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As I step out of the system called religion, and into Abba, I am constantly left high on the pure air of his spirit. He whispers, “Love!”

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The way of this free life of grace through Christ is summed up nicely in Galatians chapter five. If our lives look more like the fruit of the spirit and less like the selfish works of the flesh, we have understood all we need to know. God will continue His work in us to grow that good fruit and keep it pest free!

 

Galatians 5 ~ The Message Bible

The Life of Freedom 

Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.

I am emphatic about this. The moment any one of you submits to circumcision or any other rule-keeping system, at that same moment Christ’s hard-won gift of freedom is squandered. I repeat my warning: The person who accepts the ways of circumcision trades all the advantages of the free life in Christ for the obligations of the slave life of the law.

I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.

You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. 10 Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment.

11 As for the rumor that I continue to preach the ways of circumcision (as I did in those pre-Damascus Road days), that is absurd. Why would I still be persecuted, then? If I were preaching that old message, no one would be offended if I mentioned the Cross now and then–it would be so watered-down it wouldn’t matter one way or the other. 12 Why don’t these agitators, obsessive as they are about circumcision, go all the way and castrate themselves!

13 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. 14 For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. 15 If you bite and ravage each other, watch out–in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

16 My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. 17 For there is a root of [law born] self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. 18 Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

19 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; 20 trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; 21 the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.

22 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard–things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, 23 not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. 24 Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good–crucified.

25 Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. 26 That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

 

Do you see it? The contrasting of the works of the flesh, which comes from law-born living, and the grace-born fruit of the spirit?

 

When God said He would pour out His spirit upon all flesh, and we see it happen on Pentecost in the book of Acts, what happened? Who received the Holy Spirit? How do we know?

Well, those in the upper room received the Holy Spirit. They not only had those tongues of fire over their heads, but they spoke in tongues, so that the foreigners outside heard them glorifying God in their own languages.

This was not all flesh or all men, but just those believers who were gathered together that day. And then some three thousand souls were added to the church that day.

One would assume that those souls also received the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues, since that was the way it happened, from the testimony of the rest of the book of Acts.

So, all flesh would seem to indicate not the whole world, but just those who believed.

To those who received Him, He gave them the power to be sons of God. All are not sons. Only those who receive Him. Paul says as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. He also says because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

See what kind of love the Father has given us, that we should be called the sons of God: the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Clearly, all flesh are not the sons of God.

In the Old Testament, the spirit of God only came to someone for a reason, and then it left. When Jesus came, He had the spirit without limit. It was a new thing. After this, on Pentecost, God poured out His spirit on all (manner of) flesh. Men and women, and perhaps young people.

Again, a new thing. A Peter declared it was the fulfillment of prophecy.

People, everyone in the world does not have the spirit of God in them. Only those who believe. I know many teach that everyone has the spirit. But it is not so. It is really new age thinking.

Furthermore, Paul says if someone does not have the spirt of Christ, he not His. If the spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you, he shall make your mortal body alive. The key word is “if”. Now, the the spirit of Christ is the same as the Holy Spirit and the spirit of God. These just are different ways to express it.

Therefore, it follows that if you don’t believe, you don’t have the Holy Spirit. All flesh does not mean all people, but many people. People who believe.

To say that all people on the planet have Christ, or the spirit of Christ, in them, is not what the scripture teaches. It is more new age thinking that has crept into the church.

I just read the following:

“You heard me right…  Jesus ISN’T physically coming back… not next year, not the year after that, nor in the   lifetimes of our great, great grandchildren (or even for their grandchildren).  What IS coming is the Spring, the Summer, the Autumn, and the Winter…  No one gets out of here (physically) alive.  Not you, not me, not our furry little pets, not the sparrow, nor the hawk, nor the deer, nor your children…

That’s the whole point of the HUMAN EXPERIENCE… We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.  And part of that experience IS silently slipping through that hospital room’s ceiling tiles at the end of our time here.  Trying to make that go away with men’s words or crazy interpretations of an ancient vision someone had for his local fellow bond servants – will simply not get that job done, no more than talking to a tree will ensure the leaves don’t turn yellow and brown in September.  It is a fantasy we have blindly bought into, and it will NOT stop the winter – that is surely coming for each and every one of us.

