Why can’t you understand? ( I Corinthians 2)

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. I Corinthians 2:14

I tried and I tried, but to no avail.  Finally I looked at my sweet wife and said, “There are somethings you cannot understand.”  Maybe you ask: what were you trying to explain to here?  I was trying to explain a mechanical issue with our car, but to no avail.

In a much more series way, you and I (as Christ-followers) want to explain to lost people how they might know Jesus.  But in some cases it seems impossible.  Could it be our technique or could it be our lack of wisdom?  The Apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 2, reveals to us why some people cannot understand.

Keep in mind Paul has addressed this letter to a church that had been blessed with grace upon grace.  They were very gifted but they were getting weaker as a church because of the multitude of problems in their church.

In chapter 2 Paul seeks to bring them to humble unity.  He wrote about his ministry with them:

  • spoke to you with the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit, Vs: 5.
  • shared God’s Word with those who came to maturity in faith, Vs: 6-9.
  • I shared what I had received  from the Holy Spirit, Vs: 10-13.

It is in verses ten through thirteen where we understand why we can here:

  • We hear because the Holy Spirit has revealed God’s truth to us
  • We hear and understands because the Holy Spirit freely offers us God’s truth.
  • We are able to share with others because the Holy Spirit empowers us to deliver God’s truth.

But what about those who don’t understand?  We find the answer in verse fourteen:

  1. An unsaved man or woman does not possess the Holy Spirit.
  2. An unsaved man or woman does not have the capability to understand the Word.

When he or she hears the word it is like being in a foreign country where you cannot understand their language.  You have no dictionary to translate the words and you have no interpreter.   For us the dictionary is God’s Word and the interpreter is the Holy Spirit.

When a person receives Christ everything changes (Vs: 15).

The Words of the Psalmist take on new meaning when you grasp this truth.  Here is Psalm 143:7-10

Answer me quickly, O Lord!
    My spirit fails!
Hide not your face from me,
    lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
    for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.

Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord!
    I have fled to you for refuge.[a]
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me
    on level ground!

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