Preaching the Cross Part 8

2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.   2:15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.  2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. I Corinthians 2:14-16 (Emphasis supplied).

I Corinthians 2: 14-16 tells us that before we can know and received the things of God we must have the mind of Christ. In the previous verses Paul explains why this is so by saying:

2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 2:10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 

The natural man cannot perceive or receive the things of God because the natural man walks by the power of his/her flesh which can only perceive and experience the things of this world (v.11). In order to know the things that God has prepared for those that love Him we must walk by the power of His Spirit (v.10): Then, and only then can we understand and receive the things of God because they are spiritually discerned. This is why verse 12 says:

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (Emphasis supplied). 

This tells us that the cross of Christ is absolutely necessary in order to know and experience the things that are freely given us of God because the cross of Christ is the only thing that can give us the power to no longer walk by the power of the spirit of this world (flesh). Galatians 6:14 tells us why. It says:

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Emphasis supplied).

We either walk by the power of our flesh or the power of God’s Spirit. Those who walk by the power of their flesh cannot receive the things that God freely gives to those who love Him because these things are spiritually discerned. To the flesh it is utter foolishness. What power do you walk by daily? Can you honestly say that you fully understand and live by the truth expressed in I Corinthians 2:9&10 which says:

2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 2:10  But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  (Emphasis supplied).

If so, then you can fully agree with this truth:

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18 (Emphasis supplied).

In my next blog I am going to deal with why the cross we are called to lift daily is called the cross of Christ.