ARE YOU A SPIRITUAL PERSON
By Dan Luehrs
This is a penetrating question that we all must ask ourselves if we care about our growth in Christ. Am I a spiritual person? I would like to think of myself as a spiritual person because it sounds good and right, but just what is a spiritual person? Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.” 1 Cor 3:1 (NASU). What a scolding rebuke from the great apostle. According to Paul a spiritual person is someone who is not carnally minded, that’s one who thinks like the world [fleshly], which is opposite to the ways of God and is an enemy of God. But a spiritual person’s character is matured into the likeness of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul goes on to say what a fleshly person looks like, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 1 Cor 3:2-3 (NASU). Very clearly we can see that a fleshly Christian is immature in their understanding of the deeper things of God and has not matured beyond being jealous of the brethren when they are in conflict with in menial matters.
JESUS HAS CALLED US TO BE A SPIRITUAL PEOPLE
But the time is coming — indeed, it’s here now — when the true worshippers will worship the Father spiritually and truly, for these are the kind of people the Father wants worshipping him. God is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.” John 4:23-24 (CJB)
In Old Testament times people had to travel to Jerusalem three times a year to worship at the temple, but Jesus said that now changes because people will worship Him spiritually wherever they want to, because God is spirit and people will become spiritual like God. Man was dead spiritually unto God because of the fall, but Jesus was about to die and people were going to become spiritually alive unto God and not just be fleshly in nature. As human beings we occupy two realms, first we have a natural body and a spirit man within each and every person needs to be made live through faith in Jesus. Simply put, a true spiritual person looks and acts like Jesus, He is an eternal spirit, spirit is the true reality of all things, it is the substance [backbone] of all natural things. When we receive Jesus into our heart we became alive spiritually, but a person that is immature and still carnal in their thinking needs to be matured through the process of trials and tribulations of seeking and knowing God through the hardships of life.
A Christian cannot mature without the fires of life, fire changes the molecular makeup of everything that is touches. Water turns into a vapor, rock turns into a liquid, wood turns into smoke and dust, and a carnal Christian turns into a spiritual on fire believer into the likeness of Jesus. A spiritual person learns obedience from the things that they suffer, they become better and not bitter.
What does a mature spiritual person look like?
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. Gal 5:22-26 (NLB)
These verses speak loud and clear to us as to what a spiritual person is to be. Every one of these attributes speak of the likeness of Jesus and can be found in one word; LOVE. By love alone we can mature spiritually and become like God when we live by and through the Holy Spirit’s power, Who is our helper and guide on the path of life. We must love God first and foremost by seeking Him and spending more time with Him, then we must love others as ourselves because they are a part of who we are in God. We must learn to love each other as any part of our own body, because that is what we are, the body of God, we are individual pieces of Jesus.
WHAT DOES A CARNAL PERSON LOOK LIKE
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:16-21 (NASU)
We must walk, live by and through the Holy Spirit’s power if we are going to be spiritual people. There is no other way! The only way I know how to become spiritual is by staying filled with the Holy Spirit, and that only comes about by us spending time in His presence and soaking Him into the very nature of who we are becoming like. If you want to become ungodly hang around the ungodly, but if you want to become spiritual hang around spiritual people who love Jesus and will not settle for anything less. I know that might sound foreign to you, but Paul said before we can become spiritual in nature we are spiritually without understanding of spiritual things. The Scriptures tell us that we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. (Eph 1:3) How will we know these blessing unless we become spiritual to see and understand these things? “Now the natural man does not receive the things from the Spirit of God — to him they are nonsense! Moreover, he is unable to grasp them, because they are evaluated through the Spirit” 1 Cor 2:14 (CJB). We are spiritual beings that have a natural body that wants to lead and guide us, but God wants us to become spiritually minded following His Spirit in all things, but the flesh will fight for its own will and way.
So that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom 8:4-8 (NASU)
WHAT A SPIRITUAL BRIDE LOOKS LIKE
"Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. "Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. "For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps." Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. "But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' "Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. "The foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' "But the prudent answered, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' "And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. "Later the other virgins also came, saying, ' Lord, lord, open up for us.' "But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. Matt 25:1-13 (NASU)
A great wedding is awaiting all those who will prepare themselves for it, this will be the biggest event of the ages other than the death and resurrection of Jesus. Mankind was created to have close fellowship with the Father that is on a grander level than a husband and wife’s relationship is. Jesus came to prepare us for this marriage by causing us to see and understand spiritual realities. [Meaning that we are both natural and spiritual and able to live out of both realms at the same time, yet knowing it is from God’s realm we live and move and have our being.] When Jesus died He went back into the spirit realm that He came from through the Father, the Eternal Spirit. He is now able to enter our heart in spirit through the power of the Holy Spirit to change us into His very likeness and glory if we will yield our lives to Him. By the end of our days on the earth we should be like Him in heart and character, which is LOVE. No, we will not be completely sinless in this earthly body because we carry the fleshly nature of death, but when we shed this earthly tent we have a permanent structure made out of His glorious likeness which cannot sin or ever become weak.
As Christians we are all spiritual virgins because we remain unmarried until we have the spiritual consummation that causes us to become one with our Lord fully in His heart and ours. When we are married to Him we will have the full likeness of our glorified Lord and will be entrusted with His power and authority.
Until then, we are in this human body that must remain full of the Holy Spirit to prepare us for the coming day of consummation. Just as God is not going to put food or water in our mouth every day because He expects us to feed ourselves. So He will not fill us with His Spirit unless we ask Him to and we seek Him with all of our heart. The foolish virgins did not stay filled by seeking God daily until it was too late and the door was closed to the wedding. We must become spiritually minded in order for us to be prepared for that coming day.
We must cleanse ourselves from every defilement of uncleanness. “Now in a large house (In ourselves) there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” 2 Tim 2:20-21 (NASU). I want to be prepared for every good work that the Master has for me, being a clean vessel that He can bless many other lives through to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
If we are going to make it through to the end we must have this verse as the moto of our life. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor 4:18 (NASU)
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