Walking in the Spirit and Not in the Flesh

Science is overrated as a method for studying creation.  This is because science can, at best, explain half of creation: the half that is seen.  It cannot explain the unseen part of creation, and that part is just as vast as the seen part – and far more lasting.  In fact, that which is seen of creation is temporal, but that which is unseen is eternal.  For example, the body without the spirit is dead.  That’s how we know a person is dead: the unseen part is no longer there to animate the seen part.  The body decays but the spirit lives on.  Science is valid and important – just not adequate to explain all of creation.

Creation exists in two dimensions: seen and unseen, physical and spiritual, visible and invisible, flesh and spirit.  An over-reliance on science causes us to ignore the spiritual dimension which is even more important to our well-being.  Just because science has invented for itself telescopes to see things too far for the naked eye and microscopes to see things too small for the naked eye does not mean science is seeing anything other that what can be seen.  An entire realm of creation – in fact, the more permanent part of creation – remains outside the scope of science.  This science-only view of creation is most commonly called naturalism and it dominates the thinking of society at large – even among many of those who call themselves spiritual.  Why is this?

Most sin is committed in secret.  That is, when we humans do wrong we generally try to do it when no one is looking.    However, God sees what humanity does not see, for humanity can see only the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.  Therefore, while the sin might be secret from other people it is not secret from God and therefore it is not secret in the realm that really matters.  That our sin was kept secret from everyone else in the world does not mean that God will not judge it. This is all deemed to be of little importance to the mind set on walking in the flesh.  By disallowing God and the spiritual dimension in which He dwells, such a fleshly mind is free to indulge in whatever pleasures it wants.  But the mind that wants to please God can overcome temptation by walking in the spirit, thinking every thought in the watchful eye of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – Jesus Christ.

The thief has no problem resisting the urge to shoplift when he’s in full view of an armed guard.  If that thief were to walk in the spirit he would see Jesus Christ as the armed guard everywhere he went – and he would become an honest man in the process.

If we believe there is a world of the spirit, why do we still walk in the flesh?  Probably because it’s easier to conform to the way everyone else is thinking.  But this is your fork in the road: walking in the flesh like the mass of humanity will keep you in bondage while walking in the spirit gives you freedom from sin because you never want to disappoint the One who gave His life for you.  Which road will you take?  Which road leads to the better life?  Which road was paved with the blood of Jesus Christ?

For more detail, see this table of Bible verses:  Flesh Versus Spirit
For more context, see this overview.

The purpose of this blog is to provide information about Jesus to those who want to hear about Him without having to join something.

21 Replies to “Walking in the Spirit and Not in the Flesh”

  1. ‘Which road leads to the better life?’
    Maybe, we first live in the flesh, so that we can see later that walking in the Spirit is better. There is no comparison to the free life of the Spirit as you clearly explained above, Mike.

    Beginning with our normal fleshly life, I would say…we all know that time is precious, we must live it every day…Our life is a gift I didn’t appreciate previously the way I do today. Indeed, His life’s sacrifice made me change my mind about this gift. Not only the way Jesus lived, but when it comes down to it, particularly the way He freely died for us, so that we could live by the Spirit (eternally). Though life in the Spirit can not be seen from the outside since it is invisible – because it leaves no trace like a ship sailing the sea at night – it is incredibly more real than touching your own body. Why? Because the body is mortal, Jesus’ Spirit in our hearts is eternal…and some day we’ll be together with Him forever (body, soul, and spirit!).

    And regarding unfulfilled wishes, desires, or pleasures here on earth, I’d point to eternity again. We know that every human being has his own specific mental, physic, and particularly spiritual potential of which we never exploit its maximum but at most 10 percent (I guess the rest is wishful fantasy and belongs to eternity) due to external limitations such as time, weakness of the body, and restrictions imposed by civic duties, and family responsibilities. However, Jesus is the One who will fulfill our every wish and desire, whatever we could imagine since He was the Creator of our whole potential.

