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Friday, July 24, 2015

(91) Living life by the spirit


To expand on the lesson Spirit, Soul, Body this will look at what the issues are with the spirit. Take a look at the chart to the right to remind yourself what consists of the spirit and how the spirit makes 1/3 of who we are and how we respond.

To begin with, why do we even have a spirit?  God created us to have a spirit so that we can have a relation with Him for God is spirit.  There is a direct connection between mankind and God.  If we are only flesh and blood we can never understand spiritual things.  We will never be able to experience the glory that He has for us.  He also placed inside us the desire to help others, love others, and connect with others as well without any conditional terms.  This is the highest form of relationships.

What kind of relationship can be built upon the spirit?  We are here for one main reason, to worship Him.  That is why our bodies can dance before Him.  That is why we speak praises and prayers.  This is why we can read about Him and feel things those who do not read can not.  Our worship gives us a foundation that is stronger than any other force in the universe.  The love that God has for us is called agape.  This means it is unconditional.  There is no condemnation under His love.  This is a Godly love that we are supposed to strive for with each other as well.  It is not a sensual love or a love built upon similarities like the other two.  This is the love that Jesus told us to show and the love that Paul writes is the greatest of all things.  When a marriage is built upon the love of God then it has the strongest bond it could.  If there is the love of God in a marriage then the other two loves either become less important because they are fulfilled or they become more enhanced.  This love makes us fight for things.  This love conquers all that comes against us.  This love looks past all the things that has been done wrong to us.  This love turns the cheek.  This love goes the extra mile. This love carries us through the sands of trouble and holds on to us when there seems to be no hope.  This love is patient.  This love is from God, A father's love  A love that never forsakes and forgives all that we have done.

How does the spirit react to the world?  There are two ways it reacts to the world.  One is we know that God will get us through anything.  That is called faith.  The other is we know God wants us not to be bystanders.  He wants us to take action.  This is called conviction.  Both call us to do the right thing.  Both are ensconced with love.  Both are filled with truth.  Both are filled with compassion.  Both are filled with mercy.  This is where what is known as the fruits of the spirit come in.  You will know if someone is filled with the spirit when they show their gentleness, patience, kindness, peace, self-control, and above all love. Those who fail to show these, even though they claim to be Christian, are not living by the spirit.  When they say they are Christian but live more by the soul or body then they do not show the fruits.  This is when the world says they are hypocrites.

How is the world enhanced for the spirit?  President Snow (Hunger Games) said there is only one thing stronger than fear and that is hope.  What a profound statement that rings true.  Fear is what drives the body to the fight or flight instinct.  Fear is what cause our souls to worry and causes stress.  But in the spirit, there is no fear because the spirit in us gives us hope.  We see the light at the end of the tunnel because we have the light inside us.  The spirit also gives us joy.  Happiness is based on your situation but joy comes from something else.  When we have the spirit we feel stronger and healthier.  We see things for what they really are.  We know more about right from wrong.  It gives us dreams.  It gives us purpose.  Yes, the world is enhanced for us but even more importantly those with the spirit enhance the world.  Jesus said we are the salt of the earth.  We are here to build each other up.  We are here to share our hearts.  We are here to use our gifts (whether natural talents or gifts of the spirit) See Spiritual gifts for an overview.

What is the result? This is the most important part about understanding the spirit.  When we live by the spirit the desire to do the right things overwhelm us.  But sometimes the world does not understand what the right thing really is and we look foolish to them.  We should be slow to speak and slow to anger.  We are suppose to walk by faith not driven by our desires of the flesh.  When we do these things we feel worthy.  We feel free from the issues of the world.  When we live by the spirit all the other aspects of our lives take shape.  This gives us a foundation that we can all fall back on.  With the spirit we are complete beings.  We are higher than any other life form and that makes us the most loved of all God's creation.  That is why He gives is chance after chance after chance.

We are human. Having a spirit is part of us and we should not ignore it.  We may have the only light some people will ever see.  We may have the only hope that some will ever hear.  We have the absolute truth that the world needs but will not accept.  We have to share love to the world.  The world only lives by their bodies or their souls.  They do not understand the spirit, so to them our absolute truth becomes relative or to them sometimes irrelevant.  Yet, the world watches us and waits for us to not live by the spirit and then jumps at the first sign of a failure.   And because of that we get blamed for all the hate.  Even though we all fall.  We get blamed for all the division.  Even though we all have issues. So,they kick God out of schools, governments, and lives.

And we wonder why the world is the way it is.


Paul G said...

Hi Tim.
You said, "The love that God has for us is called agape. This means unconditional. There is no condemnation under His love."

Please tell me, why then does He condemn some to hell if He loves them unconditional?

Look brother, even the love of a marriage is conditional and also the love of a father.
I think that the 'agape' stuff has been cocked up by some zealous Christians.

Concerning the spirit.
According to Scriptures, everyone was born with a DEAD spirit from the time of Adam. A dead spirit cannot love or function in any way, therefore Jesus said that a man first must be born again in order to function spiritually.
I think that every human being has a living soul and they can only function in the realm of the soul and not in the Spirit of God.

