Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Living in the Spirit, not in the flesh

What does living in the flesh mean? It means living in the world, everything in the world that has to do with engaging our fleshy senses. We should live according to the spirit in the flesh. In every man/woman's life there comes the situation as C.S. Lewis points in which he/she finds themselves having to make a choice and he/she knows in a moment - right from wrong and they know the 'right' option to choose. A man is not an animal; because, an animal would simply respond to what suits him/her needs in the moment and move on. Animal choices work like that because they are simple programs. There is no right or wrong choice for them in their natural state. If they are hungry, they get food by whatever means. Man is able to discern advantages in the flesh and know what he/she ought and ought not to do.  But, because of sin, he/she is caught up in a corrupt 'sinful' world. Yet, because God is with us "do not fear for I am with you" Isa 41:10, man is able to desire/see and to choose advantages which are unseen. Advantages such as joy in giving of him/herself, this is an unseen advantage. C.S. Lewis writes in 'Mere Christianity' that there is a 'third thing' which tells you what you ought to do. This means that in man there is the feeling in fact a 'knowing' what he/she ought to do. Lewis also says that inside man this third thing helps man/woman to also know when and when not to take up the first thing 'desire' for self gratification and when to run 'the second thing' and when not to. What is that governs these options/things? Lewis called it - the third thing - his God given spirit. It is this third thing, because it is inside and yet something outside as in obviously greater than man and greater than the first aspects of man, made known to him/her as it is in him/her. What is also known to man is the corruption of this world, in that no man/woman can be good given the existence of sin in this world. What every man/woman wants essentially is to be set free from sin and eternally saved. The inner struggle with those first two things reveal our sinful nature and recognizing that in oneself can become the root cause of what keeps one from what you truly desire which is not to run away and to choose over and over selfish desires... knowing in one's self that the greater good for the individual comes from sharing not the material things that one has (as that is living in the flesh) but the realization or revelation of this 'third thing - knowing what one 'ought to do'. Knowing that and acting on that, choosing what one ought to do over the other two impulses is what truly sets us free from sin.  In John 8:34, we can read "Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a salve has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  It was Jesus who came to show us how we ought to behave, ought to do/ choose.
"We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters."  1 John 3:17 So, "Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us b sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other." 1 John 4:7-10

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