The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14
The phrase man without the Spirit is literally the soulish man in Greek. The New Testament actually speaks of three different kinds of Christians. This is one of those described.
First, there is the carnal or fleshly Christian. This is the type of believer who serves God according to the way he or she feels. If I feel like going to church, I’ll go. If not I’ll stay home. Their flesh is in control of every decision they make. Carnal Christians are very nominal at best.
Next there’s the soulish or natural Christian, depending upon the translation of the Bible you use. This kind of Believer serves God because he or she has made a conscious decision to serve Him. They have decided that the Lord’s way is best no matter what they feel like.
They will give their best for the Lord because they believe it’s the right thing to do. They serve the Lord with all of their soul. They are very strong in their faith, and they can accomplish a lot for the kingdom of heaven.
There is, however, another class of believer spoken of in the Word of God. That’s the spiritual Christian. He or she is the believer who lives their life by using their spirit to its fullest extent in their interaction with God.
This is the one that we either hear very little about or we mistake it for a soulish Christian who is doing great works for Christ. Over the years we have redefined many of the terms used in the Scripture. It’s time to straighten out the rough spots. In the above passage, Paul makes a clear distinction between a spiritual and soulish Christian.
According to Paul, the soulish person cannot understand life in the spirit. The Greek literally says the he does not have the power to accept them. The apostle actually uses the Greek word dunamis in this verse.
A soulish believer does not have the dunamis – the power – to receive the things that can only come by the Spirit. This person is left to rely upon earthly means of communication to receive what he needs from the Lord. This is because, as Paul writes, these things are spiritually investigated.
I want to take a few posts to talk about what Paul describes as a spiritual Christian.
Question: How far do you venture into your spiritual life?
© Nick Zaccardi 2016