Just as there is a raging war all around us, there’s another war raging between your self vs. spirit. Another look on this may be referred to as soul vs spirit. However, I’ll keep it as self as the scriptures we are going to be breaking down will be referring to the difference between the self and spirit of a man. In this case we’ll take a look at the spirit verses self on display of the apostle Paul.
Supernatural Truth Hidden in Plain Sight
Have you ever noticed that you never needed to be taught how to sin? From as young as you can remember, did you ever need any instruction in that department; doing that which is sinful? Any parents out there find yourself wondering how to teach your kids to sin properly?
If so, you have bigger problems than wondering about the difference between the self vs. spirit issue. Alright just kidding. But it is awfully telling what manner of creature we are from a carnal fleshly point of view by looking at what we need to be broken of, or maybe another way to put it would be to be freed from.
Because of our fallen nature, which came through Adam’s decision making process on whether or not to obey God, the law was eventually established through Moses. You may read the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, to read all about the Laws God established.
The Law in itself was perfect, which meant that nobody could fulfill the law without breaking something in it, as men are never perfect after the law was in place.
Sidebar – My Thought on the Law
My opinion on the Laws, or otherwise called the laws of Moses, is the following:
It was established by God for several reasons, among them would be to give man a guideline how God wants us to live our lives & how to please him (Before Christ specifically) to try to sum it up in one sentence.
My opinion is, there’s a much larger reason for the establishment of the law, and you don’t hear any mention of it often, which is the following:
As it was impossible for any man except for the Son of God alone to fulfill the law, it was established specifically for Jesus. Perhaps one of the most overlooked prophecies in the entirety of the Bible. The law was established, Jesus the Christ (Messiah) fulfilled it, the law goes away as complete through all that Jesus did, thus closing the book of the law opening up for us a new covenant shared by all who receive Him as the Son of God. To learn more about Salvation, click here.
Breaking from our Sin Nature
After we receive Christ Jesus, we receive a spirit born anew. Now, here is when there is a conflict of interest between our physical nature and our newly birthed spirit, which strives against the flesh to serve God in any way possible. The apostle Paul wrote a very confusing chapter in the book of Romans. It’s the latter half of chapter seven.
In these verses Paul separates the wants and desires between his self vs. spirit. Because it has a tendency to become a tad schizophrenic, I’ve taken liberty to color code the differences between the self and spirit he’s struggling with.
When he is referring to his spirit, I’ve highlighted it as blue. When he’s referring to his carnal self, I’ve highlited it as red.
(Note: This is just my interpretation deciphering between the two, and it is prudent to read it carefully for yourself as I could have messed it up.)
Book of Romans 7:8-24
8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
The self serves selfish (sinful) matters, while the spirit serves spiritual. The laws and conditions of this fallen world often collide with the laws discerned by the spirit. Especially once given the Holy Spirit, these things tend to stick out a lot more, as he leads us into all truth.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Where the rubber meets the road is, what to do with this conflict, and what are you following? Are you tending to go by your senses physically or spiritually?
The apostle Paul says later on in Romans chapter 8:
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Apostle James also chimes in on this matter:
4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Remember, with all decisions there are basically these two factors at play. If you want to make the decisions that are right with God, first you need to know what God thinks is right. Get into his word and let the Holy Spirit lead. Pray that he directs you in your situation and opens your eyes to discern what he’s trying to show you. Something that may help with this is this article about Waiting on the Lord.
Choosing God’s way over our own way is most often the more difficult road. But it’s the most rewarding in the end as the Lord knows what’s ahead. We just don’t. However, it does come much easier to be obedient to the Lord by default if we allow ourselves to be lead by the Holy Ghost. He never leads us astray, and constantly works on the heart.
I would venture to say, that a spiritually minded man (Holy Ghost driven, educated, and lead by the Lord), finds himself doing what pleases God, instead of striving not to disobey him. That is one of the reasons that the heart of a man is so important in the eyes of the Lord. So by placing your self into the hands of the Living God through Christ Jesus, your future is certain and you’ll have no greater companion to get you through all of the troubles that this world tries to throw at you.
Bolster and feed your spirit by prayerfully reading the Word of God, always asking the Lord to lead you through it via the Holy Ghost. He’ll lead you into all truth, and provide special insight that only the Author can give!
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Thanks for reading and I hope this page helps someone in some way. Please share with your piers and help spread this message around via the share button below, and also please leave a comment!!
I hope that this has helped you to become more aware and perhaps put a face to the struggle between our self vs. spirit.