Today's Foundations Devotional: Apart from the Spirit, we are dead
... the things which now have been reported to you through those who
have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.
(1 Peter 1:12b)
A preacher who preaches through the Holy Spirit, will preach about sin, righteousness and judgment. Yet the human race, in its own natural, unregenerate condition, is totally unconcerned about these issues. This is because fallen man is the slave of his own carnal mind. His one normal means of contact with reality is through his fleshly nature – through his five senses. He is therefore shut up in the realm of the carnal and the material. It is the things in this realm which impress him and influence him, which occupy his time, his thoughts, his energy.
Listen to people of the world talking casually together in any public. What is the most common topic of conversation? Without a doubt, it is money, after which comes a variety of other topics, all connected in some way with man’s physical and material well-being, his pleasures, his comforts, his luxuries. I have proved this by personal observation, listening to people talk in many different languages and in many different lands.
These are the things which normally monopolise the thought and speech of the people of this world. Among them no place is found for the three issues of sin, righteousness and judgement.
Why is this? The answer is simple. These three things cannot be apprehended through man’s carnal senses. For the man who is shut up within the prison of his own senses and his own carnal understanding, sin, righteousness and judgement have no reality or importance whatever.
There is only one means by which these things can be made real for men and women, and that is through the working of God’s Holy Spirit. He alone can convince the world of these unseen, eternal realities. In proportion as the Holy Spirit gains access to men’s hearts and minds, they become concerned about sin, righteousness and judgement.
In Psalm 14:2-3 we are given a divinely inspired picture of the whole human race as God sees them, in their own natural, fallen condition, apart from the influence of God’s grace and the working of God’s Spirit. The psalmist here says:
The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, no, not one.
Notice what the psalmist here says about man’s natural condition. It is not merely that there is none who does good. Man’s spiritual depravity goes much deeper than that. There is none who understands, none who seeks God. Even the understanding of spiritual things and the desire to know God are totally absent. Until God through His Holy Spirit reaches down to man, man, left to himself, never reaches out to God or seeks after God.
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1).
Apart from the quickening influence of the Holy Spirit, man’s spiritual condition is one of death. He is dead to God and to spiritual realities. Sin, righteousness and judgement have no meaning or reality for him. This does not mean that man in this condition is necessarily without religion. On the contrary, religion may play a great part in his life. But religion apart from the moving of the Holy Spirit can be the most deadening of all influences, lulling man into a false sense of security and into callousness and indifference concerning those vital spiritual issues upon which the destiny of his soul depends.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for saving me from my spiritual condition
of death, and making me alive through Your Holy Spirit, who is also
the Spirit of life ... Please make me alive fully, by constantly walking
in the plans that You intended for me. Amen.