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Featured 1 Corinthians 2:14 does not teach total inability

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Revmitchell, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    The often touted proof text of our beloved reformed brethren is 1 Corinthians 2:14 of which they sincerely believe shows the total inability of man to understand anything related to what God has for us including and more specifically salvation. So it is assumed that this supports faith as a gift, meaning that man cannot have faith to believe in God unless God directly and supernaturally imparts faith to man. I would think that if God does regenerate man before they believe or more specifically so they can believe that faith would be a natural result of the regeneration and not have to be a second gift. Nearest I can tell our beloved reformed brethren believe that there are a number of gifts given to man in order for man to be saved.

    1. Regeneration
    2. Faith
    3. Salvation

    Am I wrong in my understanding of the reformed position that all three of these must be gifted and this is in the order in which they are gifted?

    (It is not my Intent to misrepresent anyone's position and I look forward to any kind and careful correction if I have.)

    [ Gifted: the thing in which God gives to man who does not deserve at a moment in time that man could not otherwise obtain on his own.]

    Now there are two verses in which I often see our beloved reformed brethren use in order to support the total inability of man. These are Ephesians 2:8 and 1 Corinthians 2:14. With these combined proof texts it is often asserted that man has no ability or in other words man has total inability to come to God, believe in God, or care about the things of God unless regeneration and faith are first gifted to him so that man may believe. However, when we take a look at the context of those verses, we can see that the intent of the author was very much different from that.

    Looking first at 1 Corinthians 2:14 we see that in order to understand it we must look back even to the previous chapter as the completed thought is a response to some behavior Paul found troubling with the Corinthian church members. Given that this passage was written to church members and toward their behavior we see the context begins with believers. Within this context we see that the issue being addressed is the division within the church in Corinth. The division was found in the Corinthian members claiming to follow certain men as if doing so gave what they had to say more credibility. It appeared that these men were glorying in who they followed and what credibility it gave them. This glorying created division.

    Paul reminds them that believers ought not act this way because it has no part in the gospel. He goes on to say that men think they are wise, and the wisdom of this world cannot lead men to salvation. Paul said there is one means to salvation and that is the preaching of the gospel (1:21). Paul said it is this preaching that men think foolish (1:23). So, Paul is working to get the Corinthians to drop the distinction of men’s teaching such as Apollos, Cephas, or Paul and just focus on being in Christ. That is what is preached and that is what we should glory in (1:31).

    Now do not let the chapter divisions fool one into believing that the thought is completed in verse 31 of chapter 1. It is not and the same thought and point continues into chapter 2. Now the theme thus far has been a comparison of worldly wisdom (vs.1:19; 20; 26; 2:12;14) and godly wisdom (1:18;21;23;25;27;28;31; 2:6;7;9;10). Again, who is Paul talking to? Of course, he is speaking to believers who have used worldly wisdom within the church that has caused division. (there is a whole other sermon there, but I digress).

    We need to remember here that the context is not the redeemed and the lost but the wisdom the lost uses and the wisdom the children of God use or should be using. In the Corinthian church the believers were not using that which is Spiritual or godly wisdom. Paul is reminding them to keep focused so as to not distort the gospel and the glory of God. Now pay attention here because this is where the rubber meets the road.

    In the 6th verse of chapter 2 Paul said "Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away." Now Paul is talking about mature believers not the elect who have not yet been regenerated. This is wisdom for those who are already chosen Godly wisdom. Who else cannot understand this wisdom? Of course, it is the immature believers who choose worldly wisdom of the things of God.

    In verse 14 the “natural person” is not a lost unregenerate person but anyone who has not chosen to use Spiritual wisdom to include believers. The Corinthian members who were divided were not using Spiritual wisdom. They were not considered by Paul to be mature. Their division was evidence of it. Paul is leading them to stop the worldly thinking, put on the mind of Christ (vs. 2:16) and leave the division.

