Eph. 4:23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.
To quote a powerful man of God, Kenneth E. Hagin, the church as a whole has majored on the minors instead of majoring on the majors. Simply put, we have focused a lot of time and attention on teaching and preaching about things that are really minor issues instead of focusing on what is really important for the believer. One such area is in developing our spirit man. Man has mastered the development of the physical body, and the intellect, but man has done very little in developing the spirit man, which is who we really are. We are a spirit, we don’t have a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body.
The more we as believers in Christ can develop our spirit man, the easier it will become to hear from God all that He desires to reveal to us. This is seen very clearly in scripture as Paul in writing to the Corinthian church states in 1 Corinthians 2:12 that the Holy Spirit is the one who will reveal to us what we have been freely given by God. In Acts 1:2 we find out that Jesus gives commands to us the body of Christ through the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:16 Paul tells us that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit, not our soul, nor our bodies. If we want to walk in what God has provided for us, and if we want to receive the direction Christ has for our life, it will come through our spirit by the Holy Spirit. This is why it is so important to develop our spirit man.
The development of our spirit will help us to be aware of who we really are and help us to clearly know and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. This is how we are going to become mature as a believer. A mature believer is one who is governed by their spirit man, not their soul, and not their bodies. We are a three part being and each part has a voice. The voice of our body is what we feel in our bodies. The voice of our minds is reasoning. The voice of our spirit is our conscience. The more we can become aware of and develop our spirit man we will begin to clearly hear the voice of our spirit, our conscience. One of the most important keys to developing our spirit man is to become spirit conscious. As you will see we tend to be more soul or body conscience then we are spirit conscience.
In Ephesians 4 beginning in verse 17 Paul begins to talk about not living like those who don’t know God. Those who are not born again walk devoid of the truths of God for they are spiritually discerned. Most believers don’t realize that even though they may know scripture they are primarily filled with head knowledge, not revelation in their hearts of the Word of God. Knowing scripture is good, but not if that never becomes revelation to your heart. Knowledge by itself puffs up. One way you know someone is just walking in head knowledge of the Word and not heart revelation is revealed when they hear someone preach on scripture they have already heard and they don’t really pay attention to what is preached for they will say they already know all about that scripture. But revelation of the Word will never get boring, hearing the same truths again and again.
Gal. 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
A key to finding out if you are more spirit conscience than soul or body conscience is revealed by what we are referring to when speaking of ourselves in the first person. Are we referring to our soul, body, or our spirit man? When you read the epistles you will see time and again the disciples when referring to themselves in the first person are referring to their spirit man, who they are, not their soul or body. Here is a great example in Galatians chapter two. Take a look at every reference Paul gives in using the term “I” and notice what he is referring to.
When he states, “I have been crucified with Christ”, he is not referring to his soul or body, but his old spirit man. He goes on to say, “it is no longer I who live”, again referring to the old spirit man that died when he got born again. Notice he then states, “the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God”. The “I” again is referring to his spirit man, which is now the new man within. He even distinguishes the difference between “I” and the body he lived in by calling that his “flesh”. You see Paul had developed his spirit man to be the dominant part of his three-part being. This is how Paul could go through the type of persecution he went through and call it “light afflictions”, because Paul was more spirit conscious then soul or body conscious.
For example the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 2:24 that by the stripes of Jesus we were healed. Our fallen spirit man once regenerated and then made new became perfect as Hebrews states. We have been recreated in the image and likeness of God. We are one spirit with the Lord. Think about that for a minute. Jesus has no sickness or disease and you are one spirit with Him. You can declare yourself healed because you are a spirit and your spirit has no sickness or disease in it. The body you live in came from the dust of the ground and Adam was given authority over all the earth. He did relinquish that authority to satan, but Jesus got that authority back, and you are one spirit with the Lord.
When sickness or disease comes upon your body you are actually not sick. You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body. The body you live in has been attacked with sickness or disease. Because of the authority Christ gave you through the cross you can exercise that authority over your body and over that disease and command it to change. The same anointing (presence of God) which raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, and scripture says if that is so then that same Spirit will give life to your mortal body. The same healing power Jesus healed with is in your spirit man now for the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer. Healing that is needed in your body can come right out of your spirit into your body, but the soul, which is the go-between, must believe that healing power is in you now and can heal your body.
When someone says their sick and they are born again the truth is according to scripture they are not sick. If they were then that would mean there is sickness in their spirit man. Remember you are a spirit not a body. Dr. Hilton Sutton who was one of my spiritual fathers had his body attacked by cancer. He stood in my pulpit when this attack had come and declared that Hilton Sutton did not have cancer. He declared that Hilton Sutton’s body had been attacked by cancer, and that because he knew he had authority over the cancer and over his body that cancer would not stay in his body. One year later he stood in that pulpit of ours again and testified that Hilton Sutton’s body was now cancer free.
When someone who is born again says they are depressed or worried or fearful are they really? What are they actually referring too? The soul, which is made up of our mind, will, and emotions is where such things exist. We have been given a spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind. We have not been given a spirit of fear. There is no fear in your spirit man. Yet when believers say they are fearful or depressed, etc. they are being more soul conscious then they are spirit conscious. Think about how many decisions are made based on anger, fear, frustration, hurt, resentment, etc, which all come from the soul, not your spirit man. How different would our lives be if we were making choices based on our spirit man and not our soul?
For example the love of God, which was shed abroad in our hearts when born again, is the very first fruit of the human spirit. That love is an unconditional love that will treat others the way they want to be treated no matter how others treat them. One reason it is difficult for some to walk in the love of God is because they are more soul or body conscious then they are spirit conscious. When we are spirit conscious and dominated by our spirit man that love will become far more active in our life. So how do we become more spirit conscious?
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Our foundation text is the answer to this question. We must become renewed in the spirit of our mind or in other words our minds must be renewed to the fact that we are a spirit being, not a soul, and not a body. The way we get our minds renewed to this truth is through scripture in the epistles like this one above in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that reveal the true new you. If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation. That is referring to the spirit man being made new. The term for new creation here means something that never existed before, the old is gone the new has come.
You must take scripture that refer to who you are as a spirit being in Christ and meditate on those verses. As you do you will then become more and more spirit conscious. If you do this you will be amazed at how things in scripture will become more real to you. You will begin to see not only yourself differently but you will begin to see others differently as well. You will also begin to notice that when you refer to yourself in the first person you will be talking about your spirit, not your soul, nor your body. Time for a spiritual renewal!
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May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker