Spiritual Knowledge versus Worldly Wisdom
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. – Romans 8: 6
God gives every man and woman a choice to be spiritually minded or to function by worldly wisdom – by the five (5) senses alone. You have to make this choice some time in your life. Worldly wisdom won’t appear to be darkness, but actually will appear as light. But you will slowly sink down and down until you reach ‘without natural affection’. That is, if you reject God and His Word, you will head towards becoming a homosexual or a lesbian. That’s the lowest you can go and if you choose worldly wisdom, you eventually have no choice in the matter.
On the other hand, you can have life and peace. That is an abundant life in all its categories and the peace of God which will pass all your understanding. To accomplish this, you must study and apply the accurate Word of God in your life each and every day.
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. – James 3: 14, 15
God tells us clearly that worldly wisdom is of the devil.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. – James 3: 17
There are basically two (2) sources of information in this present world – one is from the true God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the other is from the present god of this world – the devil. To live by the first source will result in life to its fullest and the latter will slowly destroy you. We will compare and contrast both sources from God’s Word and then you can decide by which source you will choose to live your life. Most people today live by worldly wisdom because they cannot rightly divide or find a source where God’s Word is rightly divided and easily understood and therefore easily applied. YOU HAVE FOUND THAT SOURCE. What will you do about it? Surely you will choose to be spiritually minded.
One of the main reasons that most people have chosen to live by worldly wisdom is because they simply refuse to believe that the devil exists. The adversary (devil) is a master of deception and is the father of all lies. YOU MUST KNOW THE GENUINE BEFORE YOU CAN RECOGNIZE THE COUNTERFEIT.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. – II Corinthians 11: 13, 14
Satan’s end is getting closer and closer and he wants to take as many people with him as possible. Misery loves company. He can appear so beautiful on the outside, but crawling with worms on the inside. He is second in power to the true God. Do you actually think he can’t trick you? I’ve always had a saying I coined myself: "If you think you can’t be tricked, you already have been."
Do you want to believe the Word of God or what some man says? Do you choose to live by God’s laws or man’s? Do you know what we really deal with every single day?
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [from on high]. – Ephesians 6: 12
So what are we supposed to do? God tells us in the next verse and many of the following verses. Let’s study verse 13.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. – Ephesians 6: 13
Let me give you a literal translation of that verse according to usage:
Wherefore take unto you, in your renewed mind, all the resources of God, that ye may be able to withstand the evil one, and having done all, stand. – Ephesians 6: 13
Where are we to put all the resources of God? In our renewed mind. We all have an old man and we must replace his thoughts, which are all the result of worldly wisdom, WITH THE THOUGHTS OF GOD. This is a slow and continuous process, but it gets better day by day. It is a commandment of the Lord that we renew our mind.
I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable [logical] service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12: 1, 2
God is saying that he implores you to present yourselves to him, not to conform to this world (worldly wisdom), BUT to be transformed or transfigured by replacing the old man thoughts with God’s thoughts. This is the process of renewing the mind and it is YOUR KEY TO POWER. This process is continuous which means it will not end until Jesus Christ returns. We must not only renew the mind but APPLY what we learn. This is called the transition process and can be very difficult at times. Example: If you are used to lying all your life, now you renew your mind to God’s Word and learn the following:
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. – Ephesians 4: 25
Depending on what weakness you may have in your old man, some areas of the renewed mind may be difficult than others.
At times the renewed mind is a very slow process, but you must remember that you are to do your best and God will do the rest. Every day will get better if you don’t faint in times of adversity.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. -- Galatians 6: 9
God is exhorting us not to faint in our minds. The battlefield is between the ears. He assures us that if we don’t quit, we will eventually reap – we will win. God talks about the renewed mind in many places in His Word. In Ephesians chapter four (4), God mentions many renewed mind principles at the end of the chapter. Why should we renew the mind? God gives the best explanation.
That ye put off concerning the former conversation [conduct – manner of life] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; -- Ephesians 4: 22
Here we see that we are to put off the old manner of life, the old man. Why? Because it is corrupt as a result of living by worldly wisdom which is by deceitful lusts. Lust is anything above your need. That’s how we live when the world dictates what we do. In contrast to this, God exhorts us to do the following in the next verse.