And guess what else?  It is not something we should be afraid of, for the eternal part of us, who we really are – returns to God from whence we all came. (Ecclesiastes 12:7) ”

This is the big lie that is being fed to a lot of people. Especially young people. Now, it can make you feel good, in an everything is OK kind of way. And everything is OK. In fact, it’s better than OK. But not because we are a spirit having a human experience (that is not supported anywhere in the scripture, and the scripture is, after all what points us to Jesus in the first place – so we should pay attention to it, and read it correctly.)

We are not going to die and return to God who made us. Our spirit (translated from the word for “breath, air”) goes out and ‘returns’. We die. Our bodies dissolve, so to speak. Gone. But we have the promise and hope of a resurrection. Jesus was the first. We will follow when He calls us up. It is a mystery, but it is the great hope of the church. It is for preaching it that the apostle Paul was persecuted.

Resurrection is not a separate and secret snatching away, called the rapture. The whole rapture scenario is not supported in scripture any more than our spirits are the eternal part of us that returns to God. This is new age bunk. Pagan religions are based on the lie of immortal souls and eternal spirits. But the God of the Bible says otherwise. Harder to believe than just floating off in bliss? Yes. But as of now, Christ is the only one who has immortality. God is the only sentient spirit. We should leave it that way.

At its core, this belief, that we are spirits having a human experience, smacks of Gnosticism (physical bad, spirit good) as well as the influence of classical Greek thinking that basically said the spirit and the physical were separate, and the spirit was a higher plane of existence.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Pierre_Teilhard_de_Chardin

This is all easy to research. Including the biblical view of man as a whole being. It started in Genesis. God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul. We are living souls, and have a spirit. The spirit is what animates the body and makes us living souls. Not the reverse.

Further, the usage of soul and spirit in the scripture is rather fluid. It’s not as clear cut as some would have us to think. The terms overlap in many places. Personally, I will stick with the foundation already given to us in probably the purest form of any ancient writings.

I just read this on the blog of a well know grace teacher. And my jaw dropped. What in the world? New age hogwash!

 

Henri Nouwen – On Soul & Spirit

You are a spiritual being. You are a spirit, you possess a soul and live in a body.
Spirit Twins – Imagine this scene if you will.

Two babies are in uterus confined to the wall of their mother’s womb, and they are having a conversation. For the sake of clarity we’ll call these twins Soul and Spirit.

Spirit says to Soul, “I know you are going to find this difficult to accept, but I truly believe there is life after birth.”

Soul responds, “Don’t be ridiculous. Look around you. This is all there is. Why must you always be thinking about something beyond this reality? Accept your lot in life. Make yourself comfortable and forget about all this life-after-birth nonsense.”

Spirit quiets down for a while, but her inner voice won’t allow her to remain silent any longer. “Soul, now don’t get mad, but I have something else to say. I also believe that there is a Mother.”

“A Mother!” Soul guffaws. “How can you be so absurd? You’ve never seen a Mother. Why can’t you accept that this is all there is? The idea of a Mother is crazy. You are here alone with me. This is your reality. Now grab hold of that cord. Go into your corner and stop being so silly. Trust me, there is no Mother.”

Spirit reluctantly stops her conversation with Soul, but her restlessness soon gets the better of her. “Soul,” she implores, “please listen without rejecting
my idea. Somehow I think that those constant pressures we both feel, those movements that make us so uncomfortable at times, that continual repositioning and all of that closing in that seems to be taking place as we keep growing, is getting us ready for a place of glowing light, and we will experience it very soon.”

“Now I know you are absolutely insane,” replies Soul. “All you’ve ever known is darkness. You’ve never seen the light. How can you even contemplate such an idea? Those movements and pressures you feel are your reality. You are a distinct separate being. This is your journey and you’re on your own. Darkness and pressures and a closed-in feeling are what life is all about. You’ll have to fight it as long as you live. Now grab your cord and please stay still.

Spirit relaxes for a while, but finally she can contain herself no longer. “Soul, I have only one more thing to say, and then I’ll never bother you again.”

“Go ahead,” Soul responds impatiently.

