Battleground of the Two Humanities (continued)
Paul says: "Corinth, you come behind in no spiritual gift." All the gifts are there - "supernaturals." Later, the apostle in answering one of the ten questions that they present to him says: "Now concerning the spirituals ..." Now let us move slowly, carefully, for these are all truths that were Israel's while they were in the wilderness between Egypt and the land. Yet, with all that was true of the Corinthians, the apostle had to gird himself up and gather himself together and make one positive resolution. To these people with all this, he said: "I determined, I have made up my mind, to know nothing amongst you save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." To Christians with all this, redeemed by the precious blood, positionally separated unto God, within the Sovereign rule of His Kingship and His Kingdom, and objectively knowing much of His sovereign, supernatural activities in their history - to them the apostle has to say this categorical thing: "To you I have made up my mind, I resolved, I determined, that amongst you it shall be nothing but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." What is all this about? It is this cleavage in chapter two between what the apostle designates "the natural man" and "he that is spiritual"; and the battle is between the two. That is the battleground between these two men.
I wonder if you people in this country ever have time to sit down and think. I know your tremendous activity, but I wonder if you ever have time to just sit down and think. Now I would recommend something to you, for your own need, for your own quiet time, not for public reading or anything like that, but I would recommend to you that translation of the New Testament in "The Amplified Bible." If you remember, the translators of The Amplified Bible state in their introduction: "Our object is to get inside of the original language which is so much richer than the English and has so many shades of meaning that no English words can convey and give that amplification which is true to the sense and meaning of the original language. It takes a lot of words and a lot of shades to explain the Greek there, the original language, and so we have given the amplification which is true to the sense of the original language." Now you will need a lot of patience to read that, but if you would sit down with that Bible, you would be searched and illuminated as you think your way through clause after clause of your New Testament.
Now, why am I saying all this? Because I look at Christians today, and I think many have not read their New Testament. My word, look at Christendom! Here (as in the Corinthian letter) there is an utter contradiction; they are not seeing, yet they hold this New Testament as their charter.
Now, why is this? The answer is in a phrase. When Paul wrote this First Letter to the Corinthians speaking about the condition there, he pinpointed and said: "When you do so and so, are ye not 'as men?' You say, 'Must I not be as men?'" No, not after a certain humanity, that man is not allowed in here to be "a man." The Cross has stripped him of that manhood, "...you have put off (and the Greek language again is) you have taken off the clothes; you have put off the old man and his doings and have put on the New Man," and so there is a manhood that is not allowed in here at all.
"Are ye not as men?" Paul says: "You are talking like men, as men talk; behaving as men behave; and it is not allowed, that kind of humanity is not allowed." That man is an intrusion, and he is under a Divinely imposed embargo; and this second chapter indicates the embargo. "The natural man" - that is the man, and "he cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them." Would to God that Christendom would imbibe that. This natural man is an intrusion into the place where he has no standing with God; it is an assumption which has led to a presumption. It is presumption for us to come into this realm of the New Humanity with ourselves, to bring ourselves in in any way. You see the strength of this natural man is shown here in this chapter two, and I am keeping close to the text although I do not quote the actual wording. It is the truth that is here: the strength of the natural man in his proceeding is of himself. The apostle is talking about power, and these Corinthians had a great idea of power-politics. Power! Yes, power is all right if it is the power of God; bu their idea of power was the world's idea of power, and their power was of themselves which meant that it was of the world.
(continued with # 20)