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God is Light (10) Your Righteousness as the Light, and Your Judgment as the Noonday
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쏞ommit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. (Psalm 37:5-6) ...
       
 
  
 

God is Light (2) Things of the Flesh and Things of the Spirit

Manmin News   No. 713
761
March 13, 2022


쏤or those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:5-6)


The term 쁳hings of the flesh refers to individual elements of the untruth which are not manifested outwardly but have potential to be revealed in action, and 쁳he things of the Spirit refers to everything that is done through the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Just as 1 John 1:5 says, God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all. To the extent that we cast away more of darkness and enter deeper into Light, we can receive God셲 love and blessings. In order to enter into Light, we need to check our thoughts above all. It is because if we set our mind on the flesh, we may commit sin and eventually reach death (Romans 8:7).

So, let셲 now delve into how to cast away fleshly thoughts and gain eternal life and peace by having spiritual thoughts.


1. Discern Between Things of the Flesh and Things of the Spirit

Romans 8:5 reads, 쏤or those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 쁔he things of the flesh refer to one셲 sinful natures combined with the physical body.

After Adam셲 transgression, all his descendants inherited his sinful natures and were born with sin, which is called 쁮riginal sin. There is also 쁲elf-committed sin, which is the kind of sins that people commit themselves through the influence and instigation of Satan while living in this world. Such sins cause the truth to leak out from one셲 body, and when the body is combined with sinful attributes that come through Satan, they are 쁣lesh.

Concerning 쁣lesh, Apostle Paul said in Romans 7:18-25, 쏤or I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh쪰 find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. As he said, if we do not serve the law of God but serve the law of sin with our flesh, it means we do not keep the law of God, and the result is to fall into the eternal death in hell.

Next, 쁳he things of the flesh refer to individual elements of the untruth which do not come out outwardly but have potential to be revealed in action. That is, it encompasses all dirty things that lie hidden in the heart such as hatred, falsehood, adultery, and arrogance. People of the world do not regard such internal attributes of sins hidden in hearts as sins.

But God looks at men셲 inner hearts. Even if they do not commit sin in action, if they have sinful attributes in their hearts, God considers them as having sins. Suppose one is full of hatred in heart, but he pretends not to have hatred. Then, he is committing sin of hypocrisy as well as that of hatred. They are serious sins before God.

When 쁳he things of the flesh come out in specific and evident actions, we call such actions 쁶orks of the flesh, or 쁡eeds of the flesh. Galatians 5:19-21 states, 쏯ow the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

쁔he flesh in the Bible refers to all things that are rotten, changeable, corrupt, filthy, and dirty. The body, the flesh, and everything that you see are flesh. If one has the things of the flesh and the deeds of the flesh, it means that he abides in darkness. Then, he cannot but be under the control of the enemy devil and Satan that have the authority over darkness. Unless he comes out of darkness and enters into Light, he cannot help staying under the authority of death. Then, he may encounter difficulties in his business and workplace, he may be sick, or meet with trials.

What, then, is spirit? 쁓pirit is something unchangeable, eternal, clean, and perfect, and it is the truth and life itself. So, spirit belongs to God. When the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts, He gives birth to spirit in us (John 3:6) and we can bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit one by one (Galatians 5:22-23). Thus, the fruits of the Spirit are measuring criteria to assess how much we have cultivated our hearts into spirit.

Next, the things of the Spirit refer to everything that you do with the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. Doing good before God like prayer, evangelism, charitable work, good deeds, and volunteer works is all included in the things of the Spirit. Thus, as you bear more of the Holy Spirit's fruits, you will think more of the things of the Spirit and eventually reach eternal life and peace.

Whether a person follows the flesh or the Spirit, it can be discerned through deeds. Say someone slaps on your right cheek for no reason. If you follow the Spirit, you may turn your left cheek for him thinking of the love of the Lord셲 crucifixion. You may pray for those who persecute and hate you. You may not feel sad nor disheartened. You may always rejoice and give thanks in God셲 will. Furthermore, if you can love even your enemies in the Lord셲 love, you will receive God셲 love and blessing and bear the fruit of Light which consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:9).


2. Differences between People with Fleshly Thoughts and with Spiritual Thoughts

1) When they believe and meet God

God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). But in order to reach salvation you need to open your heart first, accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, and enter within the boundaries of salvation that God has set. Moreover, if you want to experience God셲 answers, you must follow the Spirit and keep the Word of God all the time.

