When They Say They Can't - Believe That They Can't
"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
Believers have all had the experience of trying to talk to others about the things of the Lord and realizing 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 relate to.
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. On the other hand, I've seen very simple people among the believers who can quote the Word of God all the time and love everything about the Scriptures. It has nothing to do with a person's IQ.
Then there are people, in colleges for instance, 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 very Word of God that believers so love?
The Scripture itself answers that question. Simply, 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.
There was a religious man, a Pharisee, a teacher of the Bible, who came to Jesus to ask some questions. But he did not understand the answers Jesus gave. Then Jesus said to him, 'Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?'" Jesus was asking how a religious teacher could not understand even that which he as a teacher taught. The man was only able to teach the surface facts, he was unable to speak with spiritual understanding. Jesus went on to say, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"
Then 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.’"
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. One 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.
Pray with me:
Lord God, I am not 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 am willing to surrender to you myself and my life. 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.
What Does "Born Again" Mean?