No Doubt said...

Hey Paul,

I think you misread Tim's comment. Agape means "Totally Committed". This means it is unconditional. God never stops loving us. Condemnation is a result of us not returning that love with a Christ Centered, God Loving, Gospel Trusting Life.

As always, Shalom,

Paul G said...

OK Keith, if 'unconditional' means, without any condition, then it would not depend on whether we return His love or not, He would love us anyway.
Therefore the condemnation depends on whether we return His love or not.
Why would God condemn someone, if God loves them without any condition ?

Obviously, He only loves them on the condition that they love Him, otherwise they will be condemned.
That is called conditional love.
Does He love those in hell ?
I think not !

Tim said...


You two seemed to have said the same thing. Keith said, "Condemnation is a result of us not returning that love ..." You said, "therefore the condemnation depends on whether we return His love or not". That is the same thing.

Sorry, I have not responded here lately.

But to try and answer, the love God has for us is unconditional. The NT was written in Greek. The word for unconditional love is agape, or ἀγαπάω (agapao) in Greek. Here are some scripture references for examples of God's love, using this term. Yes, I know you know these but these show how God loves us no matter what. I did google some of these just to get a quick list.

Romans 5:8 - But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

While we WERE sinners. Jesus died for us. We sinned and yet He still put His life down for us. Many and He knew would reject that but He still did it. It didn't matter what we did that sin was now covered if we accept it.

1 John 4:8 - Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

If God is love, then what kind? This love must be perfect love, one that cannot be categorized in the same way man does because just like when He said "I Am" and it encompasses all, when He says, "He is love" then it must be all love and that cannot be changed by what we do.

Matthew 5:43-48 - “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

How can you love your enemy if it is conditional? An enemy does things wrong to you, a condition that causes hateful feelings. But we're supposed to love them? Why? Because the love of God, which we are supposed to show is higher than conditional love.

Luke 6:27 - “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Same idea as above.

Romans 8:35 - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Nothing can separate us. Nothing that is temporal or conditional can take us away from Him.

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This one I would say is the only condition there is. We must believe.

There are more I can post here but I don't want to over do it.

Phileo (φιλοῦσιν) love is like in Matthew 6:5, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in synagogues and on street corners that they may be seen by others. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward.

They do it on a condition or to show their love outwardly. That is not the love of God.

Oddly enough eros (eρως) is not in the NT. In my opinion, Jesus does not care about sexual love since it has nothing to do with salvation and is only meant for married couples. Although if Song of Solomon was translated into Greek you would see it all over the book.

Anyway, God's love, or Godly love is agape. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Why does He have a place called hell? I don't know if I can answer that. I don't understand how God, who is love, can send anyone to hell, conditional or not. All I know is that God's plan is to reconcile all man and I hope He does.

Is Jesus' sacrifice the most powerful thing? Did His blood wash away all of our sins? YES. Past, present, and future. He died once for all. If we have sin that is greater than His sacrifice, then that makes us, or sin, more powerful than Him. As I said the only one verse I see that is conditional to anything is we have to accept His death and sacrifice.

I hope I didn't stray off course here.

Paul G said...

Yes Tim, but that is the few of Keith and his understanding, and not mine.

Rom. 5:8 is NOT for everybody, it is only for US the elect.
1 John 4:8 is a statement, it does not tell us that God loves everybody, all mankind unconditionally (agape).

You see, If God loves everybody all mankind unconditionally (agape), then God's love has NO meaning and NO power. Love without hate has no meaning or power.
The meaning and the power of God's love is in the election. By that I mean, in the rejection of others.

God loves His children on the condition that they are His children, and He hates the devils children because they are the devils children.
For that reason the Scriptures said, that God loved Jacob and hated Esau (Rom. 9:13).
If God would have an unconditional love (agape), He would not have hated Esau.

So, I think that God has a conditional love, just like we have, after all, He has created us in His image and in His likeness.

Tim said...

If what you said is accurate then our God is not love and then the scripture would be a lie. You cannot reconcile God being love and Him not loving everyone.

Here are a couple of things that I find inaccurate with what you said, and I think we are getting off the topic since this is not what the post was about, but anyway:
1. Who is "us"? You said it was the elect, well a few things here, MOST of the time when the elect is mentioned it is referring to Israel, the word elect though isn't even in this passage, a couple of verses before this explains who the "us" is---He died for the ungodly, for it is rare that someone dies for them yet He did.
2. If God is love then there is no "non-love" in Him.
3. A common misconception is that the opposite of love is hate and vice versa and that is not accurate. The opposite of love is apathy. The opposite of hate is like. So when God says He loves (agape by the way) Jacob but Esau he hated, it is saying this: to hate, regard with ill-will, to detest, abhor,in NT to regard with less affection, love less, esteem less. He did not like Esau or loved him less, He regarded him with ill-will. Yes, He hated him but you have to know what the wreal word means, It does not mean "without love".
4. How can He hate (using the term in your understanding) His own image? He has been angry with us. He has wiped many out. He will judge us but at no time did He stop having love for us.

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