The Natural and Spiritual Man
This study is to understand who we are as created by God, in truth we are a complex being as created by God. Of Gods' decision for our creation we are told in Gen 1:26 "Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..." God describes this complex creation in Gen 2:6-7 "...the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." In the following scripture presented, pay close attention to our 'spirit', the only part that appears to be attentive to the Lord, evidenced in Mark 14:38 "...the spirit is willing."
Of our creation we were first formed as flesh-body (dust of the ground), who next received the spirit (breath of life), and in this slate or as a new born babe, became a soul (living being). We all then progress in Gods' creation through Body, Spirit, and Soul, the complex man of Gods' complex creation. It is about this creation of body, spirit, and soul, that we need understand, further still to understand the will and purpose of God. Unto Gods creation He gives this warning in Matt 10:28 "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Here we learn that both body and soul may be destroyed, however at death of the flesh-body, the spirit described in other scripture returns to God.
Scripture describes a relationship between our body and our soul, scripture also describes a relationship between our spirit and our soul. Mary says in Luke 1:46-47 "And Mary said: My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior..." Our unique being described in Matt 22:37 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Our being also described in 1 Thess 5:23-24 Paul says "May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." This gives meaning to our complex ability in spirit and mind 1 Cor 14:15
"So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind." Regarding the mind of the spirit and the mind of our body, James may have been speaking prophetically in James 1:7-8 "...That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man..."
The body is flesh and our mind a part of our body, in both is found our soul. Our spirit is God breathed, and that which gives us life. The soul is that unique part of ourselves called the living being. About this complex being we are given warning in Matt 26:41 "the spirit is willing, but the body is weak." The warning of judgment in Mark 8:35-37 "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" For this reason we should be obedient as called for in
Rom 8:6-7 "The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace..." And to the obedient is given this assurance in Rom 8:16 "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Concerning salvation told in 1 Peter 1:8-9 "...for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." The heart then being the seat or symbolic place of our spirit.
Then regarding our complex body, spirit and soul, in this context I would give warning to the appointed leaders of the church. Where preachers and teachers, prophets and evangelists, with gifts received are exalting Gods word to members within their congregation. It is time to lead into maturity, proceeding beyond the milk of Gods word. This is an admonishment as spoken of in Heb 5:12 "Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness." Herein we should be attentive, here is the beginning of teaching that leads to the works of righteousness. Indeed what does Paul encourage saying in Phil 2:12-13 "...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."
Surely the mature Christian is to be wise beyond salvation, having Gods wisdom and knowledge needed within their lives and in the world of today. It is only Gods wisdom and knowledge that will guide us safely through all events, relations, and realities into which God leads us. It is Gods purpose that we be prepared, and in so doing will serve, those unprepared by omission serving another. Once only does sinful man need learn and receive Gods grace and forgiveness through Christ. Teaching that when they believe and repent, God forgives the sins of the old man making them a new man or new spiritual man, having past sins forgiven. Thereafter the repentant have Christ as High Priest, the one who knows our heart in contrition and forgives sin. God does not abandon creation, but provides a way for all who believe. Just as a father begins teaching, God begins in The New Testament as toward a babe, speaking to those born again in faith and believing. Once the new man or spiritual man, the New Testament teaches John 4:23-24 "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
In this scripture God calls the new Christian as a babe in the Lord, infants or babes who require spiritual milk. This we are told in 1 Peter 2:1-3 "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." The Lord however warns against keeping spiritual man extensively on spiritual milk, this described in Heb 5:13-14 "Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." So then, stop instructing the new Christian as though they were still the old man of flesh, instructing carnal man to develop good character as exhibited by biblical person spoken of in sermon. The Lord is not looking for the old men of flesh, but mature men who the Bible calls the new man or new spiritual man.
The man of God is referred to in the New Testament as the new man, spoken of in 2 Cor 5:17-18 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" This new man is unlike the old man who is still the man of the flesh living in fleshly nature. The old man is described as carnal, whose nature is bent toward sin. The new spiritual man is the renewed man, born again through the grace of God, who by the sacrifice of Christ indwells the new man with gifts of power and authority. Gifts given as needed to accomplish the works predestined, these are works of righteousness, works predestined be done in this world and during this life. It is the new man that God endows with gifts that lead to works of
righteousness, and here begins the teaching of the new spiritual man.
