preachthecross.org Blog

February 8, 2009

TEMPORAL vs. ETERNAL; NATURAL vs. SPIRITUAL

Filed under: Observations & Perspectives — Administrator @ 6:01 pm

TEMPORAL vs. ETERNAL, NATURAL vs. SPIRITUAL

“Human eyes have not seen, nor ears heard, neither have entered into the mind of man the things God has prepared and reserved solely for those that love Him. But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit…No one knows the things of an individual to the degree which that individuals knows within and of himself. Likewise, no man knows the things of God, except the Spirit of God…We have received not the things of the world, but from the Spirit which is of God…and not in or through the words or teachings from the reasoning and worldly wisdom of men; rather we compare Spiritual things with Spiritual…but the natural mind of man receives not the things of the Spirit of God…neither can he know them…”

1 Corinthians 2:9-14

Any approach to the study of the scripture is going to fall into one of two categories: temporal or Eternal. As expressed in the above verses, humans can only reason out or deduce the things of God, but cannot truly know them. Deduce means to infer or draw a conclusion based on the knowledge which is readily available and that one possesses. The Bible says Spiritual Truth is not readily available to humans, and that we do not innately possess such knowledge; that is, it must be granted directly from the Spirit of God. God provides such understanding by divine inspiration or revelation; the phenomenon in which God EDUCES an understanding within the heart of a person, meaning establishing an understanding which does NOT draw upon the knowledge and constructs one naturally possesses (the “wisdom of this world”).
Unfortunately, driven by a fallen, prideful nature, the majority of humans persist on deducing the things of God, which is, of course, the reason there are so many contradictory spiritual “truths” about “god” and spiritual things, which, in turn, give rise to so many thousands of “dead” religions in the world. Most tellingly, these religions always reflect the limited, humanistic traits of the adherents rather than anything truly transcendent, eternal or divine.
Furthermore, just because the Spirit grants a Christian believer the gift of understanding in one thing, that revealed information does not give the person the ability, nor the authority, to now reason out the rest of scripture. It is a step by step, gift by gift process. Unfortunately, most Christians obtain a few revelations from the Spirit, then rush ahead and attempt to reason out the rest. That reasoning, or “worldly wisdom” will always be temporal and therefore limited in its essence and spiritual efficacy, and creates what the bible refers to as “leaven”. The Bible warns that even a little leaven in one’s doctrine taints or corrupts all of it (Galatians 5:9).
The end result are ministries and churches which reflect the flawed, shortsighted, and self-centered interests of finite human beings, rather than the infinite and Eternal interests of God. And merely proclaiming they are “doing the work of God”, and referencing selected scriptures, does not make that work divinely inspired or empowered.
On the other hand, the Spirit of God will only and always reveal the meaning of the scriptures in an Eternal, infinite context that is aligned with the Eternal Purposes of the One, True, Living God. The capitalized, superlative word “Eternal” here is used to distinguish it from merely an infinite continuum of time, and refers to the spiritual and infinite nature of God Himself. That is, God inspired every Word of the Bible, and thus every precept of the Word has an Eternal basis and significance.
That basis is what each “believer” must set as their heart’s desire and goal in spiritual growth.

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