Spiritual Discernment - 1 Corinthians 2

Spiritual Discernment

1 Corinthians 2:1-16

Unsaved people just don't get it.  Jesus said to Nicodemus, a teacher of Israel, "Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."  The Pharisee answered, "How can a man be born again when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"  John 3:3, 4.  The Lord moved on to Samaria, where he met a sinful woman at Jacob's well.  He spoke to her about living water.  She responded, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep."  John 4:11.

There is a basic reason why people don't understand spiritual things.  "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  1 Corinthians 2:14.  The natural man has never been born of the Spirit.  He may be tall, dark, handsome, rich, educated, and popular, but these things contribute nothing to understanding the things of God.

Only the Holy Spirit knows the wisdom of God.  "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of man which is in him?  Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God."  1 Corinthians 2:11. 

Christians like to quote 1 Corinthians 2:9, which says, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him."  Next a comment is usually made about heaven and how it will exceed our expectations.  But what does 1 Corinthians 2:10 say?  "But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.  For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God."

When we are born again through faith in Christ, we receive the Holy Spirit, who is also known as the Spirit of truth.  "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God."  The Lord wants you to know those spiritual gifts that He has bestowed upon you.  The indwelling Spirit teaches us, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 

Spiritual discernment and wisdom belong to those who are spiritually mature.  Spiritual men and women understand spiritual things, because they have been taught by the Holy Spirit.  They know the difference between truth and error, light and darkness, righteousness and sin, victory and defeat, and the Spirit and the flesh.  "He who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one."

God wants His people to do more than just go through the motions.  He wants us to grow up in our experience with Him, that is, to be spiritually discerning.  He has given us His Spirit for that purpose.


Lord, teach us Your ways, and lead us in Your paths.  May we know day by day the fellowship of Your Spirit.  Thank You for Your gifts of grace.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


A Wise Master Builder - 1 Corinthians 3