“I believe all of these pressures and all of this discomfort is not only going to bring us to a new celestial light, but when we experience it, we are going to meet Mother face-to-face and know an ecstasy that is beyond anything we have ever experienced up until now.”

“You really are crazy, Spirit. Now I’m truly convinced of it.”

Here is where a lot of grace people get tripped up – we’ve all heard this:

“Are you a rapist, murderer, fornicator, thief or a liar? Then you need the Old Testament Law to control you, to keep you in check”. (Based on 1 Tim 1:9-10).
They will say that if you have the Holy Spirit you walk in grace – you don’t need a system of rules. And this is true. But then they look at the works/acts of the flesh and start judging by the law, saying that anyone doing those things is sinning unless or until they stop doing whatever it is.

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, 21 envyings, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

In both passages, Paul is talking about the same thing – the works/acts of the flesh. The man who is not Christ’s and does not have the Holy Spirit is doing the works of the flesh. The works of the flesh are characterized by selfishness and doing harm. This is key. Love does not hurt and is not selfish.

Can we sometimes do hurtful things? Yes. We are human. But we are not doing works/acts of the flesh. We cannot. We are walking by the spirit. We don’t move back and forth between spirit and flesh depending on what we do. If we could, Jesus would have died in vain. We are in the kingdom and we are not doing the works/acts of the flesh. Try interchanging “works” and “fruit” as a way of seeing this.

Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lust [merely means desire – not something immoral] of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, that you may not do the things that you desire. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

He then goes on to say this:

5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let’s also walk by the Spirit.

We know that Paul plainly states that those who are in Christ walk in the light and the spirit. So, one doesn’t suddenly leave Christ when he commits one of the acts listed as works/acts of the flesh. Why?

I propose that we confuse the works of the flesh with sin, meaning when we see someone doing fleshly things, we see them as sinning. But it is not so. Sin is known by the law – the very law that was meant for those who were not good or right – the law that was the guide to lead them (and specifically the Jews) to Christ.

Well, guess what? Christ came. He fulfilled the law. The law was done away. We only know sin by the law. No knowledge of law, no knowledge of sin. The scriptures say we are dead to the law and dead to sin. We have no knowledge or relation to either, like a dead man. The law has no authority over the dead.

In fact, the law was only for the Jews anyway. Without the law, every person since Adam has conscience, and either uses it to try and do the right things, or ignores it and acts selfishly.

What governs our behavior now, in Christ? The scripture says that grace teaches us godliness. Grace is best defined as the divine influence of God in our hearts. The aspects of grace look a lot like the fruit of the spirit that is produced in our lives. We don’t obey the law to be good. We are good (righteous) because of Christ. Our goodness is His goodness.

So, when we see someone who seems to be still doing the works/acts of the flesh, we have to stop and see that person as one who is free from the law and condemnation. There is none to accuse. Like Jesus, we cannot accuse or condemn. (But don’t confuse civil law with the law of Moses. If any violate a civil law, they will pay its penalty.)

Jesus did away with the Jewish law, took away the sins of the world, and that system is over. Jesus paid the penalty of the Jewish law. He also paid the penalty of death that came on all men through Adam. It is finished. Ungodliness is to continue in the law, and grace teaches us to leave the ungodliness of the law.

Our “morality” is produced by grace. Grace does not prompt any to hurt, or to act selfishly. Love does not act selfishly nor does it hurt. Love is the chief thing. It is fruit of the spirit, and will endure.

If we can’t walk in love, without condemnation (law brings condemnation), we are not operating in grace nor listening to the Holy Spirit. This is what Paul means when he says trying to finish by law means we have fallen from grace. The mindsets that conclude in sin are not coming from grace.

This is a follow up to the preceding post. They belong together, as they are commonly misunderstood together.


Galatians 5 (Amplified Version)

In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].

[Who is free? Those in Christ. ~ my note]

Notice, it is I, Paul, who tells you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no profit (advantage, avail) to you [for if you distrust Him, you can gain nothing from Him].

I once more protest and testify to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation and bound to practice the whole of the Law and its ordinances.

[The one who puts himself, or anyone else, under obligation of the law, likewise is bound to practice the whole Law and it’s ordinances. ~ my note]

If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing).

[Fallen from the benefits of grace, but still Christ’s. ~ my note]

For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope.

