Now, we can grasp most of the elements of the life of the Spiritual man. The seed is the Life of Christ, offered as the Gift from God, the Father. The seed is sown in our natural life, and nurtured and educated by the Holy Spirit. But we are not fully released into the spiritual world as our physical body until our physical body is completely done away with. In this sense, we will have a life of duality: we live as a natural man as well as a spiritual man. But our faith in Christ gives us hope that, one day, this duality will end. Then we will be fully transformed into His Likeness and enjoy the fullness of His Life.
Some scriptures will briefly illustrate some elements of the life of a spiritual man:
John 3:3-8 [NIV]
3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
4″How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Here, Jesus expounds the idea that we are to first have natural life then spiritual life if we are to see the Kingdom of God, the spiritual reality we are born into as a spiritual babe. And no amount of Bible knowledge or religious education and practice can replace or fake this life, which is solely by the Spirit of God.
We have to come to God the Father in spirit and truth.
John 4:23-24 [NIV]
23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The word “truth” here, in Greek is “aletheia.” Strong’s Lexicon explains it as: “the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposing alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians”. (Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible)
In essence, it is the living reality of the Kingdom of God that our spiritual life presently engages with, not a distant and lofty system of thoughts or notions that is “dead” to our present spiritual life.
Jesus uses “see” and “enter” to describe the steps we take to be released into His Kingdom. Yet flesh and blood can’t do this. This is only achieved by the Holy Spirit. And it takes time for the Holy Spirit, like a nurturing mother and a patient and wise teacher, to nourish, comfort, teach and empower us into maturity in this life and to enjoy freedom and fulfill responsibility in the Kingdom.
John 16:13-15 [NIV]
13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
To “see” is to have our spiritual senses opened to the spiritual reality in the Kingdom of God. To “enter” is to grow and walk in the understanding and wisdom of the Spirit. In order to grow into this, we have to be nourished with spiritual food suitable for the season we are in.
This is _Part 2_ in the series The Gift and Work of the Holy Spirit: Resurrection Power and Eternal Life. To continue with this series, click on Pt 3. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series and Pt 1.
Photo credit: kiolero