9. Prequel: The Church at Philippi (NKJV) Paul’s Second Missionary Journey

August 30, 2019

Those Being Led by the Spirit of God,

They are the Sons and Daughters of God (Rom. 8:14)

Please read Acts 16: 6-15, for the sake of saving the word-count on this document. If fact, it would be better for the reader to pick up their own Bible and study these verses for yourself. As you can see, the Holy Spirit forbade Paul and his companions to go into the regions of Asia, and Bithynia. When they arrived at Troas, a vision came to Paul in the night. I think it safe to assume that he was asleep at the time and the vision came to him by way of a dream. It says in Acts 2: 17…” Your young men shall see visions; your old men shall dream dreams” (Joel 2:28). These are the inner workings of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding them by the inner man (Eph. 3:16-19) on their journey. This is where the Holy Spirit resides and this is where He speaks to our regenerated human spirit. The Apostle Paul was very sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings (1st Tim. 4: 1-5) Many Christians leaders live their lives based upon the dictates of the flesh led by the soul. They bind themselves with legalism, and if you are not careful they will do the same to you.

This is a topical study on how The Holy Spirit leads via our human spirit then and now. For the sake of a reference point, let us add these three points as a reminder:

  1. Conscience: Is the discerning organ that distinguishes right from wrong. Not by knowledge stored in the mind, but rather by spontaneous and direct judgment. The conscience is a blank slate at birth; it is developed over a period of time and experience. Our parents, siblings and our environment write on this blank slate. Once developed it is independent and direct, and will not bend to outside influence. (Rom. 2:14-16; Heb. 9:9-14; 10:19-22)

  2. Intuition: instinctive knowing (without the use of rational processes); an impression that something might be the case (hunch; suspicion) e.g. “he had an intuition that something had gone wrong” Or, “I had a feeling you would call me today”.. (Matt. 26:41; Mark 2:8; Acts 18:5; 1st Cor. 2:11

  3. Communion or Fellowship= koinōnia: 1) fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse; 1a) the share which one has in anything, participation; 1b) intercourse, fellowship, intimacy. (Acts 2:42; 1st Cor. 1:9; 1st Cor. 10:16; Gal. 2:9; Eph. 3:9; Phi. 2:1; 1st John 1:3; 1st John 1:6)

John 14:21 “The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].” (AMP) The fullness of the Godhead becomes a reality to us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. We walk by the unseen (2nd Cor. 5:7; 2nd Cor. 4:18; Heb. 11:1) not by our five senses. In other words, the spiritual Christian lives his or her life from the inside out. However, the spirit and soul can never be separated; they can only be distinguished. 

We are spirits, we have a soul and we tabernacle (live) in a flesh and blood body. One day this body will undoubtedly separate itself from the spirit and soul; we call this physical death. The Believer should have no fear because Christ has dealt a crushing blow to what men fear most:

1st Cor. 15: 53 “For this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades (grave), where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” To allow legalism and the law to bind us is to give power to sin. Anyone who walks according to your spirit, which is in communion with the Spirit of God will know what it truly means to be free.

The spirit and soul cannot be separated, they can only be distinguished. That word ‘tabernacle’ is crucial because most people believe that their body (tabernacle) is the sum total of our human existence. God created us in his image and likeness. We know that God is a tri-part being, so it is safe to conclude that we also are tri-part beings:

1st Thess. 23 “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Apostle Paul tells us via the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the sum of a human being is three in one. He is not speaking figuratively here; nor is it a metaphor. Even if we should die and return to dust, that dust will be reconstituted and brought back together with our spirit and soul.

We should take a closer look at Paul’s journey to Philippi. He wrote in Rom. 8: 14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God”. Maturity leads to Sonship, immaturity means we are still babes in Christ, who cannot make the distinction between their spirit and soul, much like children. As children, it’s  difficult for toddlers to rightly divide the Word of Truth (1st Tim. 2:15). That is why we need Teachers in the Body of Christ. Their job is to lead us to living water (John 4:14). Maturation has little to do with how long a person has been a Christian, or how often they go to church (it’s not a competition), but it has everything to do with the time we spent in communion with the Holy and studying the Word of God, A mature Christian will have an unquenchable thirst for God in everyday ( Matt. 5:6).

In the case of the Apostles, we must pay close attention to how they heard the Spirit of God, and how they responded to His still voice. Many of us are still waiting for that booming voice from the sky. If you allow yourself to believe that is the only way He speaks to you, you will not get very far in The Kingdom.

In Acts 16, Paul received instruction twice regarding his itinerary, and a third time he saw a vision in a dream. These came to him via the indwelling Spirit of God. When we deprive ourselves of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we grope around in darkness, always seeking signs or something to feel. With that said, I will leave you to read Acts 17: 19-28 on your own. To be continued…

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