For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.

[In other words, we are in Christ.  ~ my note]

You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth?

This [evil] persuasion is not from Him Who called you [Who invited you to freedom in Christ].

A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church].

[Who was unsettling them? It was the Judaizers – law keepers. If any are putting law on others, they are law-keepers too ~ my note.]

[For my part] I have confidence [toward you] in the Lord that you will take no contrary view of the matter but will come to think with me. But he who is unsettling you, whoever he is, will have to bear the penalty.

But, brethren, if I still preach circumcision [as some accuse me of doing, as necessary to salvation], why am I still suffering persecution? In that case the cross has ceased to be a stumbling block and is made meaningless (done away).

I wish those who unsettle and confuse you would [go all the way and] cut themselves off!

For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another.

For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.

But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).

[Walking by the Spirit applies to those who are in Christ. ~ my note]

For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.

But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.

Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

[Who? Those who are not led by the Spirit but who are subject to Law.

Believers do fleshly things, but grace teaches them godly things. They are righteous and the “sins” that they commit are not imputed to them. ~ my note]

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].

And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.

If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]

Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.

[Paul is talking about how the world lives, which is not in Christ and not free, but is in bondage to the flesh. He is not saying that members of the body of Christ could or are doing things that would or could keep them from the kingdom!

He is actually talking about selfishness versus serving one another.

We are dead to the law, and therefore to sin.

This passage cannot legitimately be used to put any under condemnation or say they are not saved. It’s not about actions proving anything. It’s about what the flesh selfishly does and how in Christ we are walking in the spirit and are not controlled by the flesh.

 Again, we believers do fleshly things, but they are not counted against us.

 Further, fleshy things are not bad. Things are neutral, and all are lawful. But all are not expedient.  Why? Some things we do are abusive and harmful to others and that is not profitable or expedient, nor is that godliness.

Love is not selfish!

~ my note]

Religion and sacrifice, worship and service, seem to get confused.

We are in the spirit, and walk in the light, so when we worship it is in spirit and in truth, as Jesus said it would be. Out of our relationship to Him come our “acts” of worship.

We are the worshipers that the Father seeks.

Out of our worship come our expressions of true religion, such as seeing to the fatherless and widows, and keeping ourselves from the influence of the world’s ways (which just may only mean the ways of the law/Jewish system – and by extension pagan rites/ways – but necessarily worldly culture/technology, etc.)

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

This is an exhortation from James not to let the world’s religious ideas influence our spiritual walk, not as a command to be pure and/or to please God.

God is pleased with Jesus and He is pleased with us.

It is not a moral choice. It is living in the kingdom way, and comes from grace. Christ lives it through us and we live it in Him. It is the divine dance – perichoresis (peri-circle resis-dance). This term was used by the early church to describe the Trinity; we are part of it in Christ.

The agnostics of apostolic times said that flesh was evil – Paul countered this by saying we are good and acceptable to God in our flesh – for we are redeemed. The Jews were only used to offering dead animals on the altar, to be burnt up – Paul countered this by saying that there are no more acceptable animal offerings. Jesus’ offering was once and for all. We then live through faith in the Son of God.

Because God’s ways are not like the religious world’s ways, and because He loves and favors us, we are lined up with His program.

Paul says it is reasonable to be workers with Him, to learn His ways, to get a right mind in this, and to prove/show what His will is here on earth.

His work is supernatural and when we are joined with Him, we become His point of contact with the world, bringing His grace for salvation and healing.

This is important, because we frustrate grace when we try to do anything “for” God, thinking we are being “spiritual”, or becoming “more spiritual”. We are to walk in the faith that all we do is in Him and for Him. This is reasonable.

If we seriously think we can ever surrender our ALL to God, we don’t understand why Jesus died!

The NASB says: Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

J. P. Green’s Literal Translation says: 12:1 Therefore, brothers, I call on you through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.

The Greek actually says that he (Paul) invites them to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is their logical service.

The word, spiritual, is not in the text!

The NASB (and a few others) get that from the word for service, which can mean ritual service in the temple. I know, it’s a stretch, but that’s what you come up with when you don’t recognize what worshiping in spirit and truth means.

