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Living By The Spirit

May 2, 2017

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, 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 toe 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 Holy Spirit to guide you through the bible..the written words will then 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 Living Word.  However, if you are instead led by your mere 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 when I say…….  that we should all be Spirit led 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.  However, 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 it becomes idolatry and everyone loses.  In those places where doctrine reigns supreme and relationship is secondary the Church is severely crippled.  Because relationship with Christ and one another is the way we best reflect Jesus to others in and outside of the Church.  We should be known for our love for one another and not our knowledge of the scriptures.  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 and I will encourage others to do exactly the same.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

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22 Comments
  1. James Walton permalink

    The Spirit helps us to understand God’s word and to actively live His word. Hebrews 4:12, God’s word is alive and powerful. John 1:1-14, Jesus is the word. Whenever we are lead by the Spirit we will be in accordance with God’s word. We cannot live by the Spirit and have action contrary to God’s word. They go together and cannot be separated. We can’t live by the Spirit without the word, and we can’t understand the word without the Spirit. When we live by the Spirit we will uphold God’s word.

    • James, but the Spirit of Christ directly told Peter to act “contrary” to scripture when HE said “Kill and eat”. I beleive that the bible has the authority when Jesus gives it authority in any given moment or situation., but the bible has no authority of its own apart from CHrist who has been given “All authority”. The only true FINAL AUTHORITY is Jesus Himself in all matters of life, faith and practice. Scripture is not greater than or equal to GOD Himself. Jesus came to me at age 4 and I lived in the Spirit without the bible for over 7 years and Jesus taught me directly over this time about Love, grace, truth, mercy and fellowship in the Body of Christ. When I finally encountered a bible from the Gideon’s at age 11 it only served to confirm the things Jesus had already been teaching me. I love having the bible in my life, but I do not need it because the Spirit can teach me everything it says as needed.

  2. Right on, my brother Chris! Jesus told the Jewish scholars right where their problem was and where it is still today in fundamentalist and Bible churches,

    “Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life.” (John 5:39-40, KJ2000)

    Oh how man love to be led by his own thoughts and intellect, but this is still being led by his soul and not by his spirit which must be born from above and in tune with the Spirit of God! Peter just KNEW that he was being righteous and obedient to God because he did not eat with or fellowship with Gentiles. He was SO SURE of His knowledge of the law and the scriptures that God and Paul both had to rebuke him.

    And [Peter] saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet held at the four corners, and let down to the earth: In which were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spoke unto him again the second time, What God has cleansed, that call not common. (Acts 10:11-15, KJ2000 – see also Gal. 2:9-13)

    “Not so, Lord!” Oh, the presumption, to receive a command from God in the Spirit and argue with Him, yet call Him, “Lord.” This is exactly the problem with being led by our knowledge of the scriptures and out of tune with the Spirit of God. The Bible can be used by our enemy to make us enemies of God. Look how the devil used it to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. Yet, Jesus gave us the key to being obedient sons of God, “Man shall not live by bread alone [Our Daily Bread?], but by every word that PROCEEDS from the mouth of God.”

    Thanks for sharing this, my brother. Sorry I did not reply to you on Facebook the other day. God told me to get off of it and not get pulled back in again, and NO I did not read that in the Bible. 🙂

    Michael

    • THank you for sharing Michael. That was the exact point I was about to make to James comment. The Holy Spirit is awesome and confirmatory.

  3. Sue heumann permalink

    Beautiful words, all….. I am reminded of the new commandment!…. How do our ‘doctrine first’ churches get around this??

    • Sue, they sure seem to avoid it like the plague at times. It is like the intellect blinds them from seeing the truth in love.

  4. Swiss Hart permalink

    Love you, brother

  5. Dear Brother,

    This is the clearest statement about something I’ve tried to put into words for a long time. Thank you for that clarity.

    A question for further clarification: You have “living in the Spirit” as a necessity-something we need to do, something that is best and which we should be doing. I agree. But just how does one enter into this? Is it something I do or something He does?

    The reason I ask this, is that, in my experience, I find that I have never been able to live by the Spirit by doing something or at least I’ve never found that which makes me live in the Spirit. It seems my own experience is more that He does something and I find myself living in the Spirit. It’s not that I don’t desire to live in the Spirit before I find myself living there, but looking back, I cannot see a clear action on my part to get into that relationship.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Blessings,

    Win

    • Thank you for sharing Win. I would say that living in the Spirit is a work HE does in us, but it requires our surrender and cooperation in this work. In the end it is really all about HIM and I just try to stay out of HIs way to allow Him to complete the work needed in me.

    • "BK" permalink

      Hi, Win. A thought came to me as I read through these posts again just now. Actually, a couple of them. The first is in Ephesians 2 where it says “[5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
      [6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” It would seem to me this says there was no effort on my part to arrive in the heavenly places (although we sure often make it seem so) but this is written that HE did it before I ever asked or accepted anything. I would think ‘heavenly places’ would be ‘in the Spirit’? The other scripture that came to mind was when the servant of Elijah (Elisha?)’s eyes were opened and he saw the multitude of angels ready to fight for Israel. They were already there, the servant just didn’t see them. Now I do get it that there is surrender and cooperation as these things work in us, but I think we dwell in that ‘spiritual’ realm alot more than meets the eye because we’ve been ‘mis-taught’ about abiding there. Rambling a bit……this isn’t set in stone, just contemplation and some experieince, “BK”

      • Thanks for adding this to the conversation BK. After all we are encouraged to pray in both The Spirit and the understanding. In Christ we exist in both realms for now until we meet Christ face to face in the heavenlies.

