October 4, 2012

Romans 8:5-17
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.g And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.


Being spiritual is not how mystical, religious or how much you know about God. It is living out in the earth the relationship you have with God in heaven. It is His kingdom come and His will being done in these earthen vessels as it is in heaven through the power of the love and relationship we have with Him. It is when we have lost our identity in His and our desire is only to express Him.
We know that through the Word we are a three-part being, a trichotomy of body, soul and spirit. Before Adam’s fall, he lived out of his spirit where he lived in relationship and communion with God. In the center of that garden was the tree of life. That tree of life we know today as Christ Jesus. As we abide in Him, living in spiritual communion and relationship with Him we are partaking of the Tree if Life, we are living both into and out of Christ. In that place we live out of the direction of the Holy Spirit as we are identified with the new creation man, which is a spiritual man abiding in that original state of communion and relationship with God.
The soul speaks to our mind, will and emotion and our spirit is in the deepest part of our soul. If our soul makes the decision to live independent and self-sufficient of the spirit that has been quickened and made alive in Christ, then we are in effect partaking of that other tree in the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Romans 8 is making the distinction here about which identity we are living out of. The soul woman in us, apart from and unsubmitted to the spirit husband, that is subject to Christ in us, is the sinful nature. It is the soul expressing itself apart from subjection to the Spirit which now abides in our spirit.
The body becomes the vehicle and the instrument of expression to whichever is guiding and ruling it. It has its own cravings and appetites, but these are under the control of the soul, and the soul either is or is not under the control of the spirit. The spirit in us is our connection to the spiritual realm. It is what is made in the likeness of God who is Spirit (John 4:24).
The sinful nature is the soul out of God’s Spirit control. Its ways are death and without the Life that can be imparted into it through our spirit, that is given and submitted to God, it will die.
The Spirit of Christ in us is life. A life that is yielded, receptive and submitted to His Spirit will receive His life into its being. The soul then finds its identity no longer in self -expression, living to it own desires, but it reckons itself dead, nailed to the Cross of Christ. As the soul experiences this death and burial, it also experiences His like resurrection, being quickened and made alive by the Spirit of God. No longer to live in its former identity, subject to the law of sin and death, but made alive in Christ, its new identity, that is might live out of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. It is no longer subject to its own or old ways, it is now only subject to Christ. Through the power of that Life, the old life of sin and death is swallowed up in Life through Christ Jesus, that came to abide in us, as we abide in Him. We begin living out of that Tree of Life, which He is, and our soul begins to be like a garden transformed from the one that was overgrown and inhabited by weeds to one that is daily weeded, tended and cared for by the spirit, the renewed Adam in us. We are led by His Spirit as by that same Spirit we put to death the weeds or the former deeds of the flesh. We no longer live in the terror or fear of judgement, but we cry, “Abba, Father” because now that we are led by the Spirit of God in the identity with Christ, we are the sons of God, because we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. If we are willing lose out former self and walk in the same way of suffering that He walked then we also will share in His glory.
A spiritual life then is a life that lives out of the Vine of Christ to whom it is intimately and intricately interwoven into. They are two lives made one. Our identity is now to be the expression, both through the soul and the body of Him who indwells our spirit. We are spiritual because we live by the Spirit and our obligation is no longer to that former state of the soul, but only in obedience and reliance on Him who is our Life. We are now His expression, living for His glory and not our own.


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