holy_spirit_skyThis post continues teaching on the spiritual mind of a born again person in contrast to the natural mind of a person of only natural birth. Being born again is not just a “Bible belt” cliche’ but an actual new birth Jesus said is required for anyone to see the Kingdom of heaven. Peter and John say this new birth is by the incorruptible seed which is the word of God and not the will of man.

For the Church, aka The Body of Christ, this spiritual birth translates a follower of Jesus into a new kingdom as they continue to live in this world. The citizens of this spiritual Kingdom are instructed to “desire spiritual gifts” which are given only to born again sons of God. These gifts are to function today even as in the early Church. One passage of Scripture, 1 Corinthians 12 lists nine of these gifts. (There are over 25) This chapter opens with, “No man speaking by the Spirit of God…” as a reminder that the Holy Spirit now dwells in the sons of God and desires to show Himself through various manifestations. These nine gifts are to function in an orderly manner and when they do will profit all who are present.

It is unfortunate that erroneous teaching and other reasons have robbed the Church of the joy and benefit of spiritual gifts. One reason in particular is failure to follow teaching of NT Scripture that we no longer know one another after the flesh but by the S(s)pirit. (2 Corinthians 5:16) Knowing one another after the flesh produces improper judgment due to one person imposing upon another their self contrived standards of what is proper and acceptable spiritual performance. This Pharisaical attitude dictates perfection must be achieved to receive anything from God. However, the New Testament is explicit in stating that God has accepted us through faith in His Beloved Son and His finished work at Calvary. Our works now are to be powerful not provisional.

Another “fruit” of refusing to know one another after the S(s)pirit is respect of persons (the Bible word is “schisms or divisions”). The end result is pretty much the cliques of High School days. (Jocks, Nerds, Druggies, etc) Therefore when someone “outside” ministers Holy Spirit gifts, it makes the spiritual elitist nervous, a  “sure sign” that it cannot be Jesus speaking. However, in reality it is the spiritually immature and insecure carnal mind of “the judge” which is grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit.

Scripture is much more succinct in stating this principle, “Walk after the S(s)pirit and you will not fulfill the lusts, desires or leading of the flesh.”  The Good News is that Jesus is building His Church and when He returns, the Church will have no spots, blemish or wrinkles! So all that is wrong will be right. Until then, “Don’t keep the faith, share it!”