Summary: Spiritual Discernment, Worldly Wisdom, The Mind of Christ
PAUL: A FOOL FOR CHRIST - Foolish Spiritual People
April 8, 2018
1 Corinthians 2:14 (p. 794)
I’ve shared this with you often, but once again I would remind you that “Jesus didn’t die on the cross and rise again so good people could be better…He did this so dead people could have life.”
“We don’t need rehabilitation…we need resurrection.”
Before someone is born again, there might be activity in and around their house, but on the inside, because of sin and our sinful nature, is a dead man or woman.
When elderly Adele Gaboury turned up missing four years ago, concerned neighbors in Worcester, Massachusetts, informed the police. A brother told police she had gone into a nursing home. Satisfied with that information, Gaboury's neighbors began watching her property. Michael Crowley noticed her mail, delivered through a slot in the door, piling high. When he opened the door, hundreds of pieces of mail drifted out. He notified police, and the deliveries were stopped. Gaboury's next-door neighbor, Eileen Dugan, started paying her grandson $10 twice a month to mow Gaboury's lawn. Later Dugan's son noticed Gaboury's pipes had frozen, spilling water out the door. The utility company was called to shut off the water. What no one guessed was that while they'd been trying to help, Gaboury had been inside her home. When police finally investigated the house as a health hazard, they were shocked to find her body. The Washington Post (10/27/93) reported that police believe Gaboury died of natural causes four years ago. The respectable, external appearance of Gaboury's house had hidden the reality of what was on the inside. Something similar can happen to people: We may appear outwardly proper while spiritually dead. All sorts of religious activity may be happening outside, while the real problem is missed: spiritual death on the inside.
This body we live in is just a house…in reality just a tent…it’s temporary…But inside this temporary dwelling, no matter how good it looks on the outside, or even if there’s activity going on…is a spiritually dead person.
Being spiritually dead and physically dead are not the same things…But the Apostle Paul says you can clearly tell with both if someone is alive or not. How?
It’s by what kind of spirit occupies that temporary house. It’s that spirit that will dictate whether it’s a house filled with joy and life or one filled with stress and death.
Listen to our scripture for this morning:
1 CORINTHIANS 2:14-16 (p. 794)
I. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO THINK LIKE JESUS WITHOUT HIS SPIRIT
1 Corinthians 2:11 asks us, “For who knows a person’s thought except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”
In other words no one really knows what you are thinking…everything on your heart…your attitude and motives, other than YOU.
My wife Kari knows me better than any other person here on earth. She knows my facial expressions, my pet peeves, my sense of humor and what really breaks my heart…I speak truth to her in the most intimate and open language I can…but even with her I filter my words…I protect her…I don’t speak every thought I have and everything on my heart…no one does.
The only way she could really know every single part of me was if you put my mind in her body. If for a moment my spirit infiltrated her mind. (I see real terror on her face as I share this thought.)
But this is the truth the Apostle Paul is sharing about Jesus…we cannot really think like Jesus or understand who He really is unless, miraculously His Spirit is put into our body…unless His spirit infiltrates our minds.
When Jesus speaks to the Pharisee Nicodemus in their nighttime meeting, he says:
JOHN 3:3-7 (p. 740)
It’s impossible to see God’s Kingdom without being born again…It’s impossible to enter God’s Kingdom without being born again…This is a spiritual rebirth, not a physical one…And it’s God’s Spirit that gives birth to our Spirit. Jesus compares this spiritual change to the birth process. Not from our mother’s womb…but from the womb of God.
[Think about that process…The seed of the Gospel is planted in our soul by the good news. It begins to take root and grow nurtured by the Holy Spirit…We accept Christ, confess His name, repent of our sins, are baptized in the water of baptism…and come forth “a new creature in Christ, all the old is gone, and new things have come.”
(2 Cor. 5:17)]
The same Spirit that raised Jesus on Easter Sunday has raised us to new life…born again…Romans 8:11 says “His Spirit now lives in you.”
Because of this, the Lord is our instructor, because of this “we have the mind of Christ.” Now we can understand what God has freely given us…it’s what we speak. It’s how we speak spiritual realities with Spirit taught words. It’s how we understand spiritual truths.