    I’m sorry but the context is not those who are not elect. The context of vs 2:14 is the elect who are not choosing to use the wisdom of God.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    So the rules of this thread that I am asking everyone to abide by are:

    1. Do not speak about the person you are posting to.
    2. Do not reference other posts from other threads
    3. Only speak to what is posted not any characterizations of the person who posted it.
    4. Do not characterize what someone says they believe in a demeaning manner. Have respect for others beliefs even though you disagree with them.
    5. Hold fast to what you believe but hold fast to humility as well. We all could be wrong on any number of things.
    6. Love the person you are having a discussion with or do not reply to their posts or engage them.
    7. Remember Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
    8. Do not ignore the niceties.
     
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  2. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Regeneration is not a step in a process. It is re-generation. A new birth. A new life. A new creation. Not a jump start of the old one like the resurrection of Lazarus, yet again subject to sickness and death.

    Faith and salvation are swallowed up in regeneration.

    But if you think of our new life in the proper manner, as a birth, then you will soon see the notion of free will in regeneration to be a laughable one.
     
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  3. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    Absolutely. Did we choose when or whether to be born? No. So how can we then choose when or if we have a new birth?
     
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  4. David Kent

    David Kent Well-Known Member
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    James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
     
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  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Ok great how does that effect the op with regards to 2 Corinthians 2:14?
     
  6. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    One has nothing to do with the other, however how does your response effect the op with regards to 2 Corinthians 2:14?
     
  7. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    You must be forgetting that you asked whether or not your understanding of the Reformed position was accurate.

    We also know where you're going with this. My post was eminently relevant.
     
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  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    I did not say it was irrelevant. However it does not address the main thought of the op.

    Where am I going with this?
     
  9. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    It has everything to do with it.
     
  10. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    11 For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.
    12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God.
    14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged. 1 Cor 2

    If you're unable to ascertain from the context that the natural man of v 14 is devoid of the Spirit then you have very poor reading comprehension.
     
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  11. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Wrong. The context is contrasting 'them that perish' with 'us who are saved'.

    Compare:
    18 For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1

    With:
    14 Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged. 1 Cor 2
     
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  12. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Maybe you'll grasp it if you repeat it a few times over:

    ...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God... and he cannot know them....

    ...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God... and he cannot know them....

    ...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God... and he cannot know them....

    ...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God... and he cannot know them....

    ...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God... and he cannot know them....

    ...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God... and he cannot know them....

    ...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God... and he cannot know them....

    ...the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God... and he cannot know them....
     
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  13. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Im sorry but what you are doing is proof texting and making a claim with no explanation of your claim to support it.

    I have shown that Paul was making a comparison of the use of worldly wisdom compared to Spiritual wisdom because of the use of worldly wisdom by the believers on corinth. This we find in chapter 1.

    The use of the verse you quote was intended to show the believers in Corinth that we have wisdom that they do not and have no need to use the wisdom of the world, of which they were in fact doing.
     
  14. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    This does not prove your point and only contributes to hostilities on this board.
     
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  15. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    This does not prove your point. It is nothing more than a claim with no support.
     
  16. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    So that's what you call comparing scripture with scripture - proof texting? And it's a bad thing? Comparing scripture with scripture is not allowed? No wonder you're ignorant about such things as this.
     
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  17. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Yes, it does prove my point. The 'natural man' of 1 Cor 2:14 is devoid of the Spirit and is perishing.
     
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  18. MB

    MB Well-Known Member

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    . In order for spiritual birth to happen the seed has to be planted first. You compare physical with spiritual so lets finish the comparison. No seed first no birth. The gospel is the seed yet Calvinism insist that man must be born again in order to believe. How is it that man can be born again with out seed?
    MB
     
  19. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    That is not what you did. You proof texted which means you simply listed a verse with only a claim but did not establish a context by giving a clear explanation as to why your verse makes your point.
     
  20. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    So you say
     
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