THREE KINDS OF PEOPLE. Scripture divides humans into two classes:“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.”I Corinthians 2:14-15 NKJV
(1) The natural, unspiritual, man (Gk psuchikos) identifies the unregenerated person, one governed by mere natural instincts. This kind does not have the Holy Spirit, is under Satan’s dominion, and is enslaved to the flesh and its passions. This kind belongs to the world, is in sympathy with it and rejects the righteous ways of the Spirit.
The unspiritual man is not able to understand God or His ways, but instead relies on human reasoning and emotions. Satan has men blinded. These are lost and we must treat them as a lost and blind man. (2) The spiritual man (Gk pneumatikos) identifies the regenerated person, one who has the Holy Spirit. This person is spiritually minded, thinks the thoughts of Christ and lives by the Spirit.
This person has been born again of God, strives to follow the indwelling Holy Spirit, and resists sensual desires and sin’s dominion. These men can be taught the principles of God and will receive them with joy, growing from glory to glory. (3) You would think there are only two kinds of people, but Scripture describes a third: the worldly Christian.
Although born-again believers receive the new life of the Spirit, we still retain the sinful nature with its evil inclinations. This sinful nature cannot be made good, it must be crucified with Christ snd overcome through the Spirit’s power and grace. We overcome this nature by denying the flesh daily, removing every hindrance of sin, and resisting all sinful temptations. By the power of the Spirit we wage war against the sinful nature, crucify it, and put it to death daily. (Gal 5:16-24; Col 3:5).
By this process of self-denial and yielding to the Spirit’s sanctifying work and washing of water by the Word, we are set free from the power of this sinful nature. However, not all Christians make this effort to fully overcome this sinful nature. Paul addressed the worldly Christians in Corinth, noting that they were behaving in a worldly or unspiritual (Gk sarkikos) manner. Instead of consistently resisting the inclinations of their sinful nature, they yielded to it and were living in persistent disobedience. They were in the process of compromising with the world, while still wanting to remain a part of God’s people.
The Bible uses other terms to describe these worldly Christians: lukewarm, compromising, tolerant, apathetic, fleshly, sensual, the foolish, the unwise, lazy, undisciplined, disobedient, wretched, blind and naked. My brethren, these things should not be!The worldly Christian begins by behaving in such a way that they no longer grow in grace. Their worldliness is first expressed in things like envying, strife and division. They are indifferent to and tolerant of immorality within themselves and the church. They do not take God’s Word with utmost seriousness.
These worldly Christians are in danger of being led astray from sincere devotion to Christ and being more and more conformed to the world through sin, fear of man, fear of death and a lack of the fear of God. Because of this, they will be chastened by our Heavenly Father; but if they continue in their ways, they will ultimately be excluded from God’s kingdom. Scripture repeatedly warns us of departing from the faith and there are multiple warnings in Hebrews, Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Corinthians, and the Revelation of Jesus and His Words to the seven churches.
We are in danger of departing when and if we are unwilling to put to death the sinful nature with its passions and desires and unwilling to come fully out of the world. We must learn from the tragic examples of the Israelites. Take God’s Word seriously. It is impossible to participate in the things of the Lord and the things of the world at the same time. We must separate completely from the world, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” II Cor 7:1 #runyourrace
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