Does your Spirit Possess the Proper Spirit ?
In 1968, Kenny Rogers was with a group called The First Edition, and they recorded a song called “I Just Dropped In, To See What Condition My Condition Was In”. And that became the chorus of the song.. “To see what condition my condition was in”.
I suppose maybe you’d call that, a play-on-words, and the reason that I mention this, to introduce the subject of today’s lesson. You might think that this is a play-on-words, but it isn’t. Our subject is.. What is the spirit, of your spirit? Does your spirit, possess the proper spirit, in order to please God, and to do His will, and ultimately, to be saved eternally? This isn’t a play-on-words, but rather, it’s something that’s truly important for us to understand.
What we need to understand, is that the bible uses the word “spirit”, in two different ways. And I’m using it in two different ways in my question; Does your spirit, possess the proper spirit?
Here’s the first way that the bible uses the word “spirit”. The word “spirit” is used to refer to a living being. For example, Jesus said in John 4:24; “God is spirit..” In other words, God is a spirit. He is a spiritual being, 100% spirit. We too are spirits, spiritual beings. However, for the present time, we are also fleshly beings, human beings. But your flesh isn’t who you are. Your spirit is who you are. Do you, as a living spiritual being, possess the proper spirit, so as to please God, and do His will? That’s the question.
The Outer Man, and the Inner Man
Someone made this comment about the nature of man; “We are infinite spiritual beings, having a temporary human experience.”
The apostle Paul speaks of an outer man, and an inner man. He says in 2 Corinthians 4, verse 16; “..though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” Our physical body is getting older and older, and breaking down almost daily. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it. People have tried, but no one has been able to come up with a fountain of youth, for our bodies.
But our spirit is different. Our spirit doesn’t ever have to get “old”, and break down. As a matter of fact, our spirit can grow stronger every day. There actually is, a fountain of youth, for our spirit. And that fountain is called Jesus Christ. Jesus said, in John 4, verse 14; “Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst. But the water that I shall give him, shall become in him, a well of water, springing up into eternal life.”
Jesus Christ is the fountain of youth for our soul. By the grace of God, our spirit has been given the opportunity to grow stronger and stronger, day by day. But that opportunity is given to us only “in Christ”. You’ve got to be “in Christ”! And there’s only one way to be “in Christ”. You must hear the word of God, and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the only Savior. And confessing that faith, you must repent of every sin in your life, and be baptized for the forgiveness of those sins! That’s the only way to be “in Christ”!
Out of Christ, our spirit will wither and die. We will wither and die! But “in Christ” we are made alive, and we are made strong.. Spiritually alive, and spiritually strong. Ephesians 2, verses 4 & 5 says; “But God, being rich in mercy.. for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive, together with Christ; By grace have you been saved.”
But in order for us to get “into Christ”, we must possess the proper spirit within us. And to live in such a way as to remain “in Christ”, we must possess the proper spirit. Colossians 3, verse 17 tells us; “And whatsoever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord, giving thanks to the Father, through Him.” But you simply cannot do that, without possessing the proper spirit.
Think about it.. Are you going to be giving thanks to the Father, in everything that you do, if you possess the spirit of pride and self-sufficiency? Of course you’re not going to give thanks, because your pride tells you that you’ve done it, all on your own! What kind of spirit do you need to have, in order to do all things “in the name of the Lord”?
“In the name of the Lord”, means.. “by the authority of the Lord”. What kind of spirit will you need to possess, in order to bow down to God, and subject yourself to His will, and not your own? What kind of spirit do you have to have? I’ll tell you.. You will have to possess a spirit of submissiveness, and a spirit of respect and reverence toward God. Otherwise, you’re not going to subject yourself to His will. You’re going to do whatever it is that pleases you, not God.
The Spirit of Who We Are
Now, what I’ve just described, is an illustration of the second way, in which the bible uses the word “spirit”. As our spirit (our being) journeys through this “human experience”, we need to cultivate the proper attitude towards God. Our spirit needs to acquire the proper mind-set, so that we can willingly obey God’s word, and do God’s will. There needs to be a certain disposition which motivates and directs everything that we say and do, in our daily lives.
This disposition which motivates us, and this attitude we exhibit, and this mind-set, are what the bible refers to as “spirit”. Do we do things out of the spirit of love and humility, or do we do things out of the spirit of pride and arrogance? Do we possess a spirit of fairness, or a spirit of prejudice? A spirit of justice, or a spirit of injustice?
Your spirit, your attitude, your mind-set, your disposition, they all mean the same thing. To be of one mind, is to be of one spirit. To be of spirit, is to be of one purpose, one disposition. The spirit by which we live our lives, must be the spirit of love, and peace, and compassion, and mercy, and forgiveness; It must be the same spirit, that God possesses, and the spirit that He exhibits, in His dealings with us.
Here’s a few more synonyms for the “spirit” within us, that motivates us.. Our “spirit” is our resolve, it’s our disposition, our substance, our heart, our earnestness, our morale, our character, our vitality, it’s our temperament. It’s the reason behind why we behave the way we behave.
Listen to these verses if you would.. Philippians 2, verse 5; “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ.” Another version says; “Let this attitude be in you..” It’s the very same thing as saying; “Be of the same spirit.” And the spirit being described in that passage of scripture, is the spirit of humility, and of servitude, and of submissiveness, and obedience. That is the spirit that Christ exhibited, when He left His position in heaven, as God, and came to this earth, and became a servant, to die for the sins of mankind.
Let me just read the passage.. Philippians 2:5 thru 8; “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. Who, existing in the form of God, counted not being equal with God, a thing to be grasped (or held onto) but emptied Himself, (He let go of equality with God) taking on the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient, even unto death, yea the death of the cross.”
