But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: or they are foolishness unto him. 1 Cor. 2:14.
The Gospel of God creates a sense of need of the Gospel. Paul says—“If our gospel be hid, it is hid”—to those who are blackguards? No, “to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” The majority of people have their morality well within their own grasp, they have no sense of need of the gospel. It is God Who creates the need of which no human being is conscious until He manifests Himself. Jesus said —“Ask, and it shall be given unto you,” but God cannot give until a man asks. It is not that He withholds, but that that is the way He has constituted things on the basis of Redemption. By means of our asking, God gets processes into work whereby He creates the thing that is not in existence until we do ask. The inner reality of Redemption is that it creates all the time. As the Redemption creates the life of God in us, so it creates the things belonging to that life. Nothing can satisfy the need but that which created the need. This is the meaning of Redemption—it creates and it satisfies.
“I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” We preach our own experiences and people are interested, but no sense of need is awakened. If Jesus Christ is lifted up, the Spirit of God will create a conscious need of Him. Behind the preaching of the Gospel is the creative Redemption of God at work in the souls of men. It is never personal testimony that saves men. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”