by Neil Anderson
THE NATURAL PERSON
Ephesians 2:1, 2
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience
In 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3, Paul distinguishes between three types of people in relation to life in the Spirit: natural persons, spiritual persons and fleshly persons. In the next few days we will examine the critical differences pertaining to spiritual life which exist between these three kinds of individuals.
Ephesians 2:1-3 contains a concise description of the natural person Paul identified in 1 Corinthians 2:14. This person is spiritually dead, separated from God. Living independently from God, the natural person sins as a matter of course.
The natural person has a soul in that he can think, feel and choose. But his mind--and subsequently his emotions and his will--is directed by his flesh which acts completely apart from the God who created him. The natural person may think he is free to choose his behavior. But since he lives in the flesh, he invariably walks according to the flesh and his choices reflect the "deeds of the flesh" listed in Galatians 5:19-21. The natural person's actions, reactions, habits, memories and responses are all governed by the natural world. The natural person will struggle with feelings of inferiority, insecurity, inadequacy, guilt, worry and doubt.
The natural person lives independently of God and His purposes and does not respond to life in harmony with God's plan for him. Living in a stressful age with no spiritual base for coping with life or making positive choices, the natural person is even more subject to physical ailments, such as tension or migraine headaches, nervous stomach, hives, skin rashes, allergies, asthma, some arthritis, spastic colon, heart palpitations, respiratory ailments, etc. Doctors agree that many physical problems are psychosomatic. Possessing peace of mind and the calm assurance of God's presence in our lives positively affects our physical health, since the Spirit gives life to the body (Romans 8:11).
Prayer: Lord, thank You for redeeming me from my former life governed by sin and Satan and giving me peace of mind and calm assurance.
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