Monday, March 28, 2011

Spiritual and Spirit-Filled (Part Four)

God desires and intends that all those who have been born of His Spirit would then go on to live spiritual and Spirit-filled lives. But according to my observation (and I'm pretty sure most of you would agree) it appears that very few Christians live the kind of life they were saved to live. The apostle Paul said, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). How many of us can say this with a good conscience or even have a good understanding of what this really means? To the saints at Corinth Paul wrote, "And I, brothers, was not able to speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to fleshy, as to infants in Christ" (I Cor. 3:1). Although they had been sanctified in Christ Jesus and were called saints (I Cor. 1:2), they were not living spiritual and Spirit-filled lives. How about us? First John 2:6 says, "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked." Are we walking as Jesus walked? What kind of walk did He have? John 8:28-29 says that He did nothing from Himself and that He always did the things that were pleasing to His Father. Is it possible for us to live such a life? The word of God commands that we do.

I write these things with no intention to bring condemnation, but with the hope of spiritual conviction that would lead to a spiritual and Spirit-filled life. So how can we live this kind of life?

First, we must see that we are tripartite (I Thes. 5:23). This means that God made us with three distinct parts: a body, a soul, and a spirit.

Second, it is crucial that we understand the condition of each part as children of God.

1. The body is called the body of sin and the body of death (Rom. 6:6, 7:24). Sin dwells in our mortal bodies (Rom. 6:12; 7:17). Nothing good dwells in this body of flesh (Rom. 7:18). It is in need of redemption (Rom. 8:23), and will one day be transfigured to be conformed to the body of God's glory (Phil. 3:21).

2. The soul is the psychological part in which we think, choose, have and express emotion and moods, get offended, criticize, judge, etc. It also has been damaged by sin and therefore needs to be renewed and sanctified and fully transformed from one degree of glory to another by the Spirit of the Lord (Rom. 12:2; I Thes. 5:23; II Cor. 3:18). It is called the old man which was crucified with Christ when He died on the cross (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20).

3. The spirit is that which God created in us so that we could not only have fellowship with Him, but even become one with Him (I Cor. 6:17). It is a lamp to contain the Lord who is light (Proverbs 20:27). At the time of our initial salvation, it was our human spirit that was born of the Spirit of God (John 3:6). It is the place where the Spirit of God gives us the sure testimony that we are His children (Rom. 8:16). It is in this spirit that the only true worship takes place (John 4:23-24).                                                                       

In summary, our spirit is the regenerated dwelling place of God, our soul is the crucified old man in need of daily transformation, and our body is the dwelling place of sin that awaits its redeeming transfiguration.

Third, we must learn how to let the Spirit in our spirit become our dominating part.


I intend to clarify this matter in the forthcoming lessons.

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