And be renewed in the spirit [life] of your mind; -- Ephesians 4: 23
The word ‘mind’ used here is the Greek word nous. This is referring to the entire mind which collects data and makes decisions. You cannot make correct decisions unless you make them according to the Word of God. Something has to be old to make it new. All the things we have been taught before we became born again [ROMANS 10: 9, 10] are old thoughts and need to be replaced with new thoughts according to God’s blueprint for living.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. – Galatians 5: 16
Walk in the Spirit – this means to live, think and apply the revealed Word and Will of God in every facet of your life. If we do this we will not fulfil the lust [over-desires] of the flesh. Remember Romans 8: 6, the first Scripture in this teaching. The next verse gives a great comparison and contrast of spiritual knowledge versus worldly wisdom. It illustrates as to how one fights against the other.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these [desires] are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. – Galatians 5: 17
What God is saying is that the flesh and the Spirit are opposites in what they desire. Once the Word clears the cobwebs out of your mind, you are then able to do the things that you truly desire. Otherwise, you just won’t be able to do the things that you really want to do. The only thing that will defeat the enemy’s hold on you is an accurate knowledge of God applied in your life. Until then, you will be under the enemy’s influence and control whether you realize it or not.
If you are not convinced by now, the next section should be rather persuasive. We are going to stay in Galatians for the remainder of this teaching. We’ll examine the works of the flesh in detail – the absolute results of worldly wisdom. Galatians is also one of the seven (7) church epistles that are written directly to the Church of the Body of Christ – the born-again believers. Now let’s study what will be the result of conforming to the world and rejecting God’s matchless Word.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, -- Galatians 5: 19
Let’s work some of these terms. You should understand that fornication in the New Testament is referring to the sin of idolatry. This is putting something before God. If you place your job before God, it is the same as worshipping an idol. Idolatry takes many different forms today. We live in an idolatrous society where God is not first, but sometimes He is last in a person’s life. When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you should do is to turn your mind to God, study, and pray.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6: 33
Seek anything else first, and everything will be subtracted from you.
Uncleanness in verse 19 of Galatians chapter 5, refers basically to impurity as opposed to holiness. Being impure is to live in sin as contrasted to living a holy and blessed life being obedient and committed to God’s Word and in fellowship with Him.
Lasciviousness is living without moderation or self-control. It is living in excess and always wanting more. Anything to an extreme is not from the true God.
That’s not all you’ll get if you decide to live by worldly wisdom – look at the next verse.
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, -- Galatians 5: 20
Idolatry is mentioned more specifically here. Witchcraft is actually enchantment with drugs. That’s one you may find interesting. Hatred – really pleasant, isn’t it? Variance is strife, rivalry and contentions. You see this in the workplace often. There is actually a devil spirit called ambitious rivalry. Wrath is anger with a desire to seek revenge. We all know what strife is. Seditions is referring to dissension where people do not live and work together but they choose to be divided. Sound like the world today? Heresies is referring to taking away your options – your choices – your freedom. That’s what the world will do.
You should read verse 21 to see more of what the world has to offer you. God is always trying to do as much for you as He can and the devil is trying to steal, kill, and destroy everything you have. YOUR VOTE DETERMINES THE ELECTION.
Just going over all of these negative consequences of a worldly lifestyle isn’t very edifying, is it? Let us now shift gears and return to the blessings of spiritual knowledge.
When a believer operates the manifestations of Holy Spirit, he receives what God refers to as the fruit of the spirit. There are nine (9) fruit of the spirit mentioned in this same chapter in Galatians. This fruit is the result of spiritual growth.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. – Galatians 5: 22, 23
What an amazing contrast as compared to walking by the five senses. Love, joy, peace………………… if there were only three (3) fruit, IT WOULD BE TREMENDOUS! But God allows us nine fruit or benefits according to our believing (action). It is really beyond our understanding. I mention action because it is not enough just to believe it, we must ACT on the Word – renew our mind, and walk with the power of God. God tells us this in verse 25.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. – Galatians 5: 25
Don’t just talk the talk, WALK the talk. Believing without action is worthless.
Finally, I cannot help but to exhort and encourage you to learn the following Scripture by heart and never forget it. We went over this Scripture earlier in this teaching. When you’re trying to walk with God by spiritual knowledge, the world will fight you. Whatever you do, don’t quit because if you don’t you will win in the end. God guarantees it.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. – Galatians 6: 9