Marks of the Spiritual Man and Self-examination
Marks of the Spiritual Man Galatians 6:1 … YE WHICH ARE SPIRITUAL … (are you?) 1. He wants to see the honour of God advanced through his life, even if it means that he himself must suffer temporary dishonour or loss. John the forerunner – John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. (Such a man prays “Hallowed be Thy name,” and silently adds, “at any cost to me, Lord.”) 2. The spiritual man wants to carry his cross. (The cross is that extra adversity that comes to us as a result of our obedience to Christ) 2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 3. He desires to die right rather than to live wrong. 1Co 9:15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. 4. He desires to see others advance even at his expense. John the forerunner – John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 5. He sees everything from God’s viewpoint, even if it humbles him and exposes his ignorance to the point of real pain. 2Ki 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 6. The spiritual man habitually makes eternity-judgments instead of time-judgments. Plowing a field 7. He desires to be holy rather than happy. (John Wesley said of the members of one of the early Methodist societies that he doubted that they had been made perfect in love because they came to church to enjoy religion instead of to learn how they could become holy.) Such a man would rather be useful than famous and would rather serve than be served. You cannot be a good leader without being a good servant. Scripture speaks of some things that bring happiness to the spiritual: Obedience – John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Clear conscience – Romans 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. Enduring rather than fleeing trials – James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (Heb 11) Suffering for HIM – 1 Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (Heb 10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.) Martyred missionary Jim Elliot said it best: “He is no fool to give what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” Reproached for HIS name – 1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. Witnessing – Acts 26:2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews: Is your ekklesia (Gathering Centre, Church) like a cruise ship, where people focus on having a good time? or an aircraft carrier, where they come for fuel, and leave on missions to be ambassadors for God? Knowing our level of spirituality requires self-examination! 1. What do we want most? (Pr 23:26 My son, give me thine heart,) (Ps 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.[LEB – Ps 42:1 As °a deer longs for streams of water°, °so my soul °longs for you, O God.]) 2. What we think about most.( Pr 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:) 3. How we use our money. (Mt 6:24 noone…;Lu 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.- [no one, or no household slave, or no personal slave]) your threefold enemy (the world/flesh/devil) will use money to use you, or you will overcome and use money for HIS glory. 4. What we do with our leisure time. (Time is another thing we can “spend”, but it can also be redeemed [Eph 5:16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.]) 5. The company we enjoy. (1 Co 15:33 °Do not be deceived°! “Bad company corrupts good °” – or ruins good °morals.”) 6. Whom and what we admire. (Elijah/Elisha, Moses/Joshua, 1 Kings 12:13 Rehoboam answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him 14 And spake to them after the counsel of the young men) 7. What we laugh at. (What is our motive for laughter? In Gen 18 Sarah laughed in unbelief, but in Gen 21, at the birth of the prophesied Isaac, she laughed in joy How do you feel about the laughter? Does laughter have its place? Ec 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; I think scripture makes it clear there is a time for it.) [Based on a sermon by A. W. Tozer]  Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 279). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.