Friday, February 15, 2008

Spiritual: Define It

Over the past 12 months, I have heard more people describe themselves as "spiritual" than at any other time in my life. And the interesting part is, that those describing themselves as such do not even claim to be saved--although one did admit to carrying a Bible while traveling (sort of as a good luck charm?).

  • How do we define "spiritual?"
  • Are we aware that there is more than one spirit and more than one kind of spirit?
  • Do we know that it is the Spirit of God that is making us "spiritual?"
  • How do we know?
1 Corinthians 2:12-16 tells us that we, as Christians, have not received the spirit of the world, but rather, the spirit which is of God. 1 John 2:15-17 tells us that the world (the kosmos) and things that are of the world, the people, the earth itself as it presently stands, the system of the world, and the spirit of the world, are all living under the shadow of a death sentence. In light of that knowledge, can we say that simply being "spiritual" is necessarily a good thing?

According to 2 Corinthians 2:12-16, being spiritual is defined as having the mind of Christ and being taught by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God.

1 John 1:1-4 informs us that there is certainly more than one spirit we can be influenced by and instructs us in the only way to tell the difference between the Spirit of God and spirits of the world who counterfeit the spirit of God. 1 John 4:3-4 goes into great detail in identifying the spirit of antichrist, which is the spirit of the world, and verse 4 clearly states that anyone who denies that Jesus Christ is come is not of God.

This verse is not as simplistic as it appears on the surface. Verse 4 is written in the imperfect tense [in Greek], which is synonymous with the perfect tense in English. It is not written in a simple present tense. The imperfect tense indicates ongoing action—permanence.

Because of the tense this verse is written in, it makes very clear the fact that Jesus not only came, but when he arrived, he was already the Christ. This rules out the concept of many Christs in conjunction with what is known as the "Christ Consciousness. It is very important to understand this fact as there are many who teach that Jesus was not the only Christ. Jesus himself warned that many false Christ’s would come. Fortunately the scriptures give a foolproof method for identifying the true Christ among the plethora of false Christs.

Jesus did not become the Christ as some claim. He was born the Christ. The phrase “is come,” being framed in the imperfect tense, tells us there never was a time when Jesus was not the Christ, and there never will be a time when he will not be the Christ.

Jesus, the only Christ, was born in the flesh, died in the flesh, rose in the flesh, ascended in the flesh, lives continually (remains perpetually) in the flesh, and will return to this earth in the flesh (Luke 2:11, 1 John 4:3-4, 2 John :7).

So believe not every spirit! But test the spirits to see whether or not they are of God.


Part of this article was excerpted from the book, REDEMPTION: Bible Prophecy Simplified, which is free for download at www.Lulu.com/JocelynAndersen Print copies for your reference library or to be used as gifts are also available at Lulu.com. To read more articles by Jocelyn Andersen, visit www.HungryHeartsMinistries.com .

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