Are You Alive Or Dead Spiritually?

When we were non-believers we were very selfish and disobedient to God.  Our sins made us as dead men as we lived as the world lives.  We were controlled by Satan as everyone who is not a believer in Christ and were under the control of the evil one.  Scripture says the result would mean we would not only die physically but spiritually as well.  We were not aware that our sins made us spiritually dead and separated from God.

In our weekly Bible group we take Scripture and try to make it fit what it means to us today.  The above came from Ephesians, chapter 2:1 – 6 – “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”

We believe the air is filled with demons and evil spirits and they are at work in those who are disobedient to God.  Isn’t Scripture saying all unbelievers are influenced by Satan?  We had his similar nature and his similar character and that prompted us to initially reject and disobey God.  We were born with a prideful and disobedient spirit.  Being disobedient we had to be taught how to become obedient.  As Satan deceived Eve he continues to deceive us into believing his way is best and that all God wants is to take all of the fun out of life.

Prior to our accepting Christ we were also controlled by our natural desires.  We were born with this sinful nature into a world that is cursed by sin.  Our sins are what kept us from knowing God and understanding Him.  Being without God, Christ and the Holy Spirit we did not even realize we were separated from the Trinity and without hope for eternal life.

We can only thank God for His mercy and grace.  As God raised Christ from death, He raised us also and brings us into His Heavenly realm.  We were told that God’s love was able to forgive us of our sins and accepted us into His family.

Ephesians 2:8 & 9 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

When someone gives me a gift I feel obligated to do something in return.  Many religions and some churches teach that you are obligated to work your way to Heaven.  They write books and manuals clarifying what you are expected to do to warrant your redemption and salvation.  Without their supervision and control chances are you will lose your salvation along the way.

A typical example was the Judaizers trying to convince the early church of their need for circumcision and living under the 613 Jewish laws.  Today we have legalists who believe that you must live under a number of non-essential rules that they believe must be performed to be qualified as a Christian.   Some teach that if you are not baptized you will never enter Heaven.  As important as Jesus indicated it was, and it’s essential, that means the thief on the cross only went to Paradise and never to Heaven.  What about death-bed conversions?  Should we not pray for someone who is dying that they accept Christ before they pass on, since there is no chance of being baptized?  As important as Christ said communion was and it’s essential, I cannot find how often we were to partake.  Some believe adamantly you are being disobedient and sinful if not taken at least weekly.  We had a number angrily leave our church when we stopped doing communion as a part of every Sunday service.

It takes faith to be saved and I believe that faith is given to us by God and His Word.  It has nothing to do with earning salvation.  Otherwise, we could boast by saying: “Look what I have done”.  Finally, this is why I believe Christ will judge us by our heart and our spirit.  Our judgment will not be based on what we do, as important as doing deeds are.  However, if our heart and spirit is right, we are going to do everything we can to please God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Every deed we do will be done out of love of serving and not because we had to.

A Christian that does nothing but gripes and judges others I would suppose their heart is not where it should be.  But, I leave that up to Christ as to whether they are dead or alive spiritually.   That’s above my pay-grade.

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