  6. daryl permalink

    I agree and disagree. It is my view that Scripture is inspired of God whether or not one is illuminated or living by the Spirit,believer or unbeliever.So in that sense it is never just another book.However,completely agree that without the Spirit you cannot understand because it is spiritually discerned(1 Cor.2;14). I do not believe when Paul says the letter kills but the Spirit gives life, that is “equal” to the bible or words of the bible kill,but the Spirit gives life. He is referring to the Mosaic Law that ONLY Israel was ever under. For a time,Israel and them alone were under the Mosaic law.At no time have we or any other nation EVER been under that law. I think the meaning Paul has is that of the doom and pointlessness of living by the Mosaic law…not that all scripture is useless without the Spirit, or brings about death,harmful,and negative.For instance the prophecies in the Old Testament,fulfilled and unfulfilled, do not kill us.The Genesis account of creation does not kill us.The future reign of Christ on earth for 1000 years does not kill us.None of the passages in the new testament epistles to believers kill us. If one is not living by or grieving the Spirit, more than likely those scriptures won’t affect them,and they probably won’t be reading any of them. But the letter kills….because it encourages man to, as Paul wrote concerning himself establish a righteousness of his own(his own works),rather than faith in Christ. Concerning the incident with Peter,were we in his place we may have acted likewise,being a Jew growing up under the mosaic law,having it ingrained in us. I don’t believe it is an example for a believer today to be moved by the Spirit for us to do something contrary to scripture…it was confirmation to Peter that because of Christ fulfilling and ending the Mosaic law he was free from it and that God is calling to Himself both Jews and Gentiles.The Spirit may often lead us to something contrary to the Mosaic law,but He is not going to lead us to for example,disreguard Ephesians 6:4,or change our mind about Hebrews 1:1-2,or reject Gen.1:1. That is what James is trying to say I think.There absolutely are many who overemphasize “living by the book”,and just combine law and grace,void of the Spirits leading. I would agree with what James says for the most part,bearing in mind that we are to live by the Spirit,are not under law but under grace and not all scripture is applicable to us.Just as the Book tells us to live by the Spirit,it repeatedly speaks of the importance of sound teaching and doctrine.It is my belief that right doctrine lifts up relationship with Christ and one another and life by the Spirit.Only bad doctrine exists for just a puffing up of knowledge.

    • Thank you for sharing daryl. I don’t think we are that far apart. I basically agree with most of what you wrote. However, I do beleive that even the New Testament can “kill” or do damage when misapplied or misinterpreted. And there we have much of the “church” today. We NEED the lens of the Holy Spirit to actually see the Truth and depth of scripture.

      • "BK" permalink

        Enjoying this very much. I, too, am not far apart from what Daryl says. What you (Christopher) says is so very true that the New Testement can and does ‘kill’ and do damage when mis-applied or misinterpreted. The Lord actually used Peter’s experience for me when leading me from some of those deep seated teachings I was ‘ingrained’ with. It was when I had been asked to pastor a church…in the religiously accepted way. I was taught the scripture said women cannot do such things. As I prayed and began to discover the New Testement DID NOT say that, nor the Greek renderings of the verses so often used to say it did, the Lord asked me “How do you think Peter felt when I asked him to slay and eat the very animals I had previously said NOT to? He was in a transitional time, moving from one spiritual place to another….as are you.” Love, “BK”

      • “Transitional time” I like that BK. Thanks for sharing!

  7. "BK" permalink

    I guess what my thought on this is that when we read the word “word” or “word of God” in the Bible we equate that to the Bible and that’s where the problem lies. When the account happened to Peter that was contrary to the written scripture of the law it WAS “God’s word”. When God speaks in my heart THAT is what I need to walk in and obey. It does not mean ‘the Bible’ as ‘the Bible’ was not in existence at that time….they WERE ‘the Bible’. So, yes, the scripture can be the word of God as He speaks to us through it but when it says ‘word of God’ is definitely not equated to ‘Bible’ as most seem to think. Love, “BK”

    • Thank you BK. You know I agree with you on this. The bible may contain words from God, only Jesus is The Word of God. To me the witness of the Spirit of Christ is superior to the witness of the scriptures and they are NOT equal. After all according to Jesus it is the Holy Spirit that leads into ALL TRUTH not the bible. However, having said that I will affirm that the place the Spirit most leads me for Truth and confirmation of Truth is the bible. Elevating scripture to a place equal or superior to God as HE reveals Himself as Father, Son and Spirit is nothing less than the sin of idolatry. Scripture to many has become the 4th part of the “GodHead” which is a tremendous error and leads to severe legalism and bondage to a book. The Lord is much more comprehensive and massive than even the bible is. When Peter recieved that vision he had to choose between the witness of the Spirit and the witness of the scripture. And in his case, as always, the Spirit was right and the scripture was made irrelevant in his current situation.

  8. Judy Baker permalink

    I read it and all the comments . To each his own as JESUS speaks to us through Holy Spirit and the scriptures… deep personal study is where we really learn with the Holy Spirit allowing us to understand it His way — not any man’s definition…
    practice and preach what we know to be truth – Jesus is truth .

    • Thank you for sharing your portion of the Truth in Love here Judy. I am glad I Have both the Spirit and the bible. I am not at all anti-bible. I have studied it and even took 4 years of Greek and one year of Hebrew in college in hopes of understanding it better.

  9. Rich Chamberlin permalink

    Amen – original no ” official authorized book.” but spirit filled! Then book replaced spirit power – GO FIGURE!. Holy spirit gift IS THE MISSING LINK!

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