But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. I Corinthians 2:14-16
Though we have been led to believe that the amount of knowledge we have determines how mature we are as Christians, this idea is contrary to the Word of God. For it is not how much we think we know but what we do with it that reveals where we are in our spiritual growth. Though there are other fool-proof ways which indicate where we are spiritually, one sure indictor is how we approach judgment.
One of the things that has put such a ‘black eye’ on all forms of Christianity is the “natural” tendency to want to point the finger at someone else, while ignoring our own faults and shortcomings, which has resulted in an abundance of unrighteous judgment. Unfortunately it seems this lack of true humility and love is not only making Christianity unattractive to the younger generation today, but is overtly destructive. In fact, even some of those who know the most and can point out our enemies’ tactics most effectively, are actually doing the work of destruction for them because they would rather hide their own wickedness by wrongfully judging everyone else when they feel threatened.
Because of this, it therefore makes no practical difference how much we know about non-Whites’ hatred of us, if – because we refuse to judge ourselves – we are willing to resort to being just as low down to one another.
Be honest – are you more prone to judge others or yourself?
Just like loving yourself, this speaks volumes about where you truly are in your Christian walk. The natural man is always ready to lash out and use the Bible as a weapon to publicly condemn others, even at times without any just cause or evidence. While the spiritual man judges all things in himself and is slow to anger towards others. The natural man can come up with every excuse not to judge himself. Yet the spiritual man is humble, sensitive to the conviction within by the Holy Spirit of God. While the natural man may claim in word to be concerned about the Gospel and his race, the bottom line is only the spiritual man proves it through his character and deeds by loving his brother, even in the midst of a conflict or disagreement.
If there be few that find the narrow way which leads to life which Christ spoke of, there must be even fewer who are actually teaching it.
There are plenty on the road to destruction – professing to be Christians or not – who are more prone to judge others rather than themselves because it is natural to do so. After all, what is the narrow way? It is the way that is in accordance with “the things of the Spirit”, being “spiritually discerned”, which leads one to judge all things righteously, first within himself by “the mind of Christ”. What is actual foolishness is to outright reject the things of the Spirit, then pretending to be the judge over everyone else including those who let the mind of Christ lead them. The natural man always jumps the gun and blames everyone else. While the spiritual man steps back and asks God to reveal to him if he is at fault or is innocent.
The natural man is actually the last one to find out he is not spiritual because he will not judge himself thusly, especially those who think themselves to be Bible experts.
They will then cunningly take the spiritual teachings of the Bible and force them into what fits their pet doctrines every time, because they do not understand the teachings Christ taught, so as a result they “are foolishness to him”. The reason for this is “he CANNOT know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” If they do not line up with his way of thinking and natural lifestyle, then they will be read over but never expounded, explained away but never broken down, and/or even ignored. Since this kind of man does not know his limits, he will proceed to judge those who are spiritual, but not with righteous judgment, since he does not accept the ways of the Spirit of God which includes living by faith. His accusations are not judgment at all because it is based on his own fears and natural tendencies, replacing “the mind of Christ” with their own clever opinions and deception.
Therefore, other than being this way ourselves, the worst thing we could ever possibly do is try to learn spiritual things from such a man.
“Well how can I know if he is spiritual or false?” Trust your ‘gut’ or spiritual discernment and look at their fruits – the way they live, conduct their home, make decisions, treat others, and whether or not they operate in faith rather than worry, fear, and doubt. Oh, they may know facts but that’s natural. They may even appear to have their own tidy little set of impenetrable doctrines, honed to a fine tuned science.
Still yet, “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” – you are wasting your time. More importantly, if that’s all that appeals to you, what does that indicate about you?! No matter how intelligent we may become, nothing replaces the mind of Christ. Those who are the most outstanding naturally must judge themselves even closer not to confuse their natural gifts with the things of the Spirit which only come from God within.
Regardless of who we start off as, the way to go from being only a natural man to becoming spiritual is first of all to just simply admit you have not arrived and you need to grow – judge yourself. Change whatever you must to stop trying to make the Bible line up with you. The Bible is a supernatural Book which requires us to go outside the box, otherwise, the things of the Spirit and spiritual discernment will become foolishness to us and will never become a part of your experience in this life.
Christianity isn’t just all about thoughts but also about feeling.
How do you feel about the way you’ve treated others in the Name of Christ? For if we do not see any worth in our brethren beyond their agreeing with our beliefs, then we are not thinking with the mind of Christ, and are nothing more than hypocritical Pharisees.
To approach becoming spiritually mature you must judge yourself regularly, opposite the tendencies of the natural man.
The natural man holds up everything against his self-determined ideas (even the Bible), hiding this very well at first. But when he is finished using you or you dare disagree, his true nature will manifest itself and it will not be pretty. Though babies mess their own diapers, they do not enjoy having them changed – neither does the natural man. If he would just once choose to clean up his own mess by judging himself, he would realize what Paul told the Hebrews – that they still had much to learn in order to be spiritual. However, one will not judge himself who is lifted up in his own pride and is not humble. He can strut all he wants, but one day, if God loves him, He will bring him down.
The fact is, the more one judges himself and loves the things of the Spirit, the more he realizes he will never arrive in this life.
There will always be more, for who has known the mind of Christ or can exhaust it?! When we embark upon this journey, though God may take us very far, we quickly realize the possibilities are unlimited.
One who sticks with the natural man is afraid of the things of the Spirit of God and deep down, those who have spiritual discernment.
He flees to the false security of his own private interpretations, rallying those he can, yet they are no match for the mind of Christ. The only way the natural man can respond to the things of the Spirit of God is by calling them foolishness, unrighteously judging those who teach and practice them. Since he has blatantly rejected the mind of Christ by his own words and deeds, little does he know but he is not just being adversarial to theological opponents, but has actually taken on the role of attempting to instruct Christ Himself.
Saul of Tarsus attempted and was even successful at murdering the righteous man Steven – Christ took it very personally. One does not have to guess what would have been the consequences for the prideful Pharisee Saul, had not Christ shown him mercy on the Damascus Road. Even still, Paul the great Apostle’s greatest concern was to never become a castaway. There are others in the Book of Acts however, such as Ananias and Saphira who did not fair so well, once it was exposed that they had lied to and denied the Holy Spirit.
If he never humbles himself, the natural man will continue to judge everyone else constantly, but not himself.
Yet if you receive the things of the Spirit, by judging your own flesh, you will not be concerned with the judgment brought against you by the natural man. For this is how to carry your cross daily and die to self, by utilizing the spiritual discernment provided by the mind of Christ.
Have you began to pursue the things of the Spirit of God?
Discovering and continuing to learn history about race is necessary and wonderful. But if God intended for us to stay on the milk for the rest of our lives, why would He have given us so much meat?! After you are grounded on race, there’s nothing wrong with ‘having a glass of milk along side the meat’, once you get to where you’re able to bear it. But don’t allow those who’ve become so fat on the milk and can get so bent out of shape, to cheat you out of the mind of Christ, just because they refuse to. Milk may keep you alive, but meat is what makes you strong. Milk tastes so good to a baby, but meat will bring you to a place of maturity, where you look beyond your own preferences and appetites to the needs of others.