    Let us take hold of His hand, so that we may reach it in the end (i.e., the secret Life of the greatest promised wonderland). That’s so much better to stay with Him and see the morning light dawning by His side, or in other words: “…until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pt 1:19). Better than anything!

  2. Exploring the idea of walking in the spirit vs. walking in the flesh further, some additional thoughts came to my mind today.

    As for walking in the spirit, indeed, there will be no ordinary days any more because I know for sure that He brings the unexpected things. And there’s something new about His Love that will catch you by surprise (it’s all about those extra things personally provided by Him).

    What I mean here is in particular the unexpected experience of being transformed from a fleshly-minded person into a spiritual-minded being without doing anything yourself in order to get there. It is the exclusive work of the Holy Spirit to give birth to a new creation in Christ (Jn 3:3-8, 2 Cor 5:17, Gal 6:15).

    I guess that God chose the picture of “birth” to remind us of our own helplessness during that process of being born again. We are like babies who are born when it’s time to experience a completely unknown, new world outside the comfortable womb.
    Another thing fully consistent with the image of a newborn baby is that we too forget everything about our experiences inside the womb as soon as we have learned to survive in the spiritual promised land. We learn to walk by the spirit, and we learn to talk another language which not necessarily needs words that could be heard by anyone. But most of all, we learn to forget, namely our past sins, the sins of others, our past pain, our previous likes and dislikes – and last but not least, we forget the desires of the flesh.

    To illustrate that experience, I’d like to choose a situation taken out of the Bible but described in my own words.

    Imagine Jesus, seeing a crowd following Him, and Jesus finally speaking to the people.
    At first, Jesus announced something that was correspondent to the Ten Commandments, that is, He confirmed that man shall not commit adultery (Mt 5:27). I think there were several listeners who probably bowed their head in shame.
    Though it was nothing new for the Jews, and certainly there were also men who never committed adultery, but maybe they had thought divorce to be an appropriate means to get rid of an unloved wife in order to marry another woman. Of course, those men behaved properly according to the rules of the Mosaic Law. However, Jesus made clear that He was more rigorous than Moses had been before since He forbade them to divorce (Mt 19:6-9). Ouch!
    Yet there was still another group of men who never committed adultery, and who never got divorced – how happy could they be after Jesus’ teaching? I am afraid they were just as unhappy as all the others for Jesus explained,

    “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt 5:28)

    Phew! Except for Jesus there were 100 percent fleshly-minded human beings around. All of them were sinners who needed a savior. They needed the One who stood in front of them. They needed the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit, so that man is – for example – no longer interested in “committing adultery in his heart”.

    However, how come that spiritual-minded persons confronted with the idea of committing adultery can resist without difficulties?
    The main reason lies in the fact that God’s Spirit poured His Love more and more into their hearts, so that their fleshly desires died away completely. To use an illustration, I’d claim that one could confront them with the most beautiful people in the world, even naked, and they would surely stifle a yawn. Also, the longing to touch another beloved person’s “flesh” (body), that is, hugging, kissing, and more, has died away as well (*). Touching others’ “flesh” merely feels like – if you excuse my diction – hugging a wooden statue. 🙂 Not very romantic, is it?

    The spiritual-minded person really knows that “the body is dead because of sin” (Rom 8:10), and that “the flesh is no help at all.” (Jn 6:63) “It is the Spirit who gives life“ (loc. cit.), and those persons live their life in the Spirit knowing a love that is far better than anything else in this world: it is God’s Spirit who loves them spiritually – twenty-four-seven…

    PS
    Well, you know that there’s a way where there’s a will…or in other words: The puzzle of life can be complete when one has found the missing piece 😉 – in Christ’s Spirit. To put it briefly: There’s nothing to compare with the greatness of these feelings that we’re pursuing when we know Christ (or rather, when we are “known by God”, 1 Cor 8:3).

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    (*) The apostle Paul pointed to that fact when he said, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 1 Cor 7:1. But since there were not only spiritual believers, like in Gal 6:1, the seventh chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians has got some more verses 😉

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