By Tyson Thorne

Nov 19, 2013


Welcome to You have discovered a place that reveres the Holy Bible. This site strives to spread spiritual knowledge, holy living, and godly influence. For one can only live by what one knows, and in so doing compel others to do likewise.  To think biblically, then, leads one to live rightly and speak courageously.

I do not believe there is any new revelation to be had, other than what God has already revealed through His Word. Unfortunately we have a hard time understanding what God has revealed. For instance, I believe God has shown me a way of understanding life that, while new to me, is very ancient. What is this truth? Simply put, we need to stop thinking about spiritual life as a derivative of our physical life for, in fact, the opposite is true.

Take for example the time we spend trying to make our bodies attractive. Is physical fitness wrong? Of course not. In fact there are benefits to be had from being in good shape. The question isn’t “is it wrong” but rather “what eternal value does it have?” This is not the body we will have for eternity. With that in mind, ask how much time you spend at the gym, in front of the mirror, or shopping for clothes – time spent developing or adorning your physical being (your body) -- and compare that to how much time you spend developing your spiritual being (your soul). If you, like me, have been a Christian for long then you have likely heard that our bodies are a mortal shell for an eternal soul. So why are we so focused on the physical being?

Even when it comes to sin, why are we so focused on the physical? Is there a distinction to be made between physical sin and spiritual sin? I can hear the reader already asking, “What is a spiritual sin?” See how far we have devolved in our thinking? We only consider the physical and rarely – if at all – consider the spiritual. Jesus gave a great example of spiritual sin: blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. In other words, giving credit to Satan (or someone else) for something God has done. There are other examples as well, which Jesus discusses in Matthew 5.27-.30. If our right eye causes us to lust adulterously, Jesus says “tear it out”. Likewise with our hand, cut it off if it is the tool of sin. Clearly the condition of our bodies is to be of lesser concern than that of our soul.

Think about it carefully. Why are the Old Testament penalties for fornication so different than those for adultery? Fornication is primarily a physical sin – sex is a physical act meant only for a married relationship. But to cheat on your spouse breaks a covenant the couple has made before God, and is therefore primarily a spiritual sin.

Again, I’m not saying physical sin is unimportant. It has consequences and will break connections we’ve built with God because God is without any sin. But it is hardly as important as spiritual sin, which we rarely give thought to.

I ask again, what are we doing to develop the eternal spiritual being housed in this mortal vessel? Most people are hard pressed to come up with any ideas as to how to develop their soul. A few may present prayer and study and memorization of God’s Word. These are good starts. Prayer connects us to God in relationship. Furthermore, Jesus promised that God’s Word would not pass away. I’m sure in one sense he was speaking of himself, for he is the Word that was from the beginning, but he specifies that not one “smallest letter or stoke of a letter” will pass away, indicating that God’s written Word is also eternally important (Matthew 5:18). It will likely be a part of our lives on the new earth as well. So these are good places to start, but they are not the only methods to develop our soul.

When speaking to some Israelites Jesus challenged them with a telling statement. They called themselves “children of Abraham” and he said, “If you were really children of Abraham you would do the things that Abraham did.” The implication for the modern believer is clear. If we are going to call ourselves followers of Jesus, then we ought to do the things that Jesus did.

Jesus did spend time in prayer (see Mark 1.25 and Luke 6.12 for just a couple examples). Jesus did spend time reading Scripture (Luke 4.16-.20) and debated with others the meaning of passages of the Bible (Luke 2.46-47 is the first recorded example). So again, these are keystones of spiritual development. But this is not all Jesus did.
Jesus involved himself in the lives of sinners. Often he would confirm for them that they were not living a life pleasing to God, but he did so in a way that wasn’t harsh. He showed that he cared about them. He was less concerned about their sins than about who they were and about teaching them how to connect to God.

Jesus tells us that feeding the hungry, giving shelter to those in need, and assisting widows and orphans are all not only good deeds but practices that develop the soul. We may not be able to heal the sick or raise the dead, but there are plenty of things that Jesus did that we can do.

When was the last time you heard a sermon about how to hang out with prostitutes in a way that honors God? Jesus did that. How about the last sermon you heard about how to befriend people who would eventually let you down and betray you? Jesus did that. Any sermons on confronting dark spiritual entities? Jesus did that too.

I hope you are beginning to see what God has shown me, we need to start thinking about who we want to be when we meet God face to face. One thing is certain, we are not going to meet him in our physical bodies. It is likely that this mortal shell will be left behind and it will be our spiritual being that is present before the Lord. What will be the condition of our soul? Will it be scrawny and weak? Or buff and full of energy?

When we start dismissing the physical realities of this world in favor of spiritual realities, the desires of the flesh become lessened. One of the key doctrines of Christianity is the hypostatic union – that is that Jesus is both 100% man and 100% God at the same time. How can that be? It’s very much like the way God made us. We are both physical and spiritual beings. The baby God created in Mary’s womb was a vessel for the third member of the trinity. Just as God “dwelt” in a tent the Israelites carried through the desert, and later in the temple of Solomon, so God dwelt in a child that grew into a man.

As such, Jesus felt every temptation that we feel. Yet Jesus shrugged those temptations off far more easily than we do. Why? What was his secret? Yes his spiritual being was perfect which helped, but it was his understanding of eternity and of spiritual reality that enabled him to overcome Satan’s temptations. We can do likewise. Maybe not perfectly, but we can follow his example and be far more successful with defeating temptation than we are when we only focus on the physical side of life.

For example, some may be tempted with food. Gluttony is a physical sin that is very real for many people. One can become consumed with thoughts about food and intensely desire food in an unhealthy way. What would happen if that person realized that every meal had not only a physical reality but also a spiritual one? Why are we so concerned with pleasuring our taste buds when we could be feeding our soul? There is no spiritual gluttony. We can never have too much humility, too much generosity, too much prayer, too many relationships with people who need God’s forgiveness.  I want my soul to be strong with faith, well fed on his Word, and made beautiful by having meaningful attributes like holiness, self-control, mercy and love. In short, I want my soul to be one God can be proud of.

Next time you’re running on a treadmill try thinking about what you can do for someone in need, or how to bless someone in your life. When the physical workout is over, go and perform the spiritual workout you need. Do the things Jesus did. Think of life the way Jesus does – from a spiritual perspective and not a physical one.



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