Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s Law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the flesh cannot please God.
What does it mean to live according to the flesh (the mind of the flesh) and what does it mean to live according to the Spirit (the mind of the Spirit)?
"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving[Greek word for forgiving, Charis, meaning to have grace upon each other]each other, just as in Christ God forgave[Greek word for forgave, Charis, meaning God has graced us with love, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness]you."
Don't grieve the Holy Spirit.
“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those workers of evil, those mutilators of the flesh! For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.”
So often when people comment on the meaning of a verse, or apply a verse to their lives, they do so without first determining the author’s original meaning of the verse.
Fully Devoted Followers of Jesus or Led by the Spirit of Jesus?
I know it sounds odd, even absurd, for me to make such a statement about believers not being called to be fully devoted followers of Jesus.
In this post, I hope to bring clarity as to why we are not called to be fully devoted followers of Jesus in the new covenant of grace (how we relate to God following the death, burial, resurrec...tion, and ascension of Jesus, in contrast to how a person related to him before each of these).
Here are my thoughts based on what I see in the Bible:
There are many preachers within Christianity teaching people they must be “baptized in the Spirit” or “filled with the Holy Ghost” to be Spirit-filled.
They teach the “baptism in the Spirit” is evidenced by speaking in tongues.
They tell people that unless they speak in tongues, they are not Spirit-filled.
They pressure others to speak in tongues.
They surround people at church services, attempting to have them “pray in tongues”.
They coach people on how to speak in tongues.
They will make you feel inferior because you do not speak in tongues.
Following one of our services, when I was a pastor, a first-time visitor told me,“This church is not a Spirit-filled church.” I replied, “What do you mean by a Spirit-filled church?” She responded, “Well it is dead. No one raises their hands in worship. No one claps. People just stand there...lifeless. The Spirit is not present. It’s just a dead church.”
Many times we hear people saying their church is a “Spirit-filled church”. Churches even market themselves as a “Spirit-filled church.” By this they mean their church has an emotionally moving praise and worship service facilitated by the praise band where “the Spirit is free to move” and where people outwardly worship God in song.
To understand the Spirit-filled life, we must have a proper understanding of law and grace. In the previous chapter, we discovered we are no longer under law, but under grace. This means we no longer relate to God as judge, living in fear of his condemnation and judgment. We now relate to God as our Father, assured of his love, acceptance, and forgiveness. This is the story of the Spirit-filled life.
God Sent The Spirit of Jesus To Live In Us
Galatians 4:4-7 says, “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
"Therefore, if you have any... fellowship of the Spirit..."
In this post, I am continuing to teach through Paul’s letter to the Philippian family of grace.
Remember, Paul’s heart was the family of grace be united together in Christ’s work of grace and united in his love, affection, and compassion for them so they could shine the light of God’s grace into the darkness of the city of Philippi.
To further promote this unity, Paul appealed to the fellowship of the Spirit they enjoyed as individual believers.
Take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The Spirit uses the word of God as his sword to defend us against the
deceptive, dangerous, and destructive lies of Satan. The question is: What is the word of God Paul is referring to in Ephesians 6:17b?
Paul is referring back to Ephesians 1:13 when he said, "In him you
also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation,
and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit..." In the context of Ephesians, the word of God is the word of truth, the
gospel or good news of God's grace about salvation (see my blogs on this website about Ephesians and the good news of God's grace)
Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and
petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers
for all the saints.
What does it mean to pray in the Spirit?
Many teach that to pray in the Spirit means to pray in tongues...or a
heavenly language. There are two problems with this interpretation.
Problem #1: Tongues is not in the context of Paul's letter to the Ephesians.
Problem #2: Not everyone has the gift of tongues (1 Cor 12:30; 13:5). I do not have this gift.