(NIV) The man without the Spirit 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.
(NASB) But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
According to the Bible anything that comes from the Holy Spirit is foolishness to a lost man (i.e. the man without the Spirit of God). If that be the case, and it IS the case, how can a natural man, a lost man, a man without the Holy Spirit, choose to "accept" Christ? It is foolishness to him. No man, including you & me, will accept anything that is foolishness. I believe the whole man-made global warming issue is foolishness hence I REFUSE to accept it and I use the Bible to support my belief. Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 says there is nothing new under the sun, so if there is climate change going on, it has happened before and will happen again - and will continue to happen until the Lord returns.
According to God's Word, not only are things from the Spirit of God foolishness to a lost man, but he can't understand them either. Read it again - he CANNOT understand them. Why? Because they are spiritually discerned and anything that has to be spiritually discerned can't be discerned by a man who has a dead spirit - and EVERY lost man has a dead spirit (Ephesians 2:1, 2:5; Colossians 2:13), he is conceived in his mother's womb with a dead spirit.
Bottom line - a man will NOT accept ANYTHING he thinks is foolish. And anything a man doesn't accept, he can't love. A man MUST have the Holy Spirit before he can be convicted and reproved by the Holy Spirit. This verse contradicts no other Scripture so please don't say "You can't pick one verse out of context and use it to support your belief." This verse is not taken out of context. Read it with the preceding 8 verses (vv6-13):
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden [from them, the lost] and that God destined for our [the Elect] glory before time began [When? For US before time began. NOT everyone, but only the Elect]. None of the rulers of this age understood it [nor were they ABLE to understand for it was hidden from them by God], for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him"— but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. [No eye, no ear, no mind means NO ONE! BUT!! He HAS revealed it to US, not everyone, but US. And He used the Holy Spirit to do the revealing, the Holy Spirit Who is in US, He who is NOT in a lost person. And as a result of Him being in US, we love Him.]
The Spirit [in us, the Elect] searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God [Who is in us, the Elect]. We [we, the Elect] have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we [we, the Elect] may understand what God has freely given us [we, the Elect]. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit 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.
The man without the Holy Spirit, a lost man, CANNOT understand. There is no exception.
All through those verses please pay attention to the pronouns. There are distinctive groups - us, we, our; they (rulers), them. The point is, us and we does NOT mean us and we humans, but us and we Christians, the Elect of God, those chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4).
And I've even got something to add now that the Holy Spirit didn't show me before... The last phrase of verse 12 - that we may understand what God has freely given us. It's weighing even heavier on my mind the more I think about it. That we MAY know the things freely given to us, the KJV uses "MIGHT" instead of MAY. Obviously there will be those of us that DON'T know the things freely given to us. It seems some can't get past the idea that God freely gave it to us, WITHOUT our first accepting it, WITHOUT our first making an effort to receive it, WITHOUT our first believing it. But the Truth is there for those who have a heart that perceives, eyes to see and ears to hear. Pray that God would give you a heart that perceives, eyes to see and ears to hear (Deuteronomy 29:4). That is my prayer for you.
For the Glory of Jesus Christ.