Tag Archives: flesh

Why You Should Never Do The Bible

Have you ever heard the saying “Do the bible”. If you have never heard of it, it is short-form of saying ‘Do what is in the bible’. While this advice comes from a good place and is well-meaning…how do I put this gently…it is not right. Let me explain.

The Holy Scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus – 2 Timothy 3:15

According to 2 Timothy 3:15, the bible is there to make us wise to deliverance through faith in Christ. Said another way, we are not meant to do the bible, we are to allow the bible to build our faith in Christ so that we may be wise to salvation (deliverance from everything evil and deliverance to everything good).

When we allow the bible to point us towards Christ and grow our faith, we find that the Holy Spirit gives us God’s doctrine, corrects us, gives us a conviction of who we are in Christ (identity and position), and instructs us in the way of righteousness – what God desires to do / guidance from God (see 2 Timothy 3:16).

The bible is there to point us towards intimacy with Christ and is not a rule book for us to try to follow in our own strength

Those who think they can obey the Scriptures in their own strength think they can fulfill the law of God on their own (for the bible contains God’s laws). I have seem many believers try to follow what is in the bible in their own strength to the detriment of their own mental well-being.

To try to fulfill the law of God in our own strength is an exercise in futility that leads to disappointment and allows the enemy to bombard us with guilt, shame, and condemnation – leading to oppression, repression, and depression.

If we could fulfill the law of God in our own strength, then Jesus would not have been needed. Therefore trying to do the bible (to fulfill its laws) is akin to playing Jesus and saying to God that Jesus’ sacrifice was not needed. Indeed, this is prideful and arrogant.

Only the flesh tries to fulfill the law of God in its own strength

The bible describes the flesh as a part of us that desires to do things in our own strength. It neglects God’s strength operating in us through the Holy Spirit and wants to make something of itself. Therefore, the flesh is prideful and arrogant. Without knowing it, its desire is to take the place of God. The flesh substitutes grace through faith in Christ, for works through self-effort.

The flesh works but faith rests

It is tempting to want to rely on the flesh. This is because the flesh does not always want to do evil, it also desires to do good. The problem is that it can never do the good it desires to do. While it may desire to do good, it ends up producing evil. That’s why nothing good lies in the flesh.

Apostle Paul warns us about the folly of relying on the flesh. He says not to be bewitched and foolish. He tells us that there is no way we can be perfected through the efforts of the flesh (See Galatians 3).

The purpose of the bible is to lead us to faith and not to lead us to self-effort. Therefore, don’t try to do the bible BUT let the bible build your faith in Christ. The choice is yours: Flesh or Faith.

If you are try to do the bible, you are trying to rely on your flesh. If you allow the bible to build you faith, you won’t try to do the bible for the Holy Spirit will do the bible for you and through you.

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Breathe In God (Part II) – New Testament

Sever yourselves from such a man whose breath is in his nostrils for of what account is he? – Isaiah 2:22

The process of getting saved through confession and belief (see Romans 10:9) in punctuated by Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit into us –  just as He breathed the Holy Spirit into His disciples (see John 20:22). He not only does this upon confession but then He seals His Spirit within us by the power of his death and resurrection – so that we can no longer die spiritually. In a repeat of what happened in the beginning when Adam was formed (see Genesis 2:7), Jesus again breathes the breath of life into man – so that we are born again. Again, this new birth through the breath of the Holy Spirit embedded deeply hidden within us and is covered with the blood of Jesus so that nothing foul or evil can penetrate. This time around (unlike in the time of Adam), the breath of life cannot escape, be corrupted, or be extinguished.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: New Birth (salvation) ensures that we no longer need a respirator to breath but can live on the breath within us (the Holy Spirit)

Whereas once before, Satan used to enjoy us breathing from within for it was the breath of death, now all he tries to do is suffocate the breath in us. He no longer wants us to inhale deeply so as to draw out and unleash the breath of life (the power of the Holy Spirit) into the world. Rather, he wants us to breathe out only what the world tries to introduce into our nostrils. Instead of taking deep breaths from within, he wants us to breathe out from our nostrils what has entered into our nostrils. If you have ever tried to breathe from you nostrils, you know that it feels much like suffocating – for it is not from within.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If we do not tap into the Spirit of God within us, then we suffocate and die to the life inherent in God

Now, the only thing palatable to breathe from the outside is the word of God through our sensory organs. When the word of God enters through our nostrils and goes into our Spirit, it agrees with the Spirit and produces the power of God that we may breathe out and impart onto the world. Should we simply stop at breathing in the word of God into our nostril without inhaling deeply so it reaches the Spirit, then the word that we breathe out is powerless for it has not been touched by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we have to make sure we breathe in deeply in order to experience the goodness and power of God in our lives.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Anything we breathe into our nostrils that is not the word of God is the breath of corruption from the outside world.

