November 20 2021
Today, Saturday November 20
Soulish or Spiritual?
Jude 1:17-19 “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”
In these verses Jude gives us four things to think about as we respond to the false teachers even in our day! And the first thing we should do is to remember God’s Word (Vs. 17-19). “Remember the words….” (Jude 17-19). And Jude reminded the believers that it was the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ who gave them this word of warning about the false teachers.
We need to remember what the apostles said about the false teachers how that they would be mockers. He also wants us to remember what the false teachers said and why they said it (v. 19). The false teachers want to divide the church and lead people out of the true fellowship into their false fellowship. Paul warned the elders of the church of Ephesus about these kind of people. "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:30).
Their appeal is usually, "We have a deeper knowledge of the Word that your church doesn't have! We have a better understanding of prophecy, or of the Christian life, than you do." They offer a "higher quality" religion than that of the Apostles.
Not only do false teachers divide the church, but they also deceive the church, because they are "sensual, having not the Spirit" (v. 19). The word sensual means the opposite of "spiritual." This is the way Paul used it in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, where it is translated "natural." (The Greek word is psukikos, which means "soulish.") Because the false teachers do not have the Spirit of God, they must function on their natural "soul power" alone.
One of the tragedies in ministry today is that some of God's people cannot discern between "soul ministry" and the true ministry of the Spirit. There is so much "religious showmanship" these days that the saints are confused and deceived. Just as there was "false fire" in the tabernacle (Leviticus 10), so there is "false fire" today in the church; therefore we must exercise careful discernment.
How can we discern between the "soulish" and the "spiritual"? By using the Word of God which is able to divide soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12); and by paying close attention to the witness of the Spirit of God within (Romans 8:16). A "soulish" ministry magnifies man, but the Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ.
When the Spirit is ministering through the Word, there is edification; but when the soul is merely "manufacturing" a ministry, there is entertainment or, at best, only intellectual education. It takes the Spirit of God to minister to our spirits and to make us more like Jesus Christ.
Today, we need to make sure we are sitting under and being influenced by a “spiritual” ministry and not a “soulish” person or program!