December 06, 2021 – Monday
1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB
14 But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:14 NET
14 The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Why did I choose this verse for the Verse of The Day? And why did I choose to show four different, but very similar versions of the verse? Two reasons for choosing this verse, first I used in Sunday’s message contrasting the natural man with the spiritual man and second a friend (thank you Phil) mentioned how Zodhiates’ Key Word Study Bible of the New American Study Bible (NASB) had much to say about the natural person. I have a 1977 edition to Zodhiates’ Key Word Study Bible and wanted to give it and other sources a bit of an indepth look at the natural person. Now why all four versions above which you can find side by side here? Because while the NASB and ESV use the term, natural person, both the NIV and NET describe this person; the NIV as The person without the Spirit and the NET as The unbeliever.
Thus, from a simple inspection of these four verses we may easily surmise The natural person is an unbeliever and without the Spirit. Of course, we would expect an unbeliever to be without the Spirit. If you look at the four verses side by side you will see the NASB version has a note telling us But a natural person could also be read as But an unspiritual person. Then the NET also has a note telling us The unbeliever could also be read as The natural person with the added comment (from the BDAG Greek-English Lexicon) that the natural person is an unspiritual person., one who merely functions bodily, without being touched by the Spirit of God.”
Now let’s look at what Zodhiates’ Key Word Study Bible has to say concerning this word in 1 Corinthians 2:14. It’s number 5591 in my version which is not as long as I expected, but very interesting. It begins by telling us it is An adjective meaning soul. But this does not mean what you might expect, as he goes on to state about the soul he is describing, the immaterial life held in common with animals, as contrasted with spirit, [which is] only in man, enabling him to communicate with God. Then he goes on to add, Natural, pertaining to the natural as distinguished from the spiritual or glorified nature of man. From this it would be easy and correct to conclude the natural person has a corrupt or undeveloped soul as from our verse above in all four versions they are unable to accept the things of the Spirit of God and cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
As I come to an end, I wonder about what Jesus said in Luke 18:17, Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Which is also in Matthew 18:3, Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven and in Mark 10:15, Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Children truly believe, for awhile anyway, in Santa Claus and are also incredibly open to believing in Jesus. This may help explain John 20:29 when Jesus was addressing Thomas who had doubted His resurrection, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. What do you believe and how/why do you believe?
Prayer: Almighty God, You have blessed us with the gift of salvation through Your Son if only we will open our Spiritual hearts to the wonderful gift of undeserved Grace … like children and believe. Thank you. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek