Test: After the Spirit or the Flesh? Pt. 2
Romans 8:5 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
Now let’s see how you did on your answers from part 1! Finding out if you are “after the Spirit or after the flesh” is actually really easy. Did you answer each question with Bible verses or with anything else? Simply put, if you answered with Bible verses you are “after the Spirit”. It honestly is that easy to determine. How can we say that? Well, let’s answer with Scripture!
Ephesians 6:7 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”
“After the Spirit” means you are following the Spirit; the Holy Spirit’s path is the direction you are facing. And those that are “after the Spirit” never leave behind “the sword of the Spirit”! The moment you do, you are not “after the Spirit”. The Holy “Spirit of truth” always guides by “truth” (Jn. 16:13), and truth is revealed in Jn. 17:17 as being God’s Word. Christ our example, whose very Spirit is in the saved, used Scripture for everything Satan threw His way in Mt. 4 and Lk. 4. Those that are “after the Spirit” only do that which is clearly revealed in the Scripture. You do not add, diminish, or take away God’s Word. If you do not have the Scriptural answer, you wait to act until you do.
(By the way, if you answered most but not all of the questions with Scripture, you are going in the right direction, but you need to learn to answer everything with “Thus saith the Lord.”)
Sadly, most will answer Pt. 1’s questions with answers other than the Bible. You choose music that “sounds good”. You watch what “is entertaining”. You wear what “feels good” and what “looks good”. (By the way, you don’t determine what is “good” – “sounds good”, “looks good”, “feels good”. There is One “good” and that is God. Mt. 19:17; Mk. 10:18 If what you think is “good” can’t be found in God’s Word, you are after the flesh not God’s Spirit.) You laugh when you think the joke is funny. (How many determine a joke’s worth on whether our flesh chuckles and giggles. Meditate on that.) You handle your money the way you think is best or the way “So-and-so” teaches. You’ll continue to watch a movie unless there are “too many” cuss words or the sodomy relationship “goes too far”. Your teen can play the hottest video games as long as there isn’t “too much” of what you think is bad. You feel and think that one church service a week is good. You want a church that caters to your family. You don’t think you need to use an altar. You feel that 2 minutes of prayer a day is good enough. You hang out with those who have the same interests as you. You spend time with God when it is convenient or you feel like it or you find the time. You choose restaurants based on “what sounds good” and “tastes good”. You finish eating when you are stuffed. If the place serves alcohol, you don’t mind as long as what? It’s in another room, in the corner, not prominently displayed, people are not drinking, whether or not it has the word “BAR” in big letters?
The answers vary so much from person to person! That last paragraph was a mess! And yet, the average “Christian” lives exactly like that! You are not “after the Spirit”. You are “after the flesh”! Your opinions, words, actions, and philosophies are all based on what you think, what “So-and-so” teaches, what others are doing, etc, etc, etc…. The only time you use Scripture is when someone like me presses you hard enough, and then you quote the first thing that comes into your head with no previous thought or study before hand! I do not wish to be mean, but you need to hear this. Our homes are a mess, because we are “after the flesh”. And God said in the very same passage, Rom. 8:6-8, that you are in “death” (vs. 6), you are His enemy (vs. 7), and you cannot please Him (vs. 8) in such a pursuit.
So, how did you do? Are you “after the flesh” or “after the Spirit”? Remember, if you are really “after the Spirit”, “the sword of the Spirit” will be what you answer with for everything. If you are “after the flesh”, you will use anything else.