Stop The Argument – Pray Instead
"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 All believers have had the experience of trying to talk to others about the things of the Lord only to realize that the person was totally unable to receive it. It really is amazing when something is so clear to the believer but so impossible for the unbeliever to "see." Many people say that they do not read the Word of God, the Bible, because they don't understand it. I used to think that was just an excuse, but later came to realize the truth of the matter, that they truly DON'T understand it. They CAN'T understand it. It is spiritually discerned, that is, it cannot be understood until one has been made spiritually able. There was a religious man, a Pharisee, a learned teacher of the Bible, who came to Jesus to ask some questions. But he did not understand the answers Jesus gave: "Then Jesus answered and said to him, 'Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?'" (John 3:10) Jesus was asking how a religious teacher could not understand even what he as a teacher taught. The man was only able to teach the surface facts, he was unable to speak with spiritual understanding. And so it is today with many religious teachers - they can only teach surface facts, they are unable to speak with spiritual understanding. Speaking further with the religious man, Jesus nailed it: "Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, UNLESS one is born of water and the Spirit, he CANNOT see the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.’" John 3:5-7 When a person becomes born again, all of a sudden he's devouring the Word of God. He can't get enough of it. A whole new world has been opened up to him. Someone having been born only in the flesh can only receive the things of the flesh, but being born of the Spirit enables one to receive the things of the Spirit given to us in the Word of God, the Bible. There are people in colleges who read the Bible as literature or history, and when you speak to them about what they've read it is clear that the Word of God did nothing in their hearts. They can speak only of its literary value and its historical record, but it has no effect on their soul. Why is that? Why are they UNABLE to be touched by the Word of God that believers so love? The Scripture itself answered that question when it said that the natural man CANNOT receive the things of the SPIRIT of God. If you try to go deeper than the historical record with an unbeliever, you'll come across that awful truth - not only is he unable to receive it, but to him anything spiritual in God's Word is ...foolishness. It's foolishness to him because he is unable to receive it. "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 Therefore, stop the argument. Those who can't see it, CAN'T. Instead, take up prayer for that person. Fast and pray, it's the only way - but it is a powerful way: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:`6 If you have not been born again but would like to be, pray with me: Lord God, I am not even remotely able to understand your Word. To me it's just a book of history. Is it because I'm trying to understand by human reasoning things that are spiritual and can only be received spiritually? This whole subject you spoke of, the subject of the necessity of being "born again" - to me the whole subject has seemed like foolishness. But now your Word declares to me WHY it has seemed as foolishness: it's because the natural man is not ABLE to receive the things of the Spirit of God. Lord Jesus, I'm spiritually empty. I come to you now and ask you for that experience you speak of, I ask to be born again. I recognize that I am a sinner and I ask for the forgiveness of my sins based on the fact that you hung on that Cross in my place and took upon yourself the judgment on my sins. Please receive me into your Kingdom and grant to me the new life you speak of, words I have never understood but am now asking you to make me able to understand. If you will receive me, I am yours now and forever. Amen. "Born Again" - What does that mean?