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Spiritual Gifts 1 - God's concept of Spirituality.

Monday, Sept 21, 2009. The bible knows God as the father, the son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Christian faith has an integrated idea of spirituality. God himself is spirit. Humans are both spiritual and physical beings, where spirit and body is highly integrated. A deep spirituality is one of the pilars of Christianity.

The spiritual world plays a crucial role in the Christian idea of our world. There are many beings in the spiritual world. And humans take part in this world by their own spirit. Our own existence, our culture, our feelings, thoughts and deