Three Kinds of People
1 Corinthians 3:1-3; 18-20
1 And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? (NRSV)
The Bible teaches that there are three kinds of people:
1. The first one is ‘natural person’
A natural person means that a person who has not been spiritually born again.
When a baby is born and becomes an adult, a natural person.
The following is an article about a boy who was abandoned by his parents.
In 2002, a naked boy was severely hurt and found by a shepherd in the west of Romania. Probably, he was chasing a cat and hit by a car. The boy seemed to live with the wild dogs for many years. He was a real person, not Mowgli in a cartoon story.
While he was hospitalized and was on TV, his mother recognized and claimed him. When she met him, he could recognize her also and said, “Lina; Mum!” It was one of a few words that he could speak then. It was an amazing moment.
Apparently, he fled from his abusive father after the mother who also had run away for the same reason. Even though she worried about the son, but she could not ask anyone. If her husband found her, he could kill her.
When he was found, his movement was just like an animal because he was lost at the age of 3 and lived among the animal. He was defending his food and growling for another plate before finishing his. He could not speak and did not know anything about the civilized lifestyle, but now he has started learning how to behave and soon to be a decent man.
This story is to show a glimpse of a real natural person. We know when Adam and Eve were separated from God, they became a natural person with no Spiritual discernment but with full of ego which is the source of our evil desires. The definition of ego is ‘the part of the mind which is a sense of personal identity.’
Consequently, a natural person lives and seeks ways to please his/her ego, which makes the person live a self-centered life. Jesus said, “A natural person cannot inherit the Kingdom of God unless spiritually born again because the person’s heart is full of ego instead of the Holy Spirit.” Consequently, he cannot think of God’s grace and doesn’t care about God’s will.
- The second one is ‘spiritual person’
A spiritual person is a born-again Christian who believes and has received Jesus as the Lord and Savior into his heart.
a. Immature Christian
Today’s scripture talks about spiritual infants who are still of the flesh. They have stronger desires of the natural person than the Holy Spirit, even though they welcomed the Lord into their hearts. They could not give up the worldly life. They live in jealousy. They quarrel each other to take more of the earthly things and to show a stronger ego against each other.
Their lifestyle is not much different than the natural person in the beginning. They easily forget that they are born-again Christians, and show old behaviors which they used to practice before. The Bible describes that they have an unhealthy interest in controversies and don’t want to give up the worldly way of lifestyle and thinking.
Consequently, they are often in envy, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people unnecessarily. These are immature behavior.
We may have to admit that we all have some evil tendency like these. However, the born-again Christian is trying to overcome those old desires and habits in Christ. Some are willingly working hard, while others are not as much.
b. Mature Christian
They have firm faith in the salvation and the eternal life and led by the Holy Spirit.
Romans chapter 8 describes it clearly. Anyone who lives according to the flesh has their minds set on the worldly desires which lead them to death because it cannot please God and does not belong to God.
However, those who have Christ in their hearts and follow and obey the desires of the Holy Spirit will have the reward of the life and peace in the world and Heaven. Verse 11 clearly emphasizes, “If the Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is living in us, He will also give life to our perishable body because the Holy Spirit lives in us.” This is amazing assurance that God has given to us.
Lena Maria from Sweden is a famous Christian Gospel singer.
She was born in 1968 without arms and with only one healthy leg. With this much severe handicap, she won two gold medals from many competitions, including the Paralympic Game 1998 in Seoul, Korea. She is also famous as a Mouth and Foot Painting artist.
After studying music from the Royal College of Music in Sweden, she became a famous Christian Gospel singer. Media praises her beautiful voice as ‘a voice from Heaven.’ That made her perform in over 70 countries. On top of her many talents and fame, her testimony gives greater hope and encouragement to those who are suffering and struggling.
Lena Maria believes that God makes no mistakes on her disability because she believes that God makes no mistakes on her disability, and that is a part of God’s special plan for her life. She said she could realize that God has created and loved her and gives her much comfort, strength, and joy. That’s why she never complained about her disability.
She said, “When everything is taken away, only Jesus – the solid rock – stays. The assurance that God loves me and the people I have around me gives life hope, comfort, and meaning, in spite of all the difficult things we are forced to go through.” *1
She said, “If someone asks me to prove the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I would promptly show to the person my weak body and my lips which praise Him every day.”
Lena Maria’s statement of faith shows the Holy Spirit led life.
Now, what kind of life would you live? We have a choice of living like a natural person, living like an immature Christian, or a life led by the Holy Spirit. If so, we can have a powerful life as Lena Maria in this world and forever in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (NASB)
Would we be willing to give our body and life to follow the Holy Spirit and praise the Lord? Amen.