But those who follow the flesh do not keep the Word of God since they seek their own benefits. And as they befriend darkness without keeping the Word, they cannot come under God셲 protection. That is why they often fall into trials and afflictions or meet with difficulties or accidents.

Meanwhile, those who follow the Spirit worship in spirit and truth to meet God during worship services. As they want to obey the Word of God, He can protect them. Their souls will prosper, everything will go well with them, and they will enjoy good health.

2) When they have diseases

People think that diseases are usually caused by germs or viruses or their rough use of their bodies. They naturally rely on hospitals or medicine. But those with spiritual thoughts do not think of the worldly means. They want to find answers in the Word of God.

Exodus 15:26 says, 쏛nd He said, 쁈f you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.쇺 As implied, diseases are caused by sin. Thus, if you have a disease, you need to look back upon yourselves, repent of your sins, and turn back from them.

Of course, there are other causes in addition to sin such as overeating, uncontrolled use of the body, or neurological or mental causes, or the enemy devil and Satan may bring diseases to some people. But the underlying cause of all these is also not to keep the Word of God. Therefore, in order to be healed, you must find things that you did against the Word of God and repent of them. Thereby, you can destroy the wall of sin against God.

King Hezekiah is a representative example who was healed of his disease by relying on God (2 Kings 20:1-7). He became mortally ill, but he did not lose heart nor use human methods. He just prayed to God earnestly. Then, God healed him of his disease within three days and added 15 years to his life span.

However, King Asa in 2 Chronicles 16 was different. He became diseased in his feet due to his sin, yet he did not seek God even in his disease but the physicians. He ended up in death due to the disease. These cases clearly show that spiritual thoughts result in life and peace and fleshly thoughts in death.

3) When they plan and supervise something

Managers in businesses may care most about profits. They may seek their own benefits with greed and extend their business. They may even borrow money and invest the money, but some of them eventually fall into bankruptcy and fail. Of course, some people may succeed as much as they tried, but things often turn into nothing because humans cannot predict even a few steps ahead.

On the contrary, those followers of the Spirit do everything for the glory of God. Whatever they may eat, drink and do, it is all for God셲 glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). Rather than thinking of immediate gains, they think of whether what they do is right in the truth or whether they seek others benefits. They do not make a decision on their own thoughts or speculations, but they seek the will of God through prayer (Proverbs 16:3). When you hear the Holy Spirit셲 voice and are guided by Him through prayer, you can do everything without mistakes and be led to prosperity all the time.

Therefore, children of God who is Light should pray fervently, destroy fleshly thoughts and act according to the Word of God. When you abide in Light this way, you can hear what the Holy Spirit says to you clearly and walk in His guidance as well. Moreover, when you do the works of God, as the works belong to the things of the Spirit, you first need to demolish fleshly thoughts and receive the grace and strength of God and the Spirit셲 help.


3. How to Receive God셲 Strength and the Holy Spirit셲 Help

Romans 8:7-8 says the mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God. To the extent that you have such fleshly thoughts, you will be more hostile towards God and cannot accept His Word. Moreover, you cannot illuminate your heart with the Light and cannot push yourself going to Light either. Then, you cannot please God. Let셲 now look into how we can receive God셲 strength and the Holy Spirit셲 help.

First, we must pray fervently. As Jesus achieved the work of God by prayer, we also need to be guided by the Spirit through prayer. We should realize what sins, righteousness, and judgment are, let the Spirit give birth to spirit in our hearts, and follow spiritual thoughts.

Secondly, we must act upon the Word of God immediately after we gain realization from the Word. The faith without work is dead, so in order to pursue the will of God you need to show faith accompanied by deeds and please God. Then, you can receive the strength of God and the help of the Holy Spirit.

Thirdly, we must receive strength from above through the work of repentance. Fleshly thoughts are hostile towards God, so you need to make peace with Him by repenting of such thoughts and demolishing the wall of sins against Him. Then, you can have peace in heart and the Holy Spirit will burn your sinful natures. And you will be given strength to follow the things of the Spirit.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, James 1:17 says, 쏣very good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. I hope you will be able to discern between the things of the flesh and the things of the Spirit, cast off the things of the flesh, always think of the things of the Spirit and abide in Light.

Children of the Light will receive blessing when they come in and go out, they will not borrow but lend, and they will become the head, not the tail. They will receive whatever they ask, seek, and knock on. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will come out from darkness quickly, enter into Light, completely abide in Light, and thereby enjoy prosperity in your life.


 

 

 
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