Part of the 10 Hard Truths about Being Born Againseries.
You’ll get no fuss from me:
Intellectual discussions deserve appropriate exchanges of argument and counter-argument.
All well and good.
The only problem is, sin is not an intellectual problem.
It’s a spiritual problem. A problem the natural man–dead in sin–sees as foolish:
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him…. 1 Corinthians 2:14
What’s at stake here is the rejection of the antidote to sin–the gospel–by the unregenerate. A rejection embedded in ridicule and scorn.
The gospel appears so ridiculous to the unregenerate that he cannot wrap his head around the gospel. He can’t wrap his head around the things of God. Or understand how anyone else could.
It’s utterly foolish to him.
Yet, this is not physical impairment. As if the unregenerate were missing the gospel bone.
This is moral impairment. Impairment caused by the rebellion of the heart and a bondage to sin. This rebellion and bondage is so deep that the mind justifies the rebellion and bondage by seeing the gospel–all spiritual things–as foolish:
And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 1 Corinthians 2:14
But this is not coercion. The unregenerate person CANNOT because he will not. His bent for rebellion and self-aggrandizement forbids him from choosing good.
It’s a real and ferocious bondage. Yet not an innocent bondage. Nor a hopeless bondage. At least not hopeless in the scope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.