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Living By The Spirit

March 30, 2013

Greetings,

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”                   Galatians 5: 16

It is all so very simple.  Yet so many people still fail to grasp this one simple truth…  We are to live by the Spirit.  Many folks think and preach that we are supposed to live by the bible, but that is not really true is it?  The bible is an important tool in the life of a follower of Jesus, but without the illumination of the Spirit it is all just dead letter.  The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life!

If we truly live by the Spirit we will then be able to grasp and understand the truths and concepts found in the bible.  It is only then that we can apply those truths to everyday life.  If the Spirit is not first and foremost in our lives, we will only misuse and misapply the written word.  Many end up using the bible as a weapon and as a means to attempt to control others.  Then if you don’t tow their party line you are rebuked and written off as some sort of heretic.

The Spirit gives freedom while the bible on its own brings only control, judgment and manipulation.  However, if you surrender and allow the Spirit to guide you through the bible..the written words will come alive to you and you can use them as a blessing to everyone you encounter in this life.  When you hold a bible in your hands you hold the potential of both life and death in your very grasp.  If you are led by the Spirit you will bring life and blessing to others via the Word.  However, if you are instead led by your reason or intellect..you will ultimately bring only death and destruction to those in your path.

There is a huge difference between being led by the Spirit and being led by the bible.  This is why I will not back down or recant…. that we should all be Spirit and NOT bible led.  Because the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life!  Using the bible while you are walking in the Spirit is awesome and totally life giving.  However, using the bible void of the Spirit’s leading brings only death and negativity.  Please don’t misunderstand me?  In the Spirit the bible is the greatest book ever.  Without the Spirit it is just another dead letter book.  In dead letter form the book has been used to dominate and enslave many throughout the ages.  When the book is elevated to a status equal to or better than the Spirit everyone loses.  In those places where doctrine reigns supreme and relationship is secondary the Church is crippled.  Because relationship with Jesus and one another is the way we best reflect Christ to others in and outside of the Church.  We should be known for our love for one another.  Many voices today say live by the book, but even the Book itself says… LIVE BY THE SPIRIT!  So that is exactly what I am going to do.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

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22 Comments
  1. Chris, Indeed, this life (zoe) is not a proposition to be understood. It is a Spirit to be grasped, and be apprehended by. Words fail, intellect disappoints, and human efforts are ineffective. Only by genuine faith of the heart is this agape’ connection made. Faith and faith alone apprehends what our minds cannot conceive. How is the faith demonstrated? By works? Only in a faith that can never let go of the One true source of life – Jesus the initiator and the One who fulfills. will we ever have the privilege of actually knowing Him, as we wrestle with, and are apprehended by Him,

    “My sheep hear my voice, they follow me, they will not follow another.” Jesus

  2. So let me get this straight. We are to be led by the Spirit. But that can’t include the Spirit leading us to truth via the Bible? Because the Bible is at odds with the Spirit or something, right?

    There are so many existential presuppositions packed into your blog that it’s hard to know where to begin.

    Sigh…

    • "BK" permalink

      Hi, Jim. Have you known Chris long, or personally? Did you read his post above carefully (and many others I have read on this blog)? After reading your comment I re-read the post slowly and carefully and I have to honestly say I couldn’t find anywhere that he said the Spirit can’t lead us through the Bible; or that the Bible is at odds with the Spirit. I really think if you could kind of take a breath (and I don’t mean that sarcastically) and read what Chris is trying to say, and not make him an offender for a word in how he chooses to say it, you will find he is not saying to throw out the Bible. As far as the Bible being at odds with the Spirit…..man’s perception of what he reads in the Bible can certainly be at odds with the Spirit when read through an erroneous opinion or tradition. “BK”

  3. Jim, you are misunderstanding me. The place the Spirit most leads me to is the bible. I just refuse to elevate the bible to the place equal to or greater than GOD Himself. That would be idolatry. You are definitely reading me through the wrong lens. SIGH……

    • Charles Ballard permalink

      I just had a thought… without the Bible would we even know about the spirit?

      • "BK" permalink

        Of course. The Spirit doesn’t exist because of the Bible; the Bible can describe the things of the Spirit because the Spirit exists, alive. The early Christians didn’t have a Bible to read (yes, the Jewish believers had the Torah but not the ones who came from pagan beliefs)….they were ‘the Bible’ unfolding. Neither Chris nor I (or others here) are ‘bashing the Bible’, we are saying it take the Spirit to give it any life. Also, I might add that ‘just reading the Bible’ doesn’t always bring error and dominance; one can find excellent advice and guidance in its pages, anointed or not. But it takes the anointing of the Spirit to give those ‘good words’ life. “BK”

  4. In the beginning was the book, and the book was with God, and the book was God. And the book became flesh and dwelt among us. Sounds kind of dumb when you read it that way, huh? Scripture is a tool, but men have elevated it to an idol of “wood” that THEY force to “speak” . Don’t believe me? What are the pages made out of??????????????????????????? The bible is a tool, profitable, and can “come alive” only when the Holy Spirit breathes life into it. Otherwise, as Capn’ always says….”the L E T T E R kills”.

