Did you know that when you became a Christian, your Spirit became a new species of being – not your flesh and not your soul? We are made up of three parts – body (flesh), soul (emotions) and spirit.
Second Corinthians 5:17 states that when we come to know Christ, we become a new person. The old life is gone, and a new life has begun. However, your outward appearance remains the same. Neither your flesh, nor your thoughts change initially. It is only after we learn to walk by our “spirit” that the flesh and soul begin to change.
It has been said that we are a Spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. Through the ages, our patriarchs of faith have tried to explain and describe exactly what it means to become a Christian – Christ-like – when our body (flesh) seems to behave contrary. Paul talks about this conflict in Romans – the struggle is real.
One of the first things we should do when we become a Christian, is to acknowledge that we have a new Spirit. The Bible tells us that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside you. It is not an immature baby Spirit that is growing up – it is a fully, adult-size Spirit of God that lives within. The Word also tells us that God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must do so in Spirit. Not to say that we don’t worship in our flesh, but we must acknowledge that there is more to worshipping than worshipping in our mind, will, and emotions, and more than raising our hands in Church. We acknowledge that our born-again Spirit loves to worship. If we are experiencing conflict, it is because we have chosen to let our flesh dominate instead of our Spirit.
Religion has tried to tell us that if we “act” right and do all of the “right” things, outwardly, we are a Christian when actually, we are just a manager of our sin. Acting “right” is an attempt to change us from the outside in. To be blunt – this is absurd! As a Christian, we are changed from the inside out. When we acknowledge everything, Christ has done in our spirit and we begin to renew our minds, we allow the Spirit to be in control instead of what we see, taste, hear and touch. On this side of heaven, our flesh will always be in conflict with our Spirit. The Bible tells us that the flesh is an enemy to our Spirit. The Christian life is not about managing our sin and coping with our inconsistencies but enjoying an epic relationship with God and all that Jesus purchased on the cross for us.
To acknowledge our Spirit and see us as Christ sees us, we look to the Bible. The Word acts like a mirror (a reflection) and it tells us who we are in our Spirit, and then we walk it out through faith. When we want to know who we REALLY are – we don’t look at our flesh to tell us but the Word. Philemon 1:6 tells us that we acknowledge every good thing in us. Contrary to our flesh, we are righteous, we are holy, we are mighty, we are healed, we are sanctified, we are perfect, on and on.
Once we have asked Jesus to forgive us and become a Christian, the remainder of our brand-new life is learning how to release what is already in us instead of trying to get something more added. When we realize who we are in our Spirit, renew our mind and deny our flesh – we will enjoy this epic life as a child of God and all that He has done for us!
Rhonda L. Smart – [email protected]