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View Full Version : Discussion How is "spiritual" defined/recognised, according to the Bible?



9Marksfan
Sep 9th 2008, 09:49 AM
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, consodering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Gal 6:1 NKJV

How can we know that we - or others - are truly "spiritual", according to the Bible? How do we deal with people who say they are "spiritual" but manifestly are not - and how do we deal with those (sometimes the same people!) who accuse us of being "unspiritual"?

NavyFirefighter
Sep 9th 2008, 11:09 AM
Without doing alot of studying about, my first responce is to say to pray for them and for you own spirituality. Make sure that you are right with God first.

HisLeast
Sep 9th 2008, 01:22 PM
I think if we ever knew what it meant, we have long since forgotten.

TEITZY
Sep 9th 2008, 01:23 PM
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, consodering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Gal 6:1 NKJV

How can we know that we - or others - are truly "spiritual", according to the Bible?

Good question. I was actually thinking about this the other day however I don't think there is one definitive answer or proof text in the NT. A few passages that spring to mind include:

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

This is obviously pertinent since it is in the context of your original passage. Even the passage you quoted gives some insight into who is spiritual in relation to dealing with the sin of a fallen brother or sister. The attitude of the spiritual is one of concern, compassion and humility towards those caught in sin. The spiritual person does all they can to restore a fallen saint while the unspiritual criticizes and condemns them while proclaiming their own 'righteousness'.

1 Tim 3:1-7 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

I think in the qualifications for elders (and deacons) we can get a good picture as to who is spiritual and who is not, particularly in the area of leadership.

Heb 5:13-14 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Mature or spiritual believers are skilled in the Word and can "discern both good and evil". It should be clear that those who uphold, defend and love the truth are spiritual. If someone doesn't desire and understand the 'meat' of the Word they are immature. Sadly most professing Evangelical Christians fall into this category in the modern church. The lack of discernment amongst believers on even basic fundamental issues is staggering quite frankly.

Eph 5:18-20 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Really Eph 4-6 outlines the characteristics of "spiritual" people in various situations. But here in particular we have those who are filled or controlled by the Spirit and one of the results of that is willingness to submit, not only to Christ, but to Pastors/Elders, husbands/wives, parents, employers, government etc. In the modern church I see a lot more rebellion than submission going on. The world has a major issue with authority and so does the church it seems.


How do we deal with people who say they are "spiritual" but manifestly are not - and how do we deal with those (sometimes the same people!) who accuse us of being "unspiritual"?

How we deal with such people really depends on the context of the situation. Paul found himself in a similar situation with those at Corinth who claimed to be apostles and saying that Paul was not an Apostle. Paul tried to address the situation by outlining his own spiritual credentials, personally confronting the false teachers and exposing their error in light of the Scriptures.

Cheers
Leigh

Sold Out
Sep 9th 2008, 05:21 PM
I agree with Teitzy....a spiritual person must exhibit the fruits of the spirit. They must be in the Word regularly, praying always, and mature in the faith. I guess the best way to answer the question is: who would YOU recommend to approach a brother or sister that is caught in the snare of sin?

ServantofTruth
Sep 10th 2008, 08:57 PM
Are we talking about people we believe to not be Christians within the church? I'm deliberately being blunt here.

Or are we talking about people who although they accepted salvation gladly, have not matured/ grown much since baptism?

With the first group we are in error for judging them, instead of God.

With the second group we show love and patience, do nothing to make them stumble, and encourage them to begin growing in the Word of God. (I could mention the book of Romans, but i believe you are beyond needing me to guide to you the scripture verses) God bless, SofTy.

9Marksfan
Sep 10th 2008, 09:28 PM
Are we talking about people we believe to not be Christians within the church? I'm deliberately being blunt here.

Or are we talking about people who although they accepted salvation gladly, have not matured/ grown much since baptism?

With the first group we are in error for judging them, instead of God.

With the second group we show love and patience, do nothing to make them stumble, and encourage them to begin growing in the Word of God. (I could mention the book of Romans, but i believe you are beyond needing me to guide to you the scripture verses) God bless, SofTy.

I'm meaning Christians that accuse other Christians of being "unspiritual" - but don't define what they mean and seem to mean that you're just not saying what they'd like you to say - or just not "being" the way they want you to be - in a really vague, nondescript way - nothing unbiblical in what you say or do - but an accusation of being "empty" or "legal" or "academic".... :(

9Marksfan
Sep 10th 2008, 09:31 PM
Good question. I was actually thinking about this the other day however I don't think there is one definitive answer or proof text in the NT. A few passages that spring to mind include:

Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

This is obviously pertinent since it is in the context of your original passage. Even the passage you quoted gives some insight into who is spiritual in relation to dealing with the sin of a fallen brother or sister. The attitude of the spiritual is one of concern, compassion and humility towards those caught in sin. The spiritual person does all they can to restore a fallen saint while the unspiritual criticizes and condemns them while proclaiming their own 'righteousness'.

1 Tim 3:1-7 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

I think in the qualifications for elders (and deacons) we can get a good picture as to who is spiritual and who is not, particularly in the area of leadership.

Heb 5:13-14 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Mature or spiritual believers are skilled in the Word and can "discern both good and evil". It should be clear that those who uphold, defend and love the truth are spiritual. If someone doesn't desire and understand the 'meat' of the Word they are immature. Sadly most professing Evangelical Christians fall into this category in the modern church. The lack of discernment amongst believers on even basic fundamental issues is staggering quite frankly.

Eph 5:18-20 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Really Eph 4-6 outlines the characteristics of "spiritual" people in various situations. But here in particular we have those who are filled or controlled by the Spirit and one of the results of that is willingness to submit, not only to Christ, but to Pastors/Elders, husbands/wives, parents, employers, government etc. In the modern church I see a lot more rebellion than submission going on. The world has a major issue with authority and so does the church it seems.



How we deal with such people really depends on the context of the situation. Paul found himself in a similar situation with those at Corinth who claimed to be apostles and saying that Paul was not an Apostle. Paul tried to address the situation by outlining his own spiritual credentials, personally confronting the false teachers and exposing their error in light of the Scriptures.

Cheers
Leigh

Thanks for your thoughts - very similar to my own - I'd also thought that the Gal 6:1 passage needs to be looked at in the context of the previous verses - those who "live by the Spirit" and "walk in the Spirit" are those who bear the "fruit of the Spirit" - and are thereby spiritual. I'd also thought about Paul's conflict with the "superspiritual" "superapostles" in 2 Cor. Glad to see I'm not alone!