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THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST
By T. Austin Sparks
THE LIGHT OF LIFE
NO PLACE FOR THE NATURAL MAN
That means that the natural man cannot come into the light, nor can he come into God's great purpose and be found in that House full of His glory, that vessel through which He is going to manifest that glory to His universe. The natural man cannot come in there: and when we speak about the natural man, we are not just referring to the unsaved man, that is, the man who has never come to the Lord Jesus. We are speaking about the man whom God has reckoned as being put aside altogether.
The Apostle Paul had to speak to Corinthian believers along these lines. They were converted people, saved people, but they were enamoured of this world's wisdom and this world's power; that is, of natural wisdom, knowledge, and the strength that comes by it, and their disposition or inclination was to try to seek to take hold of Divine things and analyze them and investigate them, and probe into them along the lines of natural wisdom and understanding, philosophy, the philosophy and wisdom of this world.
So they were bringing the natural man to bear upon Divine things, and the Apostle wrote to them, and in their own language he said, 'Now the man of soul' (not the unregenerate man, not the man who has never had a transaction with the Lord Jesus on the basis of His atoning work for salvation; no, not that man) 'the man of soul receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them' (I Cor 2:14). The man of the psuche, that is the natural man.
The newest of our sciences is psychology, the science of the soul: and what is psychology? It has to do with the mind of man; it is the science of man's mind; and here is the word now-I am paraphrasing this because this is exactly what it means. Now the science of the mind can never receive the things of the Spirit of God, neither can it know them.
This man is very clever, very intellectual, very highly trained, with all his natural senses brought to a high state of development and acuteness, yet this man is outside when it comes to knowing the things of God: he cannot, he is outside. For the first glimmer of the knowledge of God a miracle has to be wrought, by which blind eyes which never have seen are given sight, and by which light comes as by a flash of revelation, so that it can be said, "Blessed art thou ... for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."
This is stating a tremendous fact. Every bit of real light which is in the direction of that ultimate effulgence, the revealing of the glory of God in us and through us, every bit of it is in Christ Jesus, and can only be had in Him on the basis of the natural man having been altogether put outside, put away, and a new man having been brought into being with a new set of spiritual faculties: so that Nicodemus, the best product of the religious school of his day and of his world, is told, "Except one be born anew (or from above), he cannot see ..." He cannot see.
Well, it resolves itself into this, that to know even the first letters of the Divine alphabet we must be in Christ, and every bit that follows is a matter of learning Christ, knowing what it means to be in Christ.