corrupt
1) Not a man who cannot do good things
2) A man who good things are tainted on a more basic level
3) Human nature apart from God
B What kind of things he does
1 He is a man who rejects what God offers
2 He is a man who rejects God’s wisdom, while seeking his own
a “I did it my way”
3 He along with Adam fell from perfection
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--
C How he stands before God
1 He cannot produce good
Romans 7:18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
2 He cannot please God
Romans 8:8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
3 He does not accept the things of God
a Does not recognize them for what they are
b Rejects them for what they are
1) Literally – they are not welcome
THE NATURAL MAN IS A MAN WITHOUT THE CAPACITY TO ACCEPT AND UNDERSTAND SPIRITUAL THINGS. HE IS A MAN WITHOUT CHRIST, AND DESTINED FOR HELL.
THIS IS THE MAN/PERSON THE CHURCH MUST REACH OUT TO IF HE IS TO HAVE ANY CHANCE AT ETERNITY.
II THE MAN WITH THE SPIRIT (The Spiritual Man)
A In order to know God, he has established a relationship with God
Romans 11:34 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"
B The kind of man he is
1 He is a man who is born again
2 He is a man who is living under the influence of the Holy Spirit
3 Not ruled by what binds us to earth
C The kind of things he does
1 He is able to judge situations biblically
2 He is able to discern biblically
3 He allows the Holy Spirit to reveals God’s wisdom to him.
4 He is obedient to God’s revelation
Philip. 2:5-8 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on
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