By the Spirit Put to Death the Deeds of the Body
“but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body”
Question of the day: HOW does one “by the Spirit” kill the practice or habit or actions of sin? How? “By the Spirit” HOW? What does that mean? Sounds Important.
“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For, you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Could a piece of it be FALLING IN LOVE WITH ABBA FATHER? Not the spirit of bondage to fear and the law of right and wrong. When I go by “right or wrong” to make my decisions I almost always end up being able to feed my flesh. I can justify it in my mind as right enough or at least ok. But if:
“the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:17-18 NIV
But because of Love and passion to stay connected to Abba and treasuring the adoption I won’t gratify the flesh which is opposed to my adoption.
By having an inner gauge of Father’s approval or disapproval, His pleasure or grief. If I’m sensitive and responsive, He knows how to steer me clear of danger that I could otherwise rationalize away.
Not willpower, guilt, regret, achievement, culturing, nurturing, social conformity or desire for friendship
I’ve been thinking about how important it is for me to face life with an attitude that believes that the GIFT He has given me and all of you makes all the difference in the World. The gift he paid the highest price to give us changes things! So I better ACT like it.
Part of acting like it is to be sensitive and listening (do not grieve the Holy Spirit). Another part is to be on the edge of my seat (instead of being down or groveling that I don’t know, understand, have the answers, know what to do or how to help) and to Hold onto the Truth of what He says about his gift and deposits inside of me—speak it to myself and speak it to others. Don’t accept just trying to be “faithful” without the expectation of His Power :)!
The HOW has got to be through personal relationship with Jesus and his Father. The Sprit is our Helper and Communicator. “Teaches us to say no to ungodliness” “intercedes when we don’t know what to say” With the help and guidance of the Holy Spirt, and a yielding to it, with vertical transactions with Jesus through it, we can “put to death the misdeeds of the body.”
The Holy Spirt helps us by giving us that communication channel with God, that allows us to see outside of ourselves, to see the Big picture and say “Too much is at stake!”
When I try to put to death sin “by the flesh” that looks like willpower, determination, trying harder, horizontal, no TALKING WITH and Intimacy with Daddy, Jesus or Spirit! So “by the spirit” must be totally a Relationship-based interaction and conversation. Vertical, letting go, holding a Hand, looking into Eyes.
2Thes.2:3 There WILL be an event or season where millions of lukewarm and pretenders and pseudo-Christians quit playing and admit they are not following Jesus and don’t want to. It’s not a “falling away“ from Jesus but rather the revealing that they were never experiencing the relationship with the spirit of Christ that you are writing about above!
One of the meanings of the word Ruach is breath, wind. So being in tune enough with the Spirit to discern the breath or the wind of God, and following it no matter what. There’s not much ability to focus on hearing that breath and also pursue the flesh. If we are wholeheartedly following the wind of the Spirit it will naturally lead us away from sin ie the deeds of the body. Wind/breath/spirit and body are completely different things. You can’t focus on both.
The How’s: “you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”
Walking with Jesus hand in hand and really Believing what He says. Staying Connected, Listening, Trusting and Caring. “If” we live this way, the Spirit helps pull us into alignment with Jesus’ ways and saying NO to ungodliness. His Spirit helps us take a stand against anything that has the potential to pull us away from Him.
Someone asked privately about, I think, whether this was therefore PASSIVE, totally the Spirit’s doing to overcome flesh, since it’s not will-power clearly.
IT IS WITH YOUR TOTAL AWARENESS AND DEVOTED COOPERATION. IT IS NOT PASSIVE, per se.
It is SENSING HIM and his love and wishes REAL-TIME, and considering HIM more important than YOU. It is CHERISHING Ruach HaKodesh and, having discovered already many times from personal experience, never wanting to let Him and His Life go because of choices we have made or are making. He will withdraw that Relationship too, at times, for his own purposes, to lead us in a different direction then we might have gone, but that’s a good thing.
“16Now may our Lord and Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and a good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.”
Active process: “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5)
I absolutely think it takes some level of violence to align yourself with the Spirit. It doesn’t come naturally to your fallen flesh. And then holding to it is still a very conscious Choice all day every day.
What came to mind for me was that I can sometimes go on the defensive against sin, focusing efforts on NOT doing something. However to me “by the Spirit” implies taking offensive action to DO things that I know please Father, rather than just try to NOT do things that grieve Him. Perhaps obvious thought but it seems that we can’t have one without the other.
I looked up this verse... But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts].” Galatians 5:16 AMP
Maybe this is Christianity 101 stuff, but... When I read the part about putting to death the misdeeds of the body by the Spirit, it makes me think of the times I’ve “tried” by the flesh, and how hopeless that is. I think the lie that wants to settle in when you’re feeling depressed about yourself is that you are not really fully covered by Jesus’s blood. And when that faith falls apart, it seems there is no way to do anything “by the Spirit.” My sense is that I’ve got to keep actively choosing to come to the Father “by the blood” even when I’ve failed a thousand times. I’ve got to let him call me his child and trust Him about that. For me, that is my only hope, not just hypothetically.
All throughout the process above, I can also recognize and be thankful for the Spirit that constantly gives and removes peace to highlight what is the rock and what is sand. The “by the flesh” stuff is sand.
