Paul contrasts two different kinds of people here. We should try to work out whether he is thinking about Christians or other people too.
The first kind of person has life that comes from this world (2:14). He is not allowing Godís Holy Spirit to teach him in the manner that Paul described in 1 Corinthians 2:13. Instead, this person follows the opinions and attitudes that he has learned from this world. As we saw in 1 Corinthians 2:12, those opinions and attitudes really come from the devil. So the things that the Holy Spirit wants to teach seem foolish to this person.
The second kind of person has life that comes from the Holy Spirit (2:15). God teaches this person by means of the Holy Spirit. So, this person can understand what God is doing (2:9-10). And this person even does things by the power of the Holy Spirit that other people cannot understand. That is possible because the Holy Spirit guides this person (John 3:8; Acts 1:8).
It is clear that the second type of person must be a Christian. Only a genuine Christian has been born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-7). Only a genuine Christian learns from the Holy Spirit (2:9-12).
Most people, therefore, belong to the first group. And so do many genuine Christians, as Paul will explain in 1 Corinthians 3:1. God wants to do wonderful things in their lives, by his Holy Spirit. But they will not let him. They are still living in a natural way. They still care too much about their lives in this world. And that is why so often they are unaware of Godís work in their lives.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.