7 'DEADLY SINS' OF THE CHURCH
#3: Not being spiritually-minded
Having a spiritual mind is of paramount importance.
Because—according to Romans 8 (discussed below)—God does not consider those who are not spiritually-minded to be His children.
Obviously, if we are not His true children, we won't be receiving an eternal inheritance from our Heavenly Father.
That certainly puts a premium on the spiritual mind, doesn't it?
In other words, we can faithfully attend public assemblies, give lessons at church,
conduct Bible studies, be law-abiding citizens, and the like...
...But if we fail to have spiritual minds, we are not part of God's true family (more on this later).
Therefore, we should all strive to be spiritually minded—according to God's definition (not our own),
because He's the One Who will be providing our inheritance, if we remain faithful until death (Revelation 2:10).
What exactly is a "spiritual mind?"
The Bible says:
Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh—but those who live according to the Spirit
set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
Plainly, for you or me to be "spiritually minded," we must have our minds very often on spiritual matters—in contrast to things of this earth.
Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things from above—where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Therefore, we must work to keep our minds "camped" on spiritual thoughts throughout the day. In so doing, we will be able to also
"live according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:5).
In other words, if you get your mind right, your body will follow.
On the other hand, having an "unspiritual" mind means simply not setting (or "camping") your mind often on the things of the Spirit,
on the things of God, on the things of the Bible.
Please note that being "unspiritually minded" doesn't necessarily mean continually dwelling on evil thoughts.
That's having an "evil mind."
Likewise, being "spiritually minded" should not be confused with having your mind continually thinking about administrative
matters of the church (advertising meetings, accounting work, organizational work, lawn mowing, secretarial work, kitchen cleaning, etc).
Although performing administrative activities may indeed be doing part of God's work (though teaching and preaching God's word is of greater
value: see Acts 6:3-4, Luke 10:38-42 [Mary & Martha]), thinking about such to the significant exclusion of truly spiritual thoughts is of little value.
Here's why you can't be saved without a spiritual mind...
Please consider the following verses from Romans 8:5-17:
Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh—but those who
live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
From these (and other) Biblical verses, we can quickly derive the following conclusions:
The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
...Those who are of the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not of the flesh but of the Spirit—if the Spirit of God lives in you.
And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
...If you are living according to the flesh, you will die; but if—by the Spirit—you are putting to death the
sins of the body, you will live.
For everyone who is being led by the Spirit of God is a son of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery that leads once again to fear—but you received a
spirit of adoption as sons (by which we cry, "Abba! Father!").
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are the children of God!
And if we are children, then we are also heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ; that is,
if we in fact suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
It's hard to get much plainer, isn't it?
- Being saved means "inheriting" eternal life (Matthew 19:20).
- We inherit eternal life by obtaining our Father's (God's) inheritance.
- For God to be our Father, He must first "adopt" us into His family.
- To be "adopted," we must have spiritual minds.
- Having "spiritual minds" means "setting our minds on things of the Spirit."
- Having "spiritual minds" also means "living in such a way as it's clear that we are being led by the Spirit"—in other
words, "living according to the Spirit."
- Therefore, to obtain eternal life, we MUST "set our minds on things of the Spirit."
Only those who have spiritually-dwelling minds, and Spirit-led actions, are going to receive God's inheritance of eternal salvation.
Therefore, developing and possessing a spiritual mind is of paramount importance.
Examples of what spiritual, and unspiritual minds will dwell on
John said that "...the world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." (1 John 2:17)
Therefore, I hope you would agree that it makes little sense for us to invest large amounts of time and energy to earthly matters.
Christians who spend a lot of time talking about—and being involved in—church assemblies, Bible studies, Bible discussions,
Bible reading, Bible meditation, visiting the sick, encouraging others spiritually, and the like—leave a picture
of where their hearts likely reside.
On the other hand, people who spend a lot of time involved in—and talking about—sports, shopping, hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, vacations,
and the like—leave a troubling picture of what's going in their minds as well. (There is sometimes value in such activities when in moderation.)
Spending a lot of time involved in, or thinking about, meaningless entertainment, doesn't really
make a lot of logical sense—since, again, "this world and its desires are passing away."
Furthermore, a person who is developing a spiritual mind takes on an entirely different outlook toward things (and people) they may have considered
uninteresting. As they increase their wisdom and understanding, they come to realize that where they really need to be "investing"
is in heaven. That's where their treasures need to be securely stored, rather than on this earth.
And the spiritual mind also starts valuing those who value these things. Instead of giving precedence in their lives to rich clients or the future
of their businesses, they are quick to respond to, communicate with, and encourage their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Such valuable people—who are God's adopted children—move to the "front burners" of their lives.
If your mind isn't set on spiritual things, your decisions and actions will likewise follow. That's why we should be very careful about what
we allow to continually access our minds—be it
inappropriate content from TV / movies / music / internet / books / novels / magazines—or the like.
Surely we must understand that all this is of satanic origin.
How to tell if a congregation is unspiritual
Just as individuals cannot hide spiritual (or unspiritual) minds, so is the case with congregations.
What are some of the signs a congregation is unspiritual?
One example is this: When a congregation is eager to attend non-spiritual events (such as organized church games, church dinners, cookouts, and
the like)—but lacks interest in spiritual activities (Bible studies, Bible discussions, praying together, mutual spiritual
encouragement, attending all church assemblies, or the like)—that's a troubling sign of a spiritually dead congregation.
Churches, and individuals, that fail to support the complete cause of Christ (reminder: Christ died to purchase the church–Acts 20:28),
because they don't want to miss a Sunday afternoon NFL game or some other meaningless event or program, will have to answer
to the One who died for their sins.
Here's a troubling reminder to such congregations:
In Revelation 2 & 3, Jesus addressed entire congregations that needed to repent.
I truly believe there are many today that need to do the same.
Sadly, many congregations pattern themselves after those who would call themselves "leaders." If leaders set wrong examples,
their congregations are in trouble. Conversely, leaders must not only set proper examples of spiritual-mindedness, but
encourage and rebuke those whose commitment level is not where it should be.
The Holy Spirit warned church leaders as follows:
Obey your leaders and submit to them. They keep watch over your souls as men who will give an account.
Church leaders will one day have to "give an accounting" to God for the direction they took their churches.
And considering the spiritual state of many modern churches, that is a chilling thought indeed.
Final points to ponder...
Physical Israel was commanded to impress God's teachings on their own hearts, AND the hearts of their children (Deut 6:6-7).
However, they became complacent, which led to a lack of knowledge ("My people are destroyed due to a lack of knowledge"—Hosea 4:6),
which meant they were not dwelling on the commands and teachings of God, which meant they did not have spiritual minds.
God therefore destroyed His people, who were religious, but not spiritual—much like their successors, the Pharisees, who
were responsible for crucifying their own Messiah.
David was described as a "man after God's own heart."
He was unsurprisingly the one who wrote: "...his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night." (Psalm 1:2).
Is there any question upon reading the Psalms of David that he was indeed spiritually minded?
The Bible says: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom"
(Colossians 3:16). If we do this, we will have spiritual minds.