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Summary: Spirituality and carnality are abolute states. You can KNOW FOR SURE how to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and it’s totally a function of grace when you name your sins to God. It has NOTHING to do with works ("yielding", "surrendering", etc.)

Spirituality - How To Be Filled With The Holy Spirit

(1 John 1:9)

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While the most confused issue for the unbeliever has to be the gospel with so many false choices and imitations, I believe that for the believer it is the doctrine of spirituality. Ask ten people what it means to be spiritual and you’ll likely get ten different answers. Ask the same people how to be filled with the Holy Spirit and they’ll probably think you’re asking a different question!

The purpose of this study is to present a clear and organized explanation of what the Bible says on this topic.

1. Spirituality is defined as the state of the believer who is filled with, controlled by, the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:16,18).

Gal 5:

16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (NIV)

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. (NIV)

2. Carnality is defined as the state of the believer and the unbeliever who is controlled by the old sin nature (1 Cor 3:1-4).

1 Cor 3:

1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly-- mere infants in Christ.

2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?

4 For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men? (NIV)

3. Spirituality and carnality are mutually exclusive states. They are opposites. A person can not be part spiritual and part carnal. At any given time, a person is either one or the other (Rom 8:5-7; Gal 5:17; 6:8; 1 John 1:5).

Rom 8:

5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. (NIV)

Gal 5:

17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. (NIV)

Gal 6:

8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (NIV)

1 John 1:

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (NIV)

4. Anything which an unbeliever can do is not spirituality. The Bible tells us that an unbeliever is not capable of spirituality because he does not have the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 2:14). The unbeliever is dichotomous, meaning that he has two parts: body and soul. He has no human spirit because he was born spiritually dead. The believer is trichotomous, with three parts: body, soul, and human spirit. The believer has a human spirit because at the moment of salvation, he became "born again". Additionally, the believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God.

1 Cor 2:

14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

5. A believer must choose to be spiritual, "to have fellowship with Him", to "walk in the light as He is in the light" (1 John 1:6-7).

1 John 1:

6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (NIV)

6. The alternative to choosing spirituality is to choose carnality, choosing to "walk in the darkness" (1 John 1:6).

1 John 1:

6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

7. A believer chooses to be carnal, to be controlled by his old sin nature, when he commits any sin (Gal 6:7-8; 1 John 1:6-8).

Gal 6:

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (NIV)

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