How to Be Spiritual People | Be Men and Women of the Spirit
- Summary: To be effective for God, you must live primarily as a “spiritual” being. Your spirit must be the dominant force over your body and over your soul — that is, over your intellect, will, and emotions.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
- •• “Breath” = “spirit”. From the beginning, from the very Creation, men and women have been spiritual beings first and foremost.
•• “The body without the spirit is dead” (James 2:26). Likewise, your Christian life will be “dead” unless you live it in the realm of the spirit — YOUR spirit in tune with God’s Holy Spirit.
•• We humans are “spirit, soul, and body” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
•• Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God ... penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit...”
- • As we will see, it is vitally important that your spirit, not your soul, dominate every aspect of your life.
• The classic definition of “soul” is one’s intellect, will, and emotions. It is important that these areas be controlled by your spirit, not by your bodily appetites.
Job 32:8 But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.
- •• You will only understand the things of God in your spirit, not in your intellect and emotions (soul).
- • Even at its best, “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Corinthians 3:19).
Romans 8:14, 16 ...because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God....  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
16, KJV The Spirit...beareth witness with our spirit...
- •• God’s Holy Spirit speaks to your spirit. That is where communication occurs between God and us — Spirit to spirit.
•• Intellect, will, and emotions reside in the soul. If you try to get a grip on the things of God merely by your emotions or your intellect, you will fail.
1 Corinthians 2:14, KJV But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
- •• The “natural” man, the man or woman living under the influence of the soul, cannot know the things of the Spirit.
- • They are “spiritually discerned”.
• I earned 37 semester credits of theology and philosophy in a supposedly Christian university. Yet through all that intellectual (soul-level) exposure to the things of God, I was not born again!
- •• Using only your “natural” (soulish) faculties, you cannot adequately know the things of the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 14:2, 14 For anyone who speaks in a tongue ... utters mysteries with his spirit....  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
- •• The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine issued a news release on October 30, 2006. It summarized experiments using brain imaging of people speaking in tongues. The results were astounding ... and entirely biblical! Researchers found “decreased activity in the frontal lobes, an area of the brain associated with being in control of one’s self.” One of the research physicians stated, “Our brain imaging research shows us that these subjects are not in control of the usual language centers during this activity, which is consistent with their description of a lack of intentional control while speaking in tongues.” [bold type is mine]
- • Amazing, but totally predictable. These medical researchers have simply discovered what the bible has said all along — that when I pray in tongues, “my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful” (1 Corinthians 14:14)
• Give your spirit opportunity often to pray.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must WORSHIP in spirit and in truth.
- •• True worship is not measured by skilled instrumentals, platform singers, or high-tech audio and video.
- • True worship occurs deep within, at the spirit level.
John 6:63 ...The WORDS I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
- •• You will understand the Bible only by your spirit being illuminated by the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s “words...are spirit”. It is at the Spirit-to-spirit level that understanding of the Holy Scriptures occurs.
Mark 2:8 Immediately Jesus KNEW in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts...
- •• You will only receive words of knowledge and other gifts of the Holy Spirit “in [your] spirit”, as Jesus did.
Matthew 26:41 “WATCH and PRAY so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
- •• The body, the natural you, wants to rule the spirit. How can you bring your spirit into the forefront?
(1) Be watchful, spiritually alert, and always anticipating hearing from God.
(2) Be prayerful, thereby continually preparing your spirit to hear from the Holy Spirit.
- • For example, Jesus prayed all night, receiving guidance from God, then in the morning chose His twelve apostles.
- (3) Control and put down your body, the flesh. It’s impulses are often in direct opposition to your spirit (Galatians 5:17).
- • As you do this, like a seesaw, your spirit will rise into the place of dominance in your daily life.
- (4) Refuse to depend on your intellect or your emotions to bring you into the deep things of God. They can’t!
•• Like Paul praying in tongues, still your mind ... let it become “unfruitful”. Focus on Jesus and God the Father. Listen deep within yourself, at the Spirit-to-spirit level, and thereby allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your spirit.
In sum — Purpose that the dominant part of your makeup (spirit, soul, and body) will be your spirit.
Be men and women of the spirit!
See our related sermon outline at "What Does It Mean to Be Spiritual?"
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©2006, 2015, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.