One Spirit, Not Many
When the Apostle Paul wrote that, “There is one body and one Spirit,” what did he mean by one Spirit? Or we might ask, what would be the opposite of one Spirit?
There were other religions in the past that had different spirits. Sometimes those spirits worked together and sometimes they seemed to compete against each other. It all sounds like something out of Greek and Roman mythology. However, different from all of that, in God’s church, there is one Spirit.
So, how important is that?
First, I want you to see that the Holy Spirit was present and active at the creation of the world. The second verse of the Bible tells us:
Genesis 1:2 (NASB95)
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
Next, let’s look at a few things that the Holy Spirit has done in the past.
· In the book of Exodus the Spirit of God gave a number of craftsmen special abilities so they could construct the tabernacle, that is, the house of God. (Exodus 31)
· In the book of Judges the Holy Spirit came upon Israel’s leader, Gideon, to give him courage to call the army together to fight against their enemy. (Judges 6:34)
· In the New Testament, Jesus promised the apostles that after He left them, the Holy Spirit would be sent. The Spirit would teach them the things they needed to teach and help them remember all the things Jesus had taught beforehand. (John 14:26)
· When the church was established the Holy Spirit gave gifts to many. These were miraculous gifts that helped the church to grow and mature. (1 Corinthians 12)
These are only a few examples. But when we also look at other passages of Scripture, we see that the Holy Spirit helps God’s people to do the things they could not do on their own. He is the great Helper from God.
Now, the Spirit of God assists Christians in a very special way that Paul describes in Romans 8.
Before we start reading the text, I want you to think about yourself.
· Do you ever have desires that you know are not good for you? (Eating junk food, taking a risk that is unwise, staying up playing video games or watching movies all night long.)
· Do you ever have desires to do something wrong? (Steal something, break into a building, destroy property, looking at pornography)
Where do those cravings come from? Would you say that they are physical desires or spiritual desires?
The apostle Paul writes about our physical cravings that are morally wrong calling them works of the flesh. He talks about living according to the flesh and living according to the Spirit, that is the Spirit of God. He says that a person is set free from the law of sin and death. This is done by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. His point is that every person is controlled by either their own fleshly desires which results in sin and death, or by the Spirit of God which results in life.
In verse five Paul beings to explain something that I think can be very helpful to young people.
Romans 8:5–8 (NASB95)
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
What does it mean to have your mind set on something? (That is your focus, the thing(s) you think about all the time. These are the things you desire most.)
Did you know that there is a result that comes by living according to the flesh, that is, having your mind set on fleshly things? There is also a result for having your mind set on the Spirit.
Romans 8:13 (NASB95)
for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
We need to understand that we are talking about life and death. I am not talking about physical life and death, but spiritual life and death. Those who live according to the flesh are doomed to die spiritually and forever be separated from God.
But look at the assurance for those who are led by the Spirit of God.
Romans 8:14–17 (NASB95)
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
That word “Abba” corresponds to our word daddy. I remember some of my friends laughing at me when I was about 15 years old for calling my dad, “daddy.” I guess I should have expected that. And yet, I remember a time when I was in trouble and I needed my dad. But I didn’t want dear old dad who goes to work and provides for the family; dad, the head of the house. I wanted my tenderhearted and compassionate daddy. The daddy I remembered as a child who was patient and forgiving. I needed understanding, not correction; forgiveness, not rebuke. That is the point that Paul is trying to get across. When God adopts us as his sons, we have the closest relationship with Him so that we can even call him “daddy.”
16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
Isn’t that fantastic? If we have been adopted by God, then we are his children and we are promised an inheritance. The odd thing is that we do not wait for God to die to receive the inheritance; we have to wait until we die. Our inheritance is eternal life. That is a promise from God for those who are His children.
Now, there are two questions that are important for each one of us, one generated from verse 9:
· Do I have the Spirit of Christ?
The second question is generated from verse 14:
· Am I being led by the Spirit of God?
Tri-States Christian Camp
Day 1, Class 2: One Spirit