The New Testament speaks to and teaches us that being saved by grace through faith, is to be reborn as a new man called in 1 Cor. 2:15 "The spiritual man..." in the Greek called 'Pneumatikos' (not carnal). This is the new man or new spiritual man of God, no longer living in their fleshly ways called carnal, but an obedient servant in the will of the living and supreme God. Scripture tells us the reborn man is chosen by God and predestined to have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit that indwells them. How could a Christian after reading the New Testament think of themselves still as the old carnal man, when Christ calls you the new man, the new spiritual man. Read the New Covenant as the new spiritual man, pray with your mind and with your spirit, asking for the Lords wisdom and knowledge. Knowing without doubt that God has promised whatever you ask for in His will, it shall be given you.
Teachers, stop treating and teaching the new Christian as a babe when they are not. Why teach the Christian to seek Gods Grace over and over, God does not want to be reminded of forgiven sins. Hasten instead to teach the spiritual man who is needed in works predestined, this is the instruction of Heb 5:14 "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have
trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." Hasten to teach the spiritual man of the spiritual war, God calls for workers and an army, not perpetual spiritual babies. Learn how Gods New Covenant prepares the spiritual man as described in 1 Cor 2:13 "This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words," and in this way instruct the spiritual babe in the Lord.
The book of law is the place to learn Gods purpose in creating man. In Genesis-I is described the creation of man from the earth, the flesh-man who then receives the God breathed breath of life and becomes a living being. Genesis II describes the creation of the spiritual man who is taken into the Spiritual realm of Eden. In Genesis-I the 1st Adam is created along with woman, both are then sent out into the world to replenish and have dominion over all that God has created. In Genesis II Adam is created and brought into Eden, here he is to name all that God has created. In Eden when God sees Adam has found no helpmate, God creates the woman who Adam later names Eve. In Eden exist the trees of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the later from which God forbids the eating of it's fruit. In Eden we learn of the fall of man after Adam and the woman eat the forbidden fruit.
In these first two chapters of the Bible is begun the lessons of the natural flesh man and the supernatural or spiritual man. Perhaps there is no greater lesson within these first two chapters of Genesis, this being the importance of the natural and the spiritual man. It might also be drawn from these chapters that God had intended spiritual man to have eternal life, for God did not forbid the eating from the tree of life, but forbade instead eating of fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From Genesis we learn that Christ is from the spiritual line of Adam or man, traced through the generations of genealogy. From Genesis-6 it is also noted the omitting of Cane, who later in the NT is called the seed of Satan.
Here then is why it is so important to teach the spiritual man the importance of the spiritual life, hasn't God said His Word is spiritually discerned. Yes, it is the spiritual relation of man with God from which all things transpire. It is Gods Spirit within us that leads us and teaches our spirit. God testifies with our spirit, His Spirit speaks through us. It is the spiritual armor of God with which we fight, it is the spiritual gifts of God that have power and authority. His very words are spiritually discerned, teaching that allows us to live in spiritual maturity and unity. Calling for us to worship in spirit and truth, it is within our spiritual existence that we become mature in the Spirit of God.
Cane being called the seed of Satan does not mean he was an offspring or genealogical child of Satan. The teachings of God will only be understood from a Spiritual relationship between God and spiritual man. About the will of the old man or natural man it says in Isaiah 64:6 "….the unclean, whose good works are like filthy rags before God,"yet within the will of God we are assured as commanded in I Cor 2:15-16 "The spiritual man makes judgment's about all things, but he himself is not subject to any mans judgment…who knows the mind of the Lord…but we have the mind of Christ." This plainly tells us that the man of flesh can do no good works, but the spiritual man will make judgment's in all things. Yes, it is Gods work within us that we should will and act according to His good purpose.
We are not to be inactive in Gods purpose, nor are the servants of Satan inactive in theirs. How is the Church to grow and serve if those who are appointed leaders do not prepare the church? How does the church grow with only spiritual milk fed to them? This message then is not to encourage the perpetual teaching of Grace, but to admonish the teaching of Gods purpose, to spiritual man.
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