INTRO: The descriptive word spiritual is used and heard so often. It has become so generic that Im not sure it has much real meaning. Still, I hear folks say of others, Hes so spiritual. Knowing the background and character of the person described as spiritual, I wonder just what folks mean by the word. Do we mean religious? emotional? whispered tones? touchy, feely? Permit me to try to describe one who is spiritual. Each point of our lesson will begin with Romans 8.
I. ONE WHO IS IN CHRIST
A Rom 8:1 to them which are in Christ
1. this is a critical beginning place
2. a person who is out of Christ may be morally good, religious
3. but if not in Christ, he is not spiritual by New Testament definition, use of this word
B. Rom 6:3 baptized into Jesus Christ
1. while there are other prerequisites, one is baptized into Christ
2. baptism, in scripture, is burial, immersion Rom 6:4
3. so, have you been baptized into Christ? if you are to be spiritual, you must be baptized into Him
II. ONE WHO ACKNOWLEDGES HE IS SUBJECT TO GODS LAW
A. Rom 8:7 carnal mind ... is not subject to the law ...
1. this section compares spiritual and carnal
2. the carnal mind is not, cannot be, subject to the law of God
3. thus, one who is spiritual must be subject!
B. This subjection is that of humility, of love
1.1 Pet 5:6
2. 1 Jno 5:2,3
3. not human pride bowing to superior force but humility bowing before superior wisdom and love
III. ONE WHOSE LIFE REFLECTS PRESENCE OF THE LAW
A. Rom 8:12,13 mortify the deeds of the body
1. I note in v.12 that we are debtors
2. while we may not prefer to think in these terms, our accepting Gods new life offer places us in His debt!
3. that indebtedness is reflected in our lives
B. So, Rom 12:2 the great transformation
1. this chapter notes some of the life effects of the mind under Gods control!
2. and one of the first noted things is humility (v.3)
3. so, if a person is behaving in ways which are in conflict with Gods guidance through His word, he is not a spiritual person ... he is still acting like a carnally minded person
IV ONE WHOSE LIFE IS CONFORMING TO CHRISTS IMAGE
A. Rom 8:29 conformed to the image of His Son
1. this verse clearly establishes Gods intent
2. those who are in Christ, spiritually minded, are to look like Jesus
3. would Jesus lie, use profanity, enjoy pornography? would He practice the golden rule, be compassionate, etc.
B. 1 Pet 4:1,2 brings this into sharp focus
1. his mind in us ... and His mind has dominated by Gods will
2. spiritual is not, then, a vague, ambiguous word which has virtually no meaning, or any meaning
3. spiritual is a very challenging word!
CLOSE: Chapter 8 of Romans begs for our attention! It concludes with this observation for genuinely spiritual people ... no matter what happens we are more than conquerors (v. 37).
Cecil A. Hutson
22 October 2000
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)