But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The commonly misunderstood part of this passage is “they are spiritually discerned.” I’ve heard several people explain that “they” refers to the natural man – or the lost person. The root of this confusion is because the meaning of discerned is misunderstood. Some think discerned means “unable to understand” and thus they equate “they” to the natural man – or the natural man is spiritually discerned. The dictionary defines discerned as: distinguished, seen, discovered. With that definition, it is now easy to see that “they” cannot mean the natural man because the natural man is not spiritually discovered. The verse is talking about receiving – or discovering – the things of God. “They are spiritually discerned” means the things of God are spiritually discovered – something the natural man cannot do.