July 8, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
As stated in Monday’s blog – and according to I Corinthians 2:14: “…the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” But this truth is not restricted to unsaved man. Every true Christian has two natures, the old and the new. And the one from which you live out your life determines your perception and reception of God’s truth! Paul describes it thus in Romans 8:5 through 9:
Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the
flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and
peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not sub-
ject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the
flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if
indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Christians cannot understand the things of God is they are living out of their own minds instead of God’s! What do I mean? Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5 and I Corinthians 2:16 (presented in that order): “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus….But we have the mind of Christ.” God offers believers the ability to think – and so live out their lives – through the mind of Jesus Christ! It is called being spiritually minded in our featured scripture.
What is the alternative to being spiritually minded? It is to live out of our own soul! Man, created in the image of God, is a tri-part being – body, soul and spirit. We are born into this world spiritually dead – with a dead human spirit (see Ephesians 2:1). Spiritual death is being separated from God, and separation from God is a result of us being sinners. As it says in Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” So natural (unsaved) man can only live out of his own soul!
The soul is also tripartite: mind, emotions and will. And so people living out of their soul will be driven by:
• their will – “This is what I want!”
• their emotions – “This is what I feel!”
• their mind – “This is what I think!
Do you see the problem here? It is called ‘I trouble‘! And it is the same thing that got Lucifer into trouble when he rebelled and he became the devil:
I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and
I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most
High. (Isaiah 14:13, 14 – American Standard Version).
And living out of our soul has a head start – sometimes by many years – because that is our only capability (our human spirit being dead) before we are given life in our spirit by the Holy Spirit upon our salvation. Only after being born-again by God’s Spirit can we begin to learn to live out of our newly-resurrected human spirit!
Some Christians never learn! You see, it takes discipline to begin to live out of our human spirit resurrected from the dead. It involves doing what we are supposed to do as Christians whether we feel like it or not!
• Read and study the Bible (see Colossians 3:10,16; II Timothy 2:15).
• Spend time in prayer (see Luke 18:1; I Thessalonians 5:17).
• Worship and fellowship regularly with other Christians (see Hebrews 10:24, 25).
• Witness to and make disciples of others for Christ (see Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).
• Give abundantly (see Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:6, 7).
I believe the first discipline listed is the most important. For if we “Let the word of Christ dwell in…[us] richly…” (Colossians 3:16), then we will be challenged and empowered by the Word to make the other things regular disciplines in our lives!
The Old And The New – you have a choice, Christian! But remember, “…to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6).