That was Christ’s mind, that was the spirit that He exhibited. And that is the spirit that our spirit must exhibit.
Listen please to 1 Corinthians 6, verse 17; “But he that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit.” To be “joined unto the Lord” is to be in total agreement with the Lord. In Amos 3, verse 3, the bible posses the question; “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” The answer is.. No, you cannot walk together, unless you are in agreement. And so if we would be “joined to the Lord”, we will be in total agreement with the Lord. We will agree in purpose, in method, in our goal, in our attitude, and in our mind. That is how the one who is joined to the Lord, is “one spirit” with the Lord. Being joined to the Lord, means that you share the same spirit. It means that you exhibit the same spirit that God exhibits.
When you become “joined to the Lord”, the Lord doesn’t come down and live in your body with you. What happens when you become joined to the Lord, is that you come to be of the same disposition, you come to be of the same mind, and you come to be of the same spirit, with the Lord. “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit!”
What is the Lord’s Spirit ?
And exactly what is the spirit of the Lord? Well, the spirit of the Lord, is described at least in part, in Galatians 5:22 & 23, where the bible outlines the “fruits of the spirit”. The “fruits of the spirit” are the “fruits”, of the spirit of God! I’m going to read these two verses, and as I read them, understand that the traits listed, the characteristics listed, are the characteristics, of the spirit of God. And these characteristics, are the “fruits” that we as Christians will bear, if we are being led, by the spirit of God.
And so listen to these characteristics, and again, understand that a Christian’s life will exhibit these characteristics, we will bear these “fruits”, if we truly possess, and are led by, the spirit of God.
“But the fruit of the Spirit, is love, joy, peace. longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control.” That is the very description of the spirit, that God possesses. And when we as Christians, bear, and exhibit these fruits, then we are exhibiting the “fruits, of the spirit of God”.
And these characteristics mentioned here, aren’t “all inclusive”, in other words, there are still more traits that characterize the spirit of God. For example; James 3, verse 17 says; “But the wisdom from above is first pure..” That means that the wisdom of God exists in purity. The word “is” means.. “to exist”. It’s like in Hebrews 11:6 which says; “The one who cometh to God must believe that He is..” You must believe that God indeed exists!
So the wisdom of God exists in purity. And then, the verse says.. God’s wisdom is “peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, (We talked recently about what it means to be easily entreated. It means to be easily taught. Easily persuaded of the truth) full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, and without hypocrisy.” God’s wisdom exists, in the “spirit” of peace, and of gentleness, and of mercy; And in the spirit of willingness to receive the truth, and in the spirit of producing good fruits, and with no variance of spirit, and with no hypocrisy.
Wisdom is Having the Proper Spirit
You know, the subject of wisdom, is really getting into the heart of what I’ve been talking about. Because wisdom has to do with the manner in which we use our resources. And the wisest manner in which to use any resource, is to use it in the proper spirit.
What’s the proper spirit, in which to use our money? How about using money in the spirit of generosity, and mercy towards others, and even in the spirit of self-control? And how about using our time, in the spirit of producing good fruits, and in the spirit of longsuffering? And how about using our relationships, in the spirit of love, and kindness, and gentleness? How about using our relationship with God, in the spirit of reverence, and meekness, and humility, and summission?
Here’s a great resource that we all have.. The word of God. What kind of spirit do you think we should exhibit, in our use of the word of God? How about using it in the spirit of thankfulness, and in the spirit of faithfulness and joy, and in the spirit of being easily entreated?
And if we should be in the position of helping someone else understand the word of God; What kind of spirit do you think we should possess and exhibit there? Maybe once again the spirit of humility, and the spirit of love, and the spirit of gentleness, and longsuffering, and peace; And it certainly should be without hypocrisy.
Let the Proper Spirit Lead You
Does your spirit possess and exhibit, the spirit that God wants us to have, in order to serve Him, and to serve others? Romans 8, verse 14 says; “For as many as are led, by the spirit of God, are sons of God.” Are you led in everything that you do, by the spirit of God? All these characteristics that I’ve been reading about, and talking about, like love, and peace, and patience, and meekness, and faithfulness, and kindness, and self-control, are all characteristics of the spirit of God. And when the bible tells us to be “led by the spirit of God”, that’s exactly what it’s talking about. We need to be led, by these very characteristics, because when we are led by these characteristics, then we are being led by spirit of God.
Romans 8, verse 5 says; “For they that are after the flesh, mind the things of the flesh; But they that are after the spirit, the things of the spirit.” And verse 9 says; “But you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if it be that the spirit of God (the characteristics of God) dwells in you. But if any man has not the spirit of Christ.. (do you see how the spirit of God, and the spirit of Christ, are used interchangeably?) ..if any man has not the spirit of Christ, he is none of His.”
Let’s make sure, that we are all, being led by the spirit of God, and not by the spirit of the flesh, because verse 13 says; “For if you live after the flesh (that’s the spirit of the flesh, the desires of the flesh) you must die; But, if by the spirit, you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.”
Let me put that in slightly different words, that might make it a bit clearer. “For if you live after the flesh, you must die (that’s pretty clear in iteself) But, if by exhibiting the characteristics of the spirit of God, you put to death the deeds of the flesh, then you shall live.” The only way that any of us will ever gain eternal life, is to put to death, the desires and deeds of the flesh, through the use of the spirit of God, which we allow to dwell within our very spirit.
Our spirit is who we are, and we need allow ourselves to be led, by the spirit, of who God is. Does your spirit, possess the proper spirit, to be saved eternally? I pray that it does, and that it always will.