Spirituality is the absolute condition of a believer who living the Christian life by the power, ability, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The always indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6.19) fills the believer “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5.18). Other Scripture says "walk by the Holy Spirit" (Galatians 5.16), “led by the Spirit” (Galatians 5.18), “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5.25), and “you who are spiritual” (Galatians 6.1).
- There are at least three lines of evidence that demonstrate that spirituality has this meaning and does not mean spirituality maturity.
- The word spiritual (pneumatiko~, pneumatikos) is an adjective and means pertaining to the spirit or derived from the spirit or having to do with the spirit. The spirit in context may be the Holy Spirit, the human spirit, immaterial, and related to God who is spirit. The context determines the use. In passages where it refers to a believer living the Christian life, it means that the believer is empowered, controlled, and living by means of the Holy Spirit—he is spiritual (1 Corinthians 3.1-3; Galatians 5.15 and 6.1)
- The context of Galatians 5-6 shows that spirituality is equated with one who walks by means of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 6.16 commands believers to “walk by the Spirit”—clearly by means of the Holy Spirit—in order live the Christian life. Galatians 5.18 says “led by the Spirit.” Galatians 5.25 says “walk by the Spirit” which means to live lined up with the Spirit. Paul then addresses these people, in Galatians 6.1, and calls them spiritual people—people empowered and led by the Holy Spirit.
- The context of 1 Corinthians 3 indicates that a believer is either spiritual or carnal. Paul wants them to be spiritual, not carnal (sarkiko~, sarkikos, 3.3). Though new believers begin fleshly (sarkino~, sarkinos, 3.1), they become will carnal by rejecting biblical truth and choosing to sin, “walking like mere men,” (3.3). A carnal believer is living apart from the Word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit—he is living like an unbeliever, the Adam kind of person, not the Christ kind of person. He is carrying out the desire of the flesh (Galatians 5.16), walking in darkness (1 John 1.6), grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4.30), and quenching the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5.19).
- How do we move from carnal to spiritual? 1 John 1 compared with Galatians 3.1-5, Galatians 5.5, 13-26, and 1 Corinthians 3.1-3 gives us the answer. A believer is spiritual when he is in fellowship with God by confession of known sin and depending upon (faith) the Holy Spirit to empower and control him
- One test to know if you are spiritual or carnal is to experience the fruit of the Spirit in your life at a point of time (Galatians 5.22-23)
- Spirituality, then, emphasizes the believer's functional relationship with the Holy Spirit enabling him to live the Christian way of life. The Scripture that speaks of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life speak about activity—living the Christian life.
Friday, March 9, 2001