To be spiritually blind is not to see the Messiah, and not to see the Messiah is not to see God. Spiritual blindness is a grievous condition experienced by those who do not believe in God, Jesus the Messiah, and His Word.
- Those who reject the Messiah are the lost. Being spiritually blind, they are perishing.
- They choose not to accept the teachings of the Messiah and His authority in their lives.
- They are blind to the manifestations of God as revealed throughout His Word and Jesus the Messiah.
- They are described as those who “do not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned”.
But the person without the Spirit does not receive what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.
1 Corinthians 2:14 (CSB)
The contrast here is between the saved person (called “spiritual” because he is indwelt by the Spirit) and the unsaved person (called “natural” because he does not have the Spirit within). In 1 Corinthians 3:1–4, Paul will introduce a third kind of person, the “carnal man.” He is the immature disciple of Jesus, the one who lives on a childhood level because he will not feed on the Word and grow.
At one time, every disciple of Jesus was “natural,” having only the things of nature. When we trusted the Jesus as our Master, the Spirit came in and we moved into the plane of “spiritual”—able to live in the realm of the Spirit.
- Then we had to grow!
- The unsaved man cannot receive the things of the Spirit because he does not believe in them and cannot understand them.
- But as the disciple day by day receives the things of the Spirit, he grows and matures.
One of the marks of maturity is discernment—the ability to penetrate beneath the surface of life and see things as they really are. Unsaved people “walk by sight” and really see nothing. They are spiritually blind. The maturing disciple grows in his spiritual discernment and develops the ability (with the Spirit’s help) to understand more and more of the will and mind of God. The Corinthians lacked this discernment; they were spiritually ignorant.
- To “have the mind of the Messiah” does not mean we are infallible and start playing God in the lives of other people.
- Nobody instructs God!
- To “have the mind of the Messiah” means to look at life from the Savior’s point of view, having His values and desires in mind.
- It means to think God’s thoughts and not think as the world thinks.
The unsaved person does not understand the disciple of Jesus; they live in two different worlds. But the disciple understands the unsaved person. This does not suggest that unsaved people cannot point out flaws in the believer’s life (they often do), but that the unsaved man really cannot penetrate the full understanding of what the disciple’s life is all about. The New American Standard Bible’s translation: “But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man.” That “no man” includes other disciples as well. We must be incredibly careful not to become spiritual dictators in the lives of God’s people.
- Psalm 32:9 (CSB) — 9 Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you.
- Psalm 92:6–7 (CSB) — 6 A stupid person does not know, a fool does not understand this: 7 though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they will be eternally destroyed.
- Proverbs 4:19 (CSB) —But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don’t know what makes them stumble.