These things matter. A bad translation can mess us up. It can have us running around, thinking we are worshiping God by offering ourselves as a living sacrifice, when this is not true at all.

We are already acceptable, and our worship is in spirit and truth, not in any sort of sacrifice.

No more sacrifice remains. Even alluding to presenting ourselves as a sacrifice is repugnant. It treads on the work of Jesus. Pure religion is not sacrifice, according to God. It is service to others. Get with His program.

The King James Version says we are new creatures in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. The Greek word translated “creature” is ktisis.

Ktisis – the act of founding, establishing, building etc

  1. the act of creating, creation
  2. creation i.e. thing created
    1. of individual things, beings, a creature, a creation 1b
  3. anything created 1b
  4. after a rabbinical usage (by which a man converted from idolatry to Judaism was called) 1b
  5. the sum or aggregate of things created
  6. institution, ordinance

(J.P. Green’s Literal Translation) 2 Cor. 5:17 So that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!

The sense of the Greek work is not a living “creature” but something new that is made, a new thing, as a new building; or someone converted from idolatry. And most certainly, the Jewish believers were converted from law-keeping. More strikingly, the Gentiles were converted from idolatry.

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision has any strength nor uncircumcision, but a new creation/ktisis. (Green’s)

Now, what is the new thing that God did? Was it not to make one man of two, meaning Jew and Gentile are now heirs together of the kingdom? Could this new creation mean we are a new building? We are its lively stones.

When we believe, we become a part of something bigger than ourselves. This is the biblical viewpoint.

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. He is in us, we are in Him, He is in God, and God is abiding with us, in a temple made without hands. Jesus established something new. That fits the sense of the Greek word. It also fits the way the scripture views us.

Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Understanding the new creature/creation as a larger entity, yet composed of individuals, we can put that aside and look at what regeneration means. I’m not speaking of “the regeneration” which refers to living in the resurrection. That is a different word entirely.

The word translated “born again” is what I’m looking at here. Fathered or begotten from above, anew. What is it that is begotten? Is it not the person? There is no mention of one’s spirit being reborn, or that the soul must be saved in this life, and body will be reborn or saved in the resurrection, as some are teaching.

Salvation happens once, like sanctification happens once. Not has, is, and will be happening. Passages of scripture that seem to say otherwise must be read in context.

The scripture also says man believes with his heart, and talks about being pure in heart, and loving God with all the heart, and so on. So, we are more than three parts, but at least four. Come on. This whole dividing up man into parts is nuts. And the whole is truly greater than the sum of the parts!

This does not mean we are not made new by the spirit of God. What it means is we need to drop the outside influences on what God has said about us. Check it out.

The popular term, “spirit man”, does not appear in the New Testament!

Nowhere does the scripture say only a man’s spirit is reborn. This is a foreign idea that is being forced to fit where it does not fit. Pagan concepts are trying to wear biblical clothing. Christians are teaching it, and many are listening to it, never questioning. It’s called spiritualism in some parts of this word.

What scripture does say is that we are begotten from above.

How does that happen? 1Corinthians 15:44b-45 There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening (life-giving) spirit.

This passage does not mean that only the spirit is begotten. If that were true, then Jesus would have been a spirit, according to this verse, and would not have had a human body. See where this “man is a spirit but has a soul and lives in a body” thinking takes you?

Some are telling us that only our spirits are now perfect and are “seated” with Christ – but the scripture does not say that. Stop dividing up who we are!

The scripture ways we are saved. We. Not just the spirit. We. We are regenerated from above. We renew our minds. We put on off the old man and put on the new. We are filled with the Holy Spirit. We have received the spirit of adoption.

We will sleep and be the dead in Christ that rise first, unless we are alive when He comes. We will be raised with incorruptible bodies. In an instant, we will be changed. It’s a mystery. Maybe it can’t be explained or understood. Maybe we are to just believe it.

We are now spiritual, rather than natural, because we have the spirit of Christ.

We now understand spiritual things, which the natural man cannot understand. We are alive to the things of the spirit.

Nowhere does the scripture say a person’s spirit was dead, and gets reborn at salvation.

It’s rather that a person’s understanding is enlightened. (Eph 1:18) The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

To all who teach the tri-part man doctrine, and to all who have heard it and believed it, go back and start over. You will have lost nothing by looking at this, and have much to gain from a better understanding.

