THE ‘NATURAL MAN’ HAS NO TASTE FOR SPIRITUAL REALITIES
To savingly believe in Christ is a supernatural act and is the DIRECT PRODUCT of a supernatural work of grace in the soul. Fallen and depraved man has no more power to come to Christ evangelically than he has merit of his own to entitle him to God’s favour. He is as completely dependent on the Spirit’s gracious operation within him as he is upon Christ’s worthiness without him. Fallen man is spiritually DEAD (Eph. 2:1), and a dead soul cannot “co-operate,” any more than a physical corpse can with an undertaker.
“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” (1 Cor. 2:14).
The “things Of the Spirit” signify contents of the Word of Truth, for they were penned under His immediate inspiration. The “natural man” is man in his fallen and unrenewed state while the sinner remains unregenerate, he “receiveth not” either the Divine Law or the Gospel. That requires a word of explication: the natural man can, and often does, receive the things of the Spirit in THE LETTER of them as so many propositions or statements, but he cannot apprehend them as does one who has been made the subject of a miracle of grace. They are “foolishness”—absurd, unattractive, distasteful to him.
Yea, he “CANNOT KNOW THEM“— he is disqualified to perceive their verity and value; “because they are SPIRITUALLY discerned,” and spiritual discernment he has none. The sinner has to be transformed from a natural into a SPIRITUAL man before he has any spiritual perception!