The right focus

Greetings folks

1 Corinthians chapter 2 and verse 12 says this: “ Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

As the apostle Paul begins his first letter to the Corinthians, knowing that he is writing to a congregation divided among itself, he patiently explains to them what makes them different from those in the world yet at the same time unites the members of the church. He, of course, refers to God’s Holy Spirit, given to all Christians at conversion. The apostle John calls it “the anointing which you have received from Him” (I John 2:27), implying that Christians have been ordained, and thus set apart or sanctified, to a task or office that others have not been given.

This sets up a challenge. On the one side are Christians who have freely received God’s Spirit, and on the other are all other human beings who, Paul says, have received “the spirit of the world” (see also Ephesians 2:2). Thus, there is a clash of spirits, a collision of motivating forces, at work between the Christian and the world. The apostle writes in Galatians 5 that the two spirits are diametrically opposed, one producing “the works of the flesh,” while the other bears “the fruit of the Spirit” (verses 16-25). In fact, he declares in Romans 8:7 “The carnal mind is enmity against God”; the worldly person, imbibing of the spirit of this world, lives in hostility to God and cannot do what God commands.

The Spirit from God, though, removes the human hostility and allows the Christian to know—that is, realise, understand, and use—the gracious gifts of God. These gifts are predominantly spiritual blessings rather than physical ones. Jesus advises His disciples not to worry about food, drink, and clothing because God knows that physical human beings need such things to live (Matthew 6:25-32). Instead, He says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (verse 33). The Christian’s mind not only during Covid-19 but all the time is to be focused on God’s goal and godly things that will propel him along the way there, and he can do this only by the many gifts bestowed through God’s Spirit.

Take care all and I hope these simple thoughts help you and encourage you along your path.

Every blessing

Mark

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