Life in the Spirit Pt. 3… A Dynamic Relationship
Manley Beasley wrote, “Our churches are filled with people who have walked down aisles and have said intelligently and correctly with their mouths, ‘Yes, I believe. Yes, I am a sinner. Yes, I have sinned.’ They have gone through all of this, but they have never had a genuine experience of repentance and faith that has brought them into a life-changing, living relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. He goes on to say, “You are simply going to have to come to the point of knowing Jesus personally. Until you get that matter settled clearly in your heart, it will be impossible for you to please God by responding to Him in faith.”
The personal dynamic life in the Spirit is so important that we must not try to fake it. That is why Jesus said in John 3:6-7, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ” And because of that there is no spiritual life until there is a new birth by the Spirit of God. Many people in our world and in our churches today, confess their belief in Christ, but possess no inward witness of the Spirit of God and no outward reflection of a transformed life. It is important that we understand the difference between dynamic life in the Spirit and religious life in the flesh if we are going to understand what salvation is all about.
As Beasley states, “the Bible says that God is a Spirit, and the spirit of man is dead in trespasses and sin. As long as this condition continues, there is no possibility of a relationship or fellowship between God and man. This is what the Bible means when it says, ‘The natural person (the person dead in trespasses and sin) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.’” (1 Corinthians 2:14) That person may be thoroughly religious and may have plenty of religious knowledge, including knowledge about Christ that causes him/her to confuse religion with a dynamic relationship in Christ by faith.
So, how do we know the difference? Simply put, we know by the reality of the witness of the Spirit of God in us, and bearing His fruit through us. Paul said in Romans 8:16, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”. The witness of the Spirit within us is itself a gift from God as it confirms our union with God the Father.
Dynamic life is the transformed life… it is not an improved “flesh”, it is a completely transformed person. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) That is life in the Spirit. Do you have it or just lifeless religion?
Thanks to James Oney and Bob Sanders… for the always-excellent job they did while I was away at the Southern Baptist Convention. I am blessed to have several guys that fill in and share God’s Word so well when I am away.
Summer tends to impact our ministries financially… But it shouldn’t. Let’s stay financially strong through these summer months. You’ve done great this year to date… continue your faithful financial obedience so that we keep the work of God going with excellence.
And remember, God is always trying to take you/us someplace new. I love being your Pastor!!!
For God’s Glory Alone,