What Is It --Do You Know?
HOW OFTEN do
we hear one say, "He is so SPIRITUAL"; .
. . or, "Those people are not very spiritual."
What is true spirituality -- do you know?
We need, just now, to
be warned against being deceived into a false standard of
spirituality. We need to examine the true scriptural
Things Usually Accepted As Sure Evidence
There are four things
generally regarded as sure evidence of a spiritual mind.
1. Speech, noise,
2. Knowledge of the
4. Rigid standard of
It will prove
interesting, and profitable. to take a brief look at
each, and measure according to the scriptural standard.
1. The most commonly
accepted evidence of spirituality is the way people talk,
write, or demonstrate.
Some people have
deliberately cultivated spiritual-sounding language. Or,
perhaps, they have unconsciously acquired the habit of
using "spiritual" sounding expressions. People
say, "My, isn't Brother so-and-so spiritual?"
Many think a church
service does not amount to anything unless there is more
or less noise, mass enthusiasm, and a great deal of
emotion worked up and visibly expressed. They never enjoy
a sermon, no matter how edifying, unless the preacher is
full of certain emotional enthusiasm, fluent in the
accepted spiritual phraseology, and able to generate in
his audience the usual emotional re-actions and outbursts
expected in this type of meeting. If such things are
present, these folk enjoy themselves immensely, whether
they learn anything really worth while or not.
Usually the advance
announcements of such meetings assure the people of the
"big time" they are going to have. And they go
away talking about the "fine time" they
a Right Balance
This is not to discount
or to criticise the natural emotional expression
resulting spontaneously from a genuine spiritual
experience, or the true spiritual language springing
naturally from an honest heart. Far from it.
Some people are
naturally emotional. Some are not. We shall see from the
Scriptures that emotion and spiritual phrases of
themselves are not the essence of spirituality. They may
be the natural result, the honest and spontaneous
expression of it; or, if deliberately generated and
"worked up," put on for show and effect, they
may be only its counterfeit. And the sad part is that
those who deal in counterfeit always insist they
have the genuine. "By their fruits," Jesus
said, we shall KNOW.
It is important that we
get a right balance.
Snares and Pitfalls
2. The second class is
well indoctrinated. Usually these people do not believe
in much, if any, noise or any spiritual manifestations.
They have a great deal of head knowledge, but most of
this class have a great deal of misunderstanding, and
often they have queer personal theories and hobbies
resulting from misapplied, wrongly divided Scriptures.
They love to try to
trap and corner others with the Scriptures, and
especially do they delight in it if they are able to
corner some minister. Arguing Scripture is their one
great interest in life.
These misguided people
believe their arguments, contentions, and beliefs will
win their eternal salvation, without real repentance, or
living a surrendered, righteous life in Christ Jesus,
showing the fruits of the Spirit in their lives.
by Faith Alone
3. And then there is
the "faith" group. These say they are saved
"by FAITH, and faith ALONE."
They are not so much concerned about the Holy Spirit,
and seldom mention such things as repentance, utter
surrender, or any need of submission and obedience to
God's will and Law.
Their religion never
works any miracle-changes in their lives. Since
"Jesus died for our sins," we do not have to
obey. "Just BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and thou shalt be saved," is their sole condition to
salvation. The invitation of the ministers of this group
is "Give the preacher your hand, and the Lord your
And when, later, you
ask such "converts" what they did--what really
happened--when they "gave the Lord their
heart," they usually just look blank. They do not
know. It really did not MEAN anything. It was
merely a FORM. The churches of this class
should be called social clubs--they are not soul-saving
4. Finally, there are
those whose spirituality consists of a rigid standard of
righteousness. In fact they usually are so strict about
following God's commandments that they fall into the
error of keeping the strict LETTER of the law in
their own strength. They are scrupulously honest,
severely punctual, critically exact. But, as Paul said of
the strictest sect of his day, they are "going about
to establish their OWN righteousness," and
have not "submitted themselves unto the
righteousness of God" (Rom. 10:3). And they are
usually harsh, stern, critical, intolerant of those who
do not live up to their particular ideas of the standard
True Scriptural Standard of Real Spirituality
Now, let us turn to
God's Word, and humbly seek to learn what is GOD'S standard
Of the true spiritual
mind, God says to us, through Paul, "Let this mind
be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil 2:5).
But HOW can you
have the mind that was in Christ Jesus in you? Jesus
says: "Behold, I stand at the door (of your heart)
and knock: if any man hear my voice, and OPEN the
door, I will come in to him" (Rev. 3:20). And
Jesus meant exactly what He said! He will come in,
through His Spirit, and literally LIVE His life of
true righteousness in you, if only you will surrender all
of SELF and let the blessed Saviour IN.
"For ye are not in
the flesh, but in the Spirit, IF so be that the
Spirit of God dwell IN you. Now if
any man have not the Spirit of Christ, HE is NONE
OF HIS." Unless His Spirit abides within
you, living His life of true righteousness in you, you
are not a real Christian! "And if Christ be IN
you, the body is dead because of sin: but the
Spirit is life because of righteousness" (Rom.
When God first begets
us as His children, he takes us who have been proud,
worldly, sensual, disobedient. His ultimate aim is to
make us like unto Himself. This transformation (not reformation)
is a tremendous undertaking. It requires a miracle.
God stands pledged,
upon real thorough repentance, and faith in Christ (Acts
2:38) to start the performance of this tremendous miracle
by putting His Holy Spirit literally WITHIN you!
But God will work the complete change in your life ONLY
if you are willing to SUBMIT to the
process! The FIRST condition is real, deep,
thorough repentance. You will have to be willing to
accept correction and repeated chastisements at His
loving hands, for "whom the Lord loveth He
chasteneth" (Heb. 12:6).
The Spiritual mind is
the surrendered, yielded mind. It is the mind that
has given up all wanting its own way. It is the mind that
has been thoroughly CONQUERED in its rebellion
against God. It is the mind that, henceforth, is willing
to obey God, no matter what the cost, and which
continually studies God's Word, not to argue and strive
and corner others, but to learn more of God's
will, and to WALK in it! It is a mind FILLED to
overflowing with real LOVE for God and all fellow
men--even one's enemies--and which has sympathy,
patience, and kindness for others in their ideas and
beliefs, their faults and mistakes, which speaks softly,
gently, kindly; which seeks only to help and to serve. It
is the mind that has DIED to SELF.