  5. Well put Kirk. Nice to see you ‘out there’. (That’s a compliment by the way. – gotta watch the American/English English language misunderstandings,)

  6. Charles, of course we can know of the Spirit without the bible. The Spirit is God who existed forever and before any scriptures. It was the Spirit that prompted Ananias to go to a street called straight and minister to Paul right after the Damascus road experience. The Spirit leads us into all truth.

  7. CatherineS permalink

    I came across the link to this blog posted by someone who seems determined to deliberately misunderstand and misrepresent what you’re saying. But I think you’ve said it very well! I love the scriptures and the life the Spirit imparts to me through those written words, but the scriptures are often elevated far above the Holy Spirit by too many believers. Rather than having a written word that is given life through the Spirit and that speaks of and exalts Christ, they end up using scripture as a reference book or a means to buttress their own personal views. I’m puzzled by those believers who deride the idea of a Spirit-led life, since it’s like scoffing at the thought of a GOD-led life. Jesus said: “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (John 16:13) May the Spirit of truth the Father has sent guide each of us into all truth.

    • Jim Wehde permalink

      Catherine…beautifully said.

    • "BK" permalink

      Hi Catherine. This reminded me of years ago I was in a fellowship that was being slammed as ‘against God’. One lady came because she heard so many bad things she wanted to see for herself. Well, she never left 🙂 Sometimes the best advertisement is adverse advertisement. Makes people reeeeeally curious! I agree with Jim, beautifully said. Love, “BK”

  8. Catherine, thanks for understanding my true heart in this matter.

  9. Jim Wehde permalink

    Please, understand how the Father’s heart BREAKS when he gives an encouraging word, but then that person cannot find a way to share thay word without discounting the Spirit’s word to all others.

    You are a poison to the Body, Mr. Wright, until you learn how to use the Spirit to sense rhoae who are truly His. Chris my brother is one and you have let your infailing allegience to a group of men trick you into a false gospel. You need to be rebuked. I would have done so privately if you had not shut me up in fear.

  10. I am now beginning to wonder if a general warning about Mr. Wright needs to start going out to Informal Church circles. His attacks on fellow members of the body, along with his penchant for deleting comments and blocking those who point out his weaknesses are showing signs of authority cult-thinking.

  11. kent secor permalink

    Jim, Am thinking along the same lines. Received a friend request from him and had befriended him, I think based on some preterist discussion. But am finding him to be prideful and authoritarian in a very narrow, if you don’t agree with me you are wrong, way….Needless to say, after he deleted some of my discussion with him regarding Chris’s blog post on FB, I decided to unfriend him….
    Would a warning regarding brother Jim Wright be unwarranted? I recall similar warnings going out regarding certain HC teachers in the 90s….

  12. I do have to say right out, if you give your allegiance to the Reformers and believe the Bible takes precedence over any other way God can speak, I am fine with it, you have your part in the body of Christ!

    My problem lies only in targeting specific people who disagree with you, and depicting them as dangers to the church. There is really no place for this at all. Mr. Wright has taken it so far that he has attacked the personal lives of some. This is a dangerous person, and that is completely aside from the issue of the truth of the allegations.

  13. kent secor permalink

    Wright is a good lawyer, would hate to have him against me in court. He doesn’t call others by the name of heretic, that would not be lawful, but would be slanderous, and a clear communication. Instead he makes statements that strongly infers that those he judges are heretics, allowing the reader to draw the line of assumption….Then crys foul with others make judging statements about himself….I won’t spend the time to chase him, nor will I frequent his blog to make statements contrary to his brand of truth. But will warn any of my friends on FB and other places about him, and pray for better things for him as the Spirit continues to lead him in the journey.

  14. Pam permalink

    Love your post Chris, without the Spirit leading, the Bible is just a book. Hurray that many see what Mr. Wright is up to. I have been on the receiving end of some of these comments of His. I am concerned for those innocents that are mislead by him!
    Thanks Chris, keep telling it like it is! Catherine you beautifully put into word my heart in this matter!

  15. Without getting into a back and forth as to who said what and why one is right and the other…well…not so right (we could go back and forth like that forever and not get anywhere)…I would like to ask a couple of questions.

    How do we know that the leading of the Spirit (to and through our spirit I presume) is really the Holy Spirit and not some demon whispering in our ear? Or even our flesh rising up to lead us astray with inner voices?

    What happens if I say that the Spirit is leading me to this or that and you say the Spirit is leading you to this here and both my leading and your leading are in contradiction to each other? Which leading is truly of the Spirit?

    I am not trying to make a point. I just want to better understand how your view would resolve or answer these questions is all.

    Carlos

  16. "BK" permalink

    Hi, Carlos. I can give you my own experience in quoting Jesus’ words “you’ll know by the fruit” and
    John 4 “he that confesseth Jesus is come in the flesh is of God”. I see that verse as saying, “When I’m walking in this flesh & blood life, and my spirit manifests (confesses) that Jesus is walking within me” then you & I can know I am of God. Over time I have learned there is a marked difference in the voice and witness of my flesh and His Spirit. If I get it wrong there is another verse I appreciate alot that has been a blessing to me, Phil 3:[14] I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
    [15] Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” If I’m missing it, He’ll let me know. And if I don’t listen, He’ll chasten me and get me back on course.

    As far as the Spirit leading you one way and me another, definitely that can happen, and does.

    Love, “BK”

  17. Carlos, I echo what BK has said here. His voice is distinct and recognizable.

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