Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Blogger Idol - Week 14 - Spirituality

Spirituality. This is an interesting topic.

spir-i-tu-al-i-ty The state, quality, manner, or fact of being spiritual. (by dictionary.com)

Umm, OK. But what does that mean? What does it mean to "be" spiritual?

I am sure that in reading other people's entries for this week, you could find all manner of opinions on this topic. Everybody having their own definitions and examples. But is this how we can know about spirituality? Is the "state ... of being spiritual" up for debate? Is spirituality a contextual issue?

I don't think it is.

There are several places in the Bible that talk about spirituality. I know that in one place, Paul the Apostle writes about this topic. Let's take a look at his "blog" on spirituality:

1 Cor. 2:12 - 16
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE WILL INSTRUCT HIM ? But we have the mind of Christ." (read the whole chapter)

This passage is referring to a new state of being. A Spiritual State. First of all it is referring to those who have been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Who have been justified (declared legally righteous). Who have been saved and added to the ranks of those who are true Christians. And whose spirituality starts with a perspective change.

This passage also draws the lines. Either you are spiritual in your understanding or you are fleshly (or natural) in the way you view this world. There is no middle ground. This blows a big hole in the "trust your instincts" approach to life. The natural way of viewing things and doing things is the old way. And frankly any parent will tell you that we aren't born spiritual. There is not a child in the world that isn't selfish by nature.

You were born that way.

But the Bible talks in many places about a "new way" or a "better way." It is talking about a quality of being spiritual. Once when Jesus was talking to one of the religious leaders of his day named Nicodemus, the conversation turned to the topic of spirituality. Christ taught Nicodemus about being born, and then being "born again" ...into the Spirit! Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:1-10 that we used to be spiritually dead and that we were by "nature children of wrath." He then goes on to say that even in this dead state, Christ has made us alive! Now we are different! Something has changed! We now have the very "mind of Christ." We are enveloped into a spiritual quality.

This new state of being, this spiritual quality isn't just some theological textbook notion though. Having the "mind of Christ" changes you. It transforms you. It sanctifies (cleanses) you of the old futile way of living this life. You see being spiritual is not about a feeling or an emotion, it is about a different way of living.differentfernt way of "being." If you keep reading through the passage in Ephesians you will see that being a now spiritual being will begin to show on the outside. The spiritual will work its way to the outside. The faith that you now have will show itself in works. (James 2:14) You will have a different manner of life, and it will be a spiritual manner of life.

And it is a reality. It is a fact. Spirituality is not skin-deep. (Or clothing-deep for some people.) It is your very being. We hear in the Bible that we are a "new creature" or a new being.

Spirituality is not just a feeling. It is not an emotional response. It is a "state, quality, manner, or fact of being spiritual." And "being spiritual" is to think and live the way you were created to be. The way God intended you to be. And this is accomplished through the working of The One True Spirit in your life. A work that will continue to make you more like The One True Man -- Jesus Christ.

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