To summarize, this discussion is only reiterating what the Apostle Paul says when he implores us to walk in the Spirit that we have received (see Galatians 5:25). In other words, Paul is saying that if we have received the breath of life (the Holy Spirit), we must tap into that Spirit by breathing deeply so that we may exhale (produce) the life and goodness inherent in the Spirit of God (see Galatians 5:22). Furthermore, we must breathe in the word of God deeply if it is to have any power and produce any fruit in our lives.

Thus, Isaiah 2:22 for the born again believer is really saying this: Sever yourself from that person who has the Spirit of God but refuses to walk in the Spirit for he is only fulfilling the desires of the flesh – fornication, lewdness, and so forth (see Galatians 5:19)

Food for Thought: Just as there is no point owning treasure we can never reach, it does no good having the Holy Spirit here on earth if we do not walk in the Spirit.

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Law Mongering – The deceptive path to hell on earth

Every human being has a decision to make with regards to where he/she is going to live spiritually. We have to decide whether we are going to live in the world, in the law, or in the Spirit. Those that choose to live in the world are those that have chosen not to know about God and so live a life controlled by the river of this world which flows right towards the water fall of emptiness/deep spiritual void while bruising the individual with every inanimate object contained within the river. These are the people that have not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. For those of us that believe in Jesus Christ and have the Holy Spirit living in us, two options remain – whether to live in the law or live in the Spirit.

Lightbulb MomentTo live in the law is to know about God; to live in the Spirit is to know God  

Wait you say! I thought that I am now living in the Spirit because I have accepted the Spirit. Not true! Paul tells us that if we have the Spirit, let us also walk (live) in the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25). So there is a difference. Yes, we are given the Spirit upon believing with our hearts and confessing with our mouths (see Romans 10:9-10) but the glorious inheritance of the goodies of the kingdom of heaven which includes a life of love, joy, peace, self-control and much more are reserved for those who live in the Spirit. See, we do not miss the mark (sin) when we are walking in the Spirit for there is no sin in God; hence we only miss the mark when we are walking out of the Spirit. Note: Only Jesus was able to walk in the Spirit perfectly for He had no sin.

Lightbulb MomentThe extent to which we walk in the Spirit determines the extent to which we live heaven on earth

The snag today for too many of us is that we spend most of our time walking out of the Spirit and instead in the law. We think we are alright as long as we do not walk in the world. No! The law only condemns and brings death. We find that the incessant walking in the law results in the church body being very little different from the world – same lack of victory, same divorce rates, same lack of self-control, same fear projection and mongering! No wonder the influence of the church in many places seems to be dwindling. Part of the issue is our law-mongering which produces no tangible fruit for the world to be attracted towards!

Lightbulb MomentLaw mongering is the attempt to fulfill what is written in the perfect law of liberty (the bible) in our own strength and reasoning; our own flesh.

Law mongering causes us to apply the word of God to our situation (most of the time based on our feelings) rather than allow God to speak His word to our circumstance. What is the difference you ask? The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness illustrates the difference: Although Satan and Jesus were both quoting from the scripture (law), only the scripture (law) that was given to Jesus by the Holy Spirit (Word) brought life. Conversely, the word spoken by the devil was obviously not from the Word (Holy Spirit). Thus, we see that the Holy Spirit speaks the ‘word of the law’ that brings life, but the devil speaks the ‘word of the law’ that brings death.

Likewise, we should not apply the word of the law as we ‘think’ it applies, but should allow the Holy Spirit to apply the word of the law that will bring liberty (instead of bondage). For example, we should not decide whether we are going to discipline our children (Proverbs 22:15) or pardon their offense (Colossians 3:21) but allow the Spirit of God to tell us which one we should do. See, both actions are scriptural, but only the one the Holy Spirit directs us to do for the specific situation brings life. If we are not living in the Spirit, we choose the word of the law to apply based on emotions, history, circumstance, and upbringing and so put ourselves into bondage when we invariably get it wrong.

So what is the point of the law? The law is useful for a myriad of reasons including testing of the spirits speaking to us. It lets us prove that it is the Holy Spirit speaking to us, for the Holy Spirit will not contradict what is contained within the bible. This is why Jesus says that He did not come to abolish the law! The law makes the nature of God tangible to us and allows us to choose Him.

In summary, to have life, we must be doers of the word instead of being doers of the law. We must allow the law to speak to us through the Holy Spirit rather than speaking and acting out the law to our circumstance. We must allow the Spirit to guide us through life and so enjoy the benefits of walking in the Spirit.

Food for Thought: Walking in the law is walking in the flesh; walking in the law makes us Pharisees.

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