“But these, like irrational animals, having been born as creatures of instinct” (2 Peter 2:12a Berean Literal Bible)
King James Translation says
as natural brute beasts
The King James Version translated the Greek “alogos” as “brute.” It’s a word that means “destitute of reason.” These are people who can’t reason rationally. They can reason, but they reason in the way an animal reasons. Animals aren’t stupid. Humans operating on this brute-beast level can be brilliant, but they have some limitations.
The King James Version translated “natural” from the Greek “phusikos.” It means “produced by nature, inborn, agreeable to nature, and governed by instincts of nature.” Natural isn’t bad as God shows us with the same word through the following passage:
“Because of this, God gave up them to passions of dishonor. For even their females changed the natural use into that contrary to nature. And likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed in their desire toward one another, males with males, working out shame and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting of their error.” (Romans 1:26-27 Berean Literal Bible)
Here we have the same word “phusikos” to tell us about the natural order as opposed to an unnatural order. God shows us that natural is good since He created the natural order and the spiritual order. However, the thinkers Jude mentions are also unreasoning.
“But these indeed speak evil of whatever things they have not seen; and whatever things they understand naturally, as the irrational animals, in these things they corrupt themselves. . . . These are those causing divisions, worldly-minded, not having the Spirit.” (Jude 1:10 & 19 Berean Literal Bible)
In verse 10, the King James Translation says:
“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts.”
Here we have the same words we saw in 2 Peter, what they know naturally, as brute beasts. They speak evil of whatever they can’t sense with their natural senses or whatever they don’t know by their instincts. Naturalists speak evil of whatever they can’t sense with their natural senses or whatever they don’t know by their instincts.
In verse 19, the King James Translation says:
“sensual, having not the Spirit.”
“Psuchikos,” the word that’s translated as “natural” or “sensual” indicates what humans have in common with animals, following their senses, appetites, and passions.
“The natural [governed by natural senses] man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 Berean Literal Bible)
Here, we again see the person governed by natural senses can’t accept spiritual truth, thinking it’s foolishness and not understanding it. God also mentions that these people don’t have spiritual discernment.
We can understand another facet of this mind as we look into this passage in Daniel that refers to King Nebuchadnezzar:
“Let his mind be changed from that of a man, and let him be given the mind of an animal” (Daniel 4:16a International Standard Version)
King Nebuchadnezzar couldn’t decide whether to serve his many gods, his own mind, or the Almighty Creator God. So, God let him know that his mind could quickly degrade to the level of animals. As a result, King Nebuchadnezzar spent seven years eating grass like an ox. Though the human mind can’t reason rationally without God’s presence, it is superior to the animal mind. The human mind can do things animals can’t. It can read, write, record experimental results, and do math, but it still can’t reason rationally. We’ll explore what keeps it from reasoning rationally. We’ll see why it can’t reason from a true premise before we finish this journey.
“because the mind of the flesh is hostility toward God; for it is not subject to the Law of God, for not even can it be.” (Romans 8:7 Berean Literal Bible)
This Scripture again speaks of the fleshly mind. It won’t obey God’s Law, nor can it. King James Version translated this same word as “carnal mind.” The Greek word is “sarx.” Again, this mind interprets sense data to make decisions. This animal nature craves and incites sin. To understand this word better, we’ll look at three more passages where it appears.
“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” (Romans 7:14 King James Version)
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. . . . For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1 & 3 King James Version)
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4 King James Version)
As the natural, sarx, carnal mind depends on natural senses, the spiritual mind depends on spiritual senses. The sarx mind craves and incites sin. It can’t do righteousness. It’s deceitful and desperately wicked. In Romans 7:14, Paul says he’s carnal/sarx, sold under sin. When was he sold as a slave to sin? Adam obeyed Satan rather than God, and he became a slave of Satan through obedience. God’s natural order is obedience to God, not Satan, so Adam distorted the natural order. He passed on this sinfulness to his descendants including Paul, and his descendants all followed their distorted instincts into sin and death.
We can see this distortion in our own lives. When we sin, we know it’s wrong. And yet, we either step into it willingly or slip into it unwittingly. In either case, it has its effect. If we continue in sin, it changes our natural inclinations. We would naturally desire God, but this sarx mind confuses God’s natural order and draws us away from God. All distortions of God’s orders cause pain, but it may be that distortions of sex, anger, and fear cause the most misery and bondage. God is correcting disorders of the Church and the home in anyone who will hear His voice, but the confusion is great among those who harden themselves against Him. Once we confuse God’s orders, God can deliver us, but the way back becomes difficult.
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