Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about human spirituality is downright exciting, sometimes scary, but it is absolutely true. I start with a story.
Recently, I watched a Billy Graham TV classic crusade from 1961. I think it was somewhere in Minnesota. Some 50,000 people were jammed together in a huge stadium. I remember those hairdos – like Elvis had, with the big wave up on the forehead. The horned rimmed eye glass style and the narrow ties brought back memories.
Then my mind flitted to a little village in Tonga where I attended a church service a few years ago. There was a corrugated iron roof attached to the top of some coconut wood posts. A three foot wall rose from the floor, and every thing else was open air. The dogs slept on the ground outside the open door, and chickens kept flapping up to perch on the wall. People sat on the floor, and the preacher preached the same things Billy Graham did.
Where ever one goes in the world, into any culture, and in any time of history, people have had a form of religious expression that reflects our human spirituality. Dogs don’t worship. Chickens don’t pray. Horses don’t sing hymns. Only people do. Why?
Humans are Spiritual Beings
We are spiritual beings. You and I are creatures made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). The Bible states, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Paul penned, “and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Consequently, we possess a dimension of human spirituality. It is to our benefit and pleasure to explore just what that means. This is you. This is how you are made.
The human spirituality is what orients people to God, animates the soul, and becomes the shrine of the Holy Spirit in Christians. It is the part of us that communicates and relates to God – and to the spiritual world.
Our souls, on the other hand, comprise our emotion, intellect, and will – and express themselves through our physical body. Both our soul and spirit live on after our physical bodies expire, and wait for resurrection day (1 Corinthians 15).
As a disclaimer, Christians are divided on the issue of whether we have only two parts (soul and body), or three (body, soul, and spirit). Anyway you slice the pie, even if we only have a soul, then part of it must do spiritual things - such as worship and pray. Human spirituality still exists.
“Ok,” you say, “then just what is human spirituality?” Wow! That is a good question, and it cannot be fully answered. But, stay with me, and we can come up with some things that are purely spiritual.
The Faces of Our Spirit
•Worship is a place to start in discovering what the Bible teaching about human spirituality. From just the verses I quoted above (John 4:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:23), we learn we are to worship with our spirit, and that there must be some sort of growth and nurture process with our spirits.
•Prayer is another part of the picture. Paul wrote, “…the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us…” (Romans 8:26).
•Christian service seems to be another function of human spirituality. Paul said, “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice…which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).
•It would appear that faith is another spiritual activity. The writer of Hebrews penned, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is…” (Hebrews 11:7).
•A unique quality of life, as described in Galatians 5:22, 23 is a spiritual role, because it is attained by being “Led,” living by,” and “walking” with or by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:18, 25). Our spirit is the part that interfaces with the Holy Spirit.
•Our spirits occupy space, evidently, after our physical death! Again, we turn to Hebrews, “to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23).
•To round out this list, I suggest that our spirit is something that must be “born again” (John 3:3ff.). At least, that is what Jesus said. Following up on the concept, Paul told us that our spirits are somehow “dead,” but that God, “made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:1, 5).
Importance of Jesus Christ
Well, it turns out that our human spirituality is important, and occupies a huge part of your life, and my life too. To piggy back on the last point above, our relationship to Jesus Christ will make or break your success in spiritual life. He is the starting place.
Jesus said that to be “born again,” we must personally receive Him as our Savior. For example, John writes, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12, 13).
This is the answer to the problem posed by Jesus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). A huge dilemma! To start, maintain, and complete our spiritual journey, the Bible says it is all of Jesus Christ.
Igniting Your Human Spirituality
There are four steps involved in being born again, and it all centers on your sincere heart attitude before God. Here are the steps.
•Realize that God actually loves you and wants your best welfare (John 3:16; 14:6).
•Realize and take responsibility that you have sinned, and deserve eternal judgment (John 3:16, 36; Romans 3:23; 6:23).
•Realize that Jesus Christ alone took the full, eternal penalty for your sin on the cross, and rose from the dead to give you eternal life, which is a free gift, and not of your own works (Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8, 9).
•Respond by an active decision in your heart and will to receive the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life from Christ, and call on Him for salvation (Romans 10:9-13; Revelation 3:20).
A simple pray from your heart might be something like this: Heavenly Father, I admit to you I am a sinner in need of your salvation. I confess my need to you, and ask for your free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. I acknowledge that Christ alone paid the full penalty for my sin. Please be my Savior and the Lord of my life. In Jesus name, amen.
All the best to you, and may God bless you as you keep studying. From here, turn to other studies in this section on spiritual life.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. How important do you think is the issue of your human spirituality? Explain.
2. What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24)? Explain.
3. How would you define “human spirituality”? Explain.
4. What do you think Jesus meant when He said, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3; cf. verse 6). Explain.
5. Do you need to be born again? Explain.
6. Explain what you think Jesus meant in John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
7. How many people have sinned against God (Romans 3:9-20, 23)?
8. Explain how a person can be born again.
9. How many sins does Christ’s sacrifice cover
(Hebrews 10:10-14)? Explain how this could happen.
10. What stands out to you the most in this study?
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