Practical Devastation Of Our Old Humanity (continued)
If you are thinking objectively and historically, stop, stop at once; come over your two thousand years, bridge that gap, get away from geographical Corinth or historical Corinth, and come right here. We belong to that same humanity by nature; but by grace, we belong to Another Humanity. And this is where Christendom is all in confusion today and in defeat, so that we read in papers, Christianity has had its day, it is not counting, it really does not matter, it is no impact upon world conditions and situations, and so on. That is the conclusion of the natural man because of what he sees in Christendom.
We have to agree to a very large extent, even though we do know something else. Nevertheless, Christendom has got into that terrible plight today for this very reason - it does not understand the cleavage which the Cross of Jesus Christ has made between the two humanities. It does not understand that there is no bridge tolerated by God between these two. The Cross has cut right in between these two humanities; and as I was saying, it may not all happen at once, but through a lifetime, the Holy Spirit will be teaching us, if we are teachable, if we are sensitive, if we are walking in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit will be teaching us: "That is you, that is not Christ -(putting it in a phrase). That is you, that is your way of talking, that is your way of thinking, that is your way of going about, that is just you, that is NOT Christ.
Oh, it would take a long time; but, oh, it would be so profitable to study this Other Man as He walked in this world and see the principles which governed His life, which were all heavenly and all governed His life, which were all heavenly and all spiritual and made Him absolutely incalculable in this world.
"He That Is Spiritual" and "The Natural Man"
We are now coming to Corinth, and we have not moved far into the letter until we are shown what belongs to the one side and what belongs to the Other. Oh, that Christendom had really had its eyes opened to chapter two of the First Letter to the Corinthians. Here we have two designations; here are the two humanities. One is the natural man, and let me say again that is not necessarily the unborn again man. Corinth shows that and is used to show that. It stands through spiritual history to show the tragedy of a carry-over from one humanity to Another in not allowing the great transition to be clear cut. That is what is here, and so in Corinthians we have the dividing: we have "he that is spiritual" and "the natural man," and then there opens up the characteristics of each.
When we launch out into the characteristics at Corinth, we come almost immediately on this: personality complexes - that is "the natural man." "I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, I am of Peter, and I am of Christ." You tell me that we are not capable of that - making even a servant of God, a greatly used servant of God and a servant of God who is a saintly man, making him the focal point, the pivot around whom we circle - his way of teaching that appeals to me, his interpretation, his personality. The apostle of the Holy Spirit puts that sort of thing in the category of the natural man because the effect of that is the divisiveness in the Body of Christ - that is what the letter opens up: divisiveness in the Body of Christ. Oh, do not talk about personalities; they may have been used to your help; you may owe a lot to the Lord because of them, but do not be constantly bringing them into view. Paul will argue back and say: "Who is Paul, who is Apollos, who is Peter? - Only servants of God through whom you believed!" Let the instrument recede into the background, and let Christ come to the fore; be occupied with Him, talk about the Lord Jesus.
(continued with # 15)