In some ways it’s like the story of “the dutiful wife“ versus the wife who cultivates love (even if against her inclination). The first is effort and very hard, and the second is *relinquishing* control (our part is still challenging and seems dangerous!) and basking in something beyond ourselves. The first is unsustainable; the second changes us and, in the end, delights us.
Yieldedness is not “willpower” but still an act of the will, by His Spirit.
“By the Spirit” includes Him helping me SEE and think properly.
If I see it rightly, putting things to death is easier. I cannot see anything Rightly apart from Him.
“The first thing we can discover in these pictographs is that in Ruach there is a leader who will connect us to a fence or boundaries that are intended to make protect and provide sanctuary.”
Choosing to put myself in His fence, His protection by letting go of what I want...allows His Spirit to help overcome my flesh.
It brings a tear of hope to my eyes to think about the Spirit leading us to that place in Daddy’s lap where we can see the twinkle in his eye. You can’t get there from here (by the flesh) and it’s sooooo special and soooo “reserved” for us.
When you’re with someone you love, and you do or say something thoughtless, you feel the “chill” coming over the warmth of the relationship. At that point you can either pridefully and crassly press on, or your heart can melt and you can look them in the eye and ask for forgiveness and CHANGE your attitude and ways. The warmth returns and the relationships is deeper than ever.
Perfect. And knowing the relationship should exist and make sure that is so it’s sort of a starting place. If it is always chill then you don’t know what you’re missing :-)
Let me add also that this is not about “feeling good”. Jesus was always perfectly in tune with Abba in the Spirit, and yet he suffered quite a lot emotionally and physically. This is a deeper level, with groans too deep for words, that we know - that we know - that we know we are obeying and staying “in Him.” And that means more to us than hormones, horror-moans, or circumstances. We trust that he is beyond all of that - and we aren’t going anywhere. :)
Yes! Sometimes allowing that pain instead of wanting to “feel good” is what is not giving into my flesh!! Caring enough to feel that and not sell Him short by distracting or shutting it off.
In pain or stress or even simply discomfort, turning full on TOWARDS HIM as our hope and deliverance has to be a key Moment of putting to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit.
Thanks all for all of the above... Soaking it in for Growth and Change. I did wake up before the first text message thinking about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the Tree of LIFE and how utterly Significant it is that these two choices show up at the VERY BEGINNING of our History. One is a choice towards death… not simply punishment, but death as a result of the disConnection from Life… and the other is of course LIFE in the fullest and most comprehensive meaning of the word. There is no greater gap than the dividing line between those two and I am so grateful for the articulation of these Truths this morning. It is still way too easy for me to follow my own agenda on a given day than to find and follow the Spirit's Path. Thank you for the continual Calibration.
From a current experience of this...
His Spirit makes me feel the “wet clothes” of missing the mark. He’s given me a place to hold in the tower and I feel it in my inner man when I’m bending under a sinful choice and it’s not building others up. (I only sense it if I slow down and look at Him and ask him about the prick. If i stay in my head it takes longer and is more damaging because it opens the door to justification or rationalization) Sometimes He gives me a glimpse of how others near or even far away will be affected by the sin. And it grieves me while at the same time He is lifting me, I don’t even know how, to cry out to him, “Abba! Who else would I go to? You’re where the Life is! I love you. Whatever it takes, I’ll be right here for you because YOU put this love in my heart. This flesh that was trying to put its foot in the door is Nothing! You are everything. I renounce this sinful flesh, open my hands to you and nail the sin to the cross. I can’t even lift my head apart from you, but the Truth is you hold the keys to Life. So I’ll take this one step toward you that I can, fall back and know you’ll catch me. You’re the only one who can. The flesh can’t. It bears no life to you or to my friends. It dies here.”
And was thinking too how important it is to “eat our spinach” and digest Truths, even the things I don’t understand right away, but chose to say, “Amen” to, and often the seeds we’re planting in the children—because in the moments when sin is trying to get a foothold, inside me there’s a voice singing things like—“Soft heart, soft heart I will have a soft heart...” and “I give up my will, I give up my will...” Those truths are like a lamp lighting the way to Stay on the Path! :)
Sorry for the late reply if things are wrapped up but have been working through it this morn and thinking similar thoughts... that by the Spirit is opposite of everything of flesh and muscle and law. But it IS Listening to the small sweet voice, and it’s blood and grace and faith. Believing is seeing and I must choose, act of the will, to believe when I have failed. I don’t want to NOT sin and sin and sin so that I can be a good Christian. Not law, not muscle, not about me. It’s for Jesus, my love for him, and for his good reputation that I want to put those deeds to death to be pure, obviously forgiven, for his delight and that others can see his awesomeness.
“The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
If misdeeds means “missing the mark” and there is no way to know fully where the mark is except by having His mind... i have been thinking about how I MUST not submit to my own impulses/human judgments, but slow down to Listen to His heartbeat and allow my mind and heart to be transformed.
I have been thinking today about how if I am just horizontal with putting to death the misdeeds of the body, it is just religion. But, if it is by the spirit, it is vertical and actually out of relationship with Jesus. And that is really the only way to actually put sin to death. I know I have experienced both ways and the first is not sustainable but the second, though the feelings and temptations may continue, is so freeing!