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Written by Bill Bradford
The apostle Paul wrote: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom 8:16 KJV). This section of Paul’s writing is focusing on the Spirit of God, but also refers to “our spirit.”
Paul provides additional understanding about “our spirit” in his letter to the Corinthian church. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God” (I Cor 2:11 KJV).
What is the spirit of man...as distinct from the Spirit of God?
The spirit of man, or “our spirit,” is a spirit God put in man. It gives him the ability to function in a physical world on a level above the animals. Man is a special creation with this spirit. It gives him the capacity to think, plan, imagine, project the future, adopt right values or adopt evil values. Man with this spirit has the ability to choose, based on his understanding of those values according to his resolve or lack thereof. Man can make right decisions or wrong decisions. He can be influenced to do either. The spirit of man allows us to have a relationship with God. But a human can’t know the things of God (truth, righteousness, purpose, faith, godly love) unless God reveals to him the things of God. This brings us to an important understanding.
We are incomplete as humans without God’s Spirit dwelling within us.
Without God’s spirit we are limited to worldly understanding of the physical. Many people have learned to be very effective in maneuvering in this world to their own personal benefit. This gets them nowhere with God unless God reveals to them “the things of God” which can only be known through His Spirit. When God calls a person, he or she can be so led, nurtured and otherwise taught by God through the Spirit of God -- with the potential to be the children of God and, if children, then heirs of God, inheriting all things. Without the Spirit of God we are limited to the same kind of life as the animals without hope of anything more in this life though the human minds would be greater.
While God’s purpose may be hidden from the majority of people, if you are reading this, and you have been called according to his purpose, your potential is so much more than any human imagination will allow. “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (I Cor 2:7-9 KJV).
Notice this next verse: But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (I Cor 2:10 KJV).
You can only know God’s potential for you, if God reveals it to you by His Spirit. Otherwise, it is hidden. God had a purpose for creating humans, with the capacity to have a relationship with Him. In that relationship we are generously given “the things of God.” No matter how much human intelligence we have, the things of God can only be known when He reveals them through His Spirit. Seek God’s Spirit, understand His purpose; become committed to it. The promise is to you and your children.
Why do you exist? What is your destiny? Is there a reason, a purpose, for human life? These questions have baffled the greatest thinkers and philosophers down through the ages.
Change is a major theme of the Bible. “Repent” and “repentance” are mentioned more than 60 times in the Bible. These words mean to change direction, to turn, to stop going in one direction and go in another, to change our thinking, to change our actions—in short, to change our lives. How about you?
Scripture tells us that we, too, need to undergo a transformation - a change, with God's help, from "the old man" to "the new man," a human being "renewed in knowledge" and "created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness" (Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:22-24). In this lesson we discuss this remarkable change, made possible by the transforming power of God's Spirit.
Are you desiring a closer relationship with God? If so, where do you start? What tools can you use to grow spiritually and build that all-important relationship with your Creator? This important study aid will set you on the right path. Read and begin implementing these important elements today!
Almost 2,000 years ago, a miraculous, momentous event occurred—the New Testament Church was founded on the Feast of Pentecost. What made this event so astounding—and Acts 2 records that the circumstances of that day were truly dramatic—was the giving of the Holy Spirit to the followers of Jesus Christ, just as He had promised.
In this booklet we will examine the Bible's teaching on conversion—it is not just a one-time event. Instead the Scriptures reveal that it is a process. The process begins with God's calling, followed by the key steps of repentance, baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, finally climaxing with the return of Jesus Christ — when the dead in Christ are resurrected to immortality and given eternal life — the ultimate transformation!
It’s obvious that our world is plagued with serious problems. Look around at the devastating wars, civil unrest, violent crime, rampant theft, corrupt governments, grinding poverty, hunger, spreading substance abuse, broken homes and families, natural disasters, failing educational systems and much more. These things aren’t new; they’re the sad legacy of human history. Is there any hope that these problems will ever be solved? Believe it or not, there is indeed great hope, and it’s found in the pages of your Bible. It’s called the gospel, a word that means “good news.” And it truly is good news, the message of Jesus Christ’s coming reign over the earth and God’s divine solution to our problems! Learn much more about this wonderful hope and news in the pages of this issue of Beyond Today. Download this issue in PDF. Individual articles will be posted in the upcoming days.