The Natural Man

The natural man is a man who lives according to nature. He is governed by his intellect, emotions, and by his natural affections.

The natural man has never experienced the rebirth of his spirit – he is unconverted. He is asleep to spiritual things, and spiritual things are foolishness unto him because he cannot process them in a rational manner. Therefore, the word of God, the promises of God, the grace of God, and faith in God in its various ways can find no meaning and existence in his mind.

The natural man is one whose perceptions do not extend beyond his reason, experience, and feelings. Therefore, the natural man lives in a small world limited to his finite mind and senses. He cannot enter the kingdom of God, for "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 15: 50). 

The natural man is born into the family [of flesh and blood] and lives in his natural state without being a child of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (Jn. 3: 6). Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jew and a man of the Pharisees, came to Jesus by night to ask him a hard question. "And said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou doest except God be with him." It means that Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, knew that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. He believes that only God can perform miracles through the person he has chosen. Nicodemus teaches the law, reads it, and in fact, there is the law, an embodiment in the school of Pharisaic law. 

Yet they do not practice what they are taught. Do not steal, yet they do indulge in steal; they live against what they teach: a hypocritical lifestyle. "Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again; he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn. 3: 3, 5) because Nicodemus was still a natural man without the Spirit of God, though he was a teacher of the law and a ruler of the Jewish sects, has no access to see God's kingdom. For It is only those "born again, born of the water and of the Spirit of God can see the kingdom of God" (Jn. 3: 7-8). Being a pastor, a prophet, or having a ministerial title does not make you a child of God. You are a child of God when the Son of God is born inside of you. It is the Spirit of Christ that makes you a Christian. "And if the Spirit of Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness" (Rom. 8: 10).

Although the Pharisees were the teachers of the law, they did not know the person who made the law. They were full of the theologies and philosophies of the law, yet the person of the law they knew not. A natural man does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. For those that deny the Son, deny the Father. "No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also" (1 Jn. 2: 22-23; 4:3; 2 Jn. 7).

He receives not the things of God. All the knowledge the natural man has received is through his five senses. Therefore, he receives not the things of God, for he cannot know them. His mind is actually governed by his senses. Thus, it's called "natural human knowledge" or "sense knowledge" because the knowledge comes through the five senses. He is also possessed by the same senses. "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" (1Cor. 2: 14). Natural man cannot understand the things of God with his mind. The things of God are not comprehended by the human senses. 

The natural man cannot understand "the things of the Spirit of God." They are foolishness to him, for the things of God are spiritually discerned. On the other hand, Christians do not understand things of God by the use of senses; instead, they discern and understand them with their spiritual intuition. Born-again believers have knowledge that is beyond the senses and above the flesh. It is Divine and revelation knowledge because this knowledge is revealed to us in the word of God. It is above the natural. The scriptures bring you a revelation or reveal knowledge to you that your physical senses could not grasp. You may not understand it even after the revelation comes. But it is there.

Many modern theologians are not revelation knowledge men but are sense knowledge men. They work through the senses of their minds, I mean, most of the church world leaders. However, they are saved but are not spiritually developed. Some are not even saved though they are religious domination folks. They give revelation knowledge second place in their lives or repudiate the same revelation knowledge.

 He does not have the Holy Spirit of God in him and lives his life driven by three human motivators [senses]- the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn.2: 15-17). He is unable to know or understand the deep things of God. He does not lean under the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit because he does not have the Spirit of God in him that gives him spiritual wisdom and understanding (1Cor.2; 10; Jn.14: 26; 16: 13). By the way, God's things are foolish to him. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 1: 18; 2: 14 NIV)

He is a hearer of the word and not the doer of the same word. "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." "But be ye doer of the word, and not a hearer only, deceiving your own selves." "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Rom 2: 13; Jam. 1: 22; Matt. 7: 21). He rejects God and the word of God. What he rejects became his destruction and rejection by God from having eternal life with God. "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God" (Jn. 3: 18).

The unsaved man though educated with all of man's wisdom, though religious and attentive, is blind to the gospel of Christ. "But if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor. 4: 3- 4). If called upon to formulate a doctrinal statement, it will be the natural formulation of a "new theology." The new theology omits the real meaning of the cross with its unfolding of the deep things of God. For instance, "Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified" and "the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:22-24).

A natural man with all his learning and sincerity will find nothing but foolish in the things which are revealed by the spirit. The knowledge of science cannot be fathomed with or be a substitute for the indwelling demonstration of the spirit and of the power of God in a Spiritual man. "And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power," "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect" (1 Cor. 2: 4; 1: 17).

When an unregenerate teacher openly rejects the vital saving truths of God's word, those truths will usually be discredited and discarded by the pupils. They "pervert the gospel of Christ" (Gal 1: 7). "They are the enemy of the cross of Christ" (Phi. 3: 18).

The natural man is motivated by a demon, ruled by Satan. He may not actually be possessed by demons. They are not yet be born again, born by the Spirit of God. Heretofore, they have Satan as their God and Father (2Cor. 4: 4). They are under the control and influence of the prince of this world (Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). They are governed by the kingdom of darkness, and are more or less ruled by Satan and demons (Rom. 8: 7-9). The flesh motivates the natural man. 

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. Among whom also we all had our conversation in time past in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind: and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others" (Eph. 2: 1- 3). The natural man is walking "according to the course of this world." The natural man is moving, talking, and doing things in the pattern of the world he lives in. he walks in accordance with the course of the world and not in accordance with the course of the Spirit of God. "If ye are of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world; therefore the world hates you" (Jn. 15: 19). And those that love the worldly things, the love of the Father is not in them. They are the enemies of God. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1Jn. 2: 15).

He is walking according to the prince of the power of the air that is the devil (Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). The spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience is ruling him. He is doing the desire of the flesh [senses], and he is by nature the child of wrath. The natural man is without Christ and without God. The Spirit Christ does not reside in the natural man. "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Rom. 8: 9). We must be sufficient in "the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ" for us to stay out of natural human motivators (Phi. 1: 19). When this is done, then will God "sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your heart, crying "Abba Father" (Gal. 4: 5-7).

"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world" (Eph. 2: 12). Moreover, the natural man has no hope, and without Christ. It is only in Christ that man can be assured of a better hope. The hope of a natural man is vanity. He is without God in this world. He does not know the reality of the manifesting presence of God. His God is molten images without breath. Moreover, he alienates himself from the commonwealth of Israel and becomes a stranger from the covenants of promise.

The natural man is not a people of God, and the full nature of God is not in them. "And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God has chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are." "Which in time past were not a people, but are now a people of God" (1 Cor. 1: 28; 1 Pet. 2: 10). The natural fleshy man has no standing. He is a "no people." With all his boasted culture, ability, and money, he has no voice, no standing with God. He alienates himself from the commonwealth of Israel and becomes a stranger from the covenants of promise. This is utter spiritual bondage. They are alienated from the life of God, being ignorant of the things of God [spiritual things]. They did "not know God nor obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thes. 1: 8). The natural man walks in the vanity of sense knowledge, in the vanity of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding.

Nevertheless, a Christian will always stand on the truth irrespective of Satan's trick of deceit. "For we had not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1: 16). "For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God" "but as of God, speak we Christ." "But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but, by manifestation of the truth" (2 Cor. 2: 17; 4: 2).

You, as Christian, should hold the word of life firmly so that your race of heaven will not be in vain or you labor in vain. Instead, be blameless and harmless sons of God, without rebuke in this crooked and perverse generation (Phi. 2: 15-16). "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost" (1 Thes. 1: 5). "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power" (1 Cor. 4: 20).

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