Spiritual People

1 Corinthians 2:14-16

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit because the natural person does not receive them. The natural person is not a gospel person. Gospel people are made. God makes them, creates them. The natural person, the person on whom the gospel has not yet gone to work, who has not yet been caught up in the good news, considers the good news folly. He or she calls a good thing evil and an evil thing good. They do not get the logic of the cross because the cross runs counter to natural logic. There is a reason human courts can run on forgiveness. The Spirit must make the cross make sense, which the Spirit does through the cross and the proclamation of the crucified One. This is not to say that natural logic is all bad, that we should do away with it. It just means that natural logic is not a path to heaven, is no way to find salvation.

The spiritual person judges all things. Better yet, the spiritual person discerns everything. The gospel and the cross become a new lens, a new logic. The natural person cannot necessarily see anything in a Christian that sets him or her apart. The Christian does not seem especially chosen, wise, or superior. And this is for good reason. The Christian does not set himself or herself apart. God sets the Christian apart, on the basis of Christ. Apart from Christ, there is no difference between the Christian and non-Christian. Both are sinners. Both need grace. Neither is earning their way into Jerusalem the golden.

It is not the Christian’s mind that makes him or her special. The Christian, rather, has the mind of Christ. The Christian is known and so the Christian knows. The Christian is in Christ. The Christian is called out, a member of the hidden Church, the holy Christian Church, and thus the Bride of Christ. This is how God does it. Why? That is in the mind of the Lord. He loves us, and so He loves us. This is the nature of our freedom. It is not rooted in us. It is rooted in the gospel, which is the good news of Christ.

How does the natural person become spiritual? The Spirit does that through the gospel. And so the church’s treasure is the gospel. That is what we have to offer the world. The rest the world can find elsewhere. Natural logic can actually be pretty helpful with all that rest of stuff. But here, when it comes to salvation, when it comes to knowing God and being known by Him, being known with Him, that comes from God and from God alone, and He knows why, and that is enough. And so we can call the good what it is: good. And so we can call evil what it is: evil. Because we have the mind of Christ. Because we are free. Because we have a peace that transcends understanding. Because we have the Spirit of God, which we have received, a gift, which is the only way it comes. That is what makes us spiritual. Not our works, our thoughts, our disposition, but His, made ours. 

Wade Johnston

For more content like this, check out the podcast, blog posts, and devotions at www.LetTheBirdFly.com.

You can listen to our latest episode here. You can listen to our Epiphany episode from last year here. You can find our latest installment in the Wingin’ It series on Luther here

For more writing by Wade, you can find his books here and more blog posts here.