The Natural Man, Pt. 3

(Part 3 of 3)

8. Ecclesiastes 6:9… The vanity of human covetousness apart from God. Coveting leads to chasing after fantasies, and in the end, one has nothing (Proverbs 28:19). Covetousness apart from God is an out-of-order and out-of-orbit lust. The Bible does exhort us to covet the best gifts, but that’s for the spiritual man (1 Corinthians 12:31, 14:39). When the natural man’s lust is out of order, his mind lusts, his heart lusts, his spirit lusts, his body lusts, his eyes lust, and he never achieves. He will, however, achieve frustration. A covetous natural man is a frustrated man. Covetousness will not improve a person’s situation. James 1:15 says, “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (KJV). Quote… “A thing present before the eyes is preferable to a future which exists only in the desire.”

9. Ecclesiastes 7:6… The vanity of human frivolity apart from God… Many people like to invent humorous jokes to cover up or camouflage the emptiness in their heart. People give attention to trivial things. They are often flippant in attitude, they get playful, they feel prankish, and they are full of folly. The natural man is often all of this and superficial, shallow, and rattlebrained. The word “frivolity” comes from a Latin word meaning “empty, worthless, silly.” The Bible is not against edifying humor though. Paul in Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech be always full of grace, seasoned with salt” (NIV)… or “spice it up with a little bit of humor.”

10. Ecclesiastes 8:10-14… The vanity of human awards apart from God… The natural man departs from the place of the holy and often is honored while the work of the just man is despised. There are times the just man will have the worst of it for doing right and the bad man will be honored for doing wicked things. Society is full of this, especially in politics, and it creeps into churches too. Ecclesiastes 7:15-18 reads, “All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness. Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself? Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time? It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all” (KJV).

Paul teaches in Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself lest thou also be tempted” (KJV). The word “spiritual” means “being responsive to the Spirit,” or one under the law of the Spirit. Not all Christians are spiritual. Many believers, although redeemed, live natural, fleshly, and carnal lives. Our text says in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Are you naturally minded or spiritually minded? Who governs your life?

Pastor George Belobaba

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