Many high profile teachers have changed their minds about things, after having preached and taught them for years, and having written books. They have then changed their teaching, written new books, and made new videos. Let God be true.

 

 

Man is a living soul. This is the basis of who and what man is. It starts in Genesis.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

1Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  

The idea that the real man is a spirit is not Biblical.

Man is not described as even having a spirit in the beginning. It is pagan. It’s the Greek idea that the natural world is lower than the spiritual and that the two really aren’t connected.

In fact, the prevailing idea behind man being a spirit also generally implies that the physical or natural realm is less real than the spiritual or unseen realm. This is nothing but dualism in Christian disguise. (Dualism is classical thought that has crept into the western view of scripture. But both the old and new testaments are written with an eastern/Judeo viewpoint. They saw the natural and spiritual as a whole, not separated.)

From far too many evangelical pulpits we hear that man is a spirit, has a soul, and lives in a body. In many parts of the world, that is called spiritualism. Voodoo. The basis of ghoulish tales.

If man is a spirit, where does the spirit come from? Some religions believe in a spirit body that lives in a natural body and even looks like that body – or the reverse – the body looks like the spirit. Spirit is described with words that mean air and breath, because it can’t be seen.

I propose that man has a spirit and is a living soul – quite the opposite of the popular notion being preached!

Heaven forbid.  Some religions say our spirits pre-exist with God. And that they are rational, sentient beings which never die. Really? Never die? When Jesus only has immortality? That is not biblical.

1Timothy 5:14b…..until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

God is a spirit. By definition, He isn’t immortal because He never was mortal. He is eternal. John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. This may come as a surprise, since we usually hear that only God has immortality. But it is Jesus to whom this refers. And it is by belief in Jesus that we inherit eternal life.

Paul says this: Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

So it is reasonable to conclude that eternal life is what provides immortality. First to Jesus, and then to us in the resurrection (for clearly our present bodies will see decay).

Please see that it is us who receive eternal life. It is us who will put on immortality. It is us who will have incorruptible bodies. No mention about our spirits. Peter says this: 1Peter 1:23 Being born again (having been regenerated – from the Greek) not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

But didn’t Paul say we are body, soul, and spirit?  (Young’s Literal Translation)1Thessalonians 5:23 …and the God of the peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved unblameably in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ;

This passage does not imply separate parts, but merely is a way of describing the whole, and was a common way of expressing things in Paul’s day. Man is, as described elsewhere in scripture, a living soul. He isn’t a spirit that has a soul and lives in a body. That idea is not scriptural.

The words for soul and spirit are used almost interchangeably. That makes a good word search. Very interesting.

Hebrews 4:12 for the reckoning of God is living, and working, and sharp above every two-edged sword, and piercing unto the dividing asunder both of soul and spirit, of joints also and marrow, and a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart;(Young’s Literal Translation).

God knows the thoughts and intents of the heart.

That is hidden from us; we can’t know it. The distinction of soul and spirit is not clear in scripture. It takes God to know what is in the heart. This passage is not ground for saying the spirit is an entity. It is in no way even implied.

We need to stop listening to fables contrived by man. They lead us into some very strange and ungodly places.

Another passage that is usually referred to for saying man is a spirit is this: 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Some versions actually say “species” instead of creature. But that is not true to the sense or to the Greek!

Ktisis is the Greek word, and here is the meaning, from Thayer and Smith:

Ktisis – the act of founding, establishing, building etc

  1. the act of creating, creation
  2. creation i.e. thing created
    1. of individual things, beings, a creature, a creation 1b
  3. anything created 1b
  4. after a rabbinical usage (by which a man converted from idolatry to Judaism was called) 1b
  5. the sum or aggregate of things created
  6. institution, ordinance

How someone concludes that this means man’s spirit is born again, but not the rest of him, is beyond me. We know that our bodies will be changed.

We are now converted and are a new “creation”.

Nothing like us has ever been known before. We are re-generated by incorruptible seed and heirs of eternal life. Once again, the fables of man have been placed over the scripture to try and make it support that which is not true.

Let’s start saying what God says, and not what man says.

 

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