Let’s read 1st Corinthians 2:9-12: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has REVEALED THEM TO US THROUGH HIS SPIRIT. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of man except the spirit of man which is in him? Even so NO ONE KNOWS THE THINGS OF GOD EXCEPT THE SPIRIT OF GOD. Now WE HAVE RECEIVED, not the spirit of the world, but THE SPIRIT who is from God, THAT WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN FREELY GIVEN TO US BY GOD” (NKJV).

It is crystal-clear from these verses that in order to “understand the Bible” one must “receive the Holy Spirit.” In verse 14 (which you referred to) we learn that “the natural man DOES NOT RECEIVE THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD, for they are foolishness to him; NOR CAN HE KNOW THEM, because they are spiritually discerned.” We do well to ask, “Who is the NATURAL MAN?” The natural man is the person who has only had a NATURAL BIRTH; in other words, one who has been born into this world but has never experienced a SPIRITUAL BIRTH. In John 3:3 Jesus told a man named Nicodemus, “Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” And then in verses 5-6 He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is BORN OF THE FLESH is flesh, and that which is BORN OF THE SPIRIT is spirit.” The “natural man” has been “born of the flesh,” but not the Spirit and thus he CANNOT SEE OR ENTER THE KINGDOM and he CANNOT NOT RECEIVE THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD.”

What we are really seeing in these passages is that one MUST BE BORN AGAIN or the Bible will be a “closed book” to him/her. I often hear people say, “I have tried reading the Bible but it doesn’t make any sense to me.” I often reply, “It won’t make any sense to you until you have the Divine Teacher living in you.” Of course they will usually ask me, “What do you mean by that?” I will then quote the passages we’ve already read to show them that when a person is BORN OF THE SPIRIT they then RECEIVE THE SPIRIT and that He will then REVEAL TO THEM the truth of God. Listen to what Jesus told His disciples: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, HE WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS…. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH” (John 14:26 & 16:13). The Apostle John later spoke of the Holy Spirit as the Divine Teacher: “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things….But THE ANOINTING WHICH YOU HAVE RECEIVED from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as THE SAME ANOINTING TEACHES YOU CONCERNING ALL THINGS…” (1st John 2:20 & 27). Here the Holy Spirit is spoken of as the “anointing” (see 2nd Corinthians 1:21-22) who gives the believer the capacity to “know all things,” for He “teaches you concerning all things.”

In closing, we need to ask one more vital question. When is a person born again, resulting in receiving the Holy Spirit? The answer is in Ephesians 1:13, “In Him (Jesus Christ) you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, HAVING BELIEVED, YOU WERE SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT of promise.” The very moment you “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” as your Savior (see John 3:14-16 and Acts 16:31) you are “born of the Spirit” and the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you and He becomes your Divine Teacher. Has my reader believed on the Lord Jesus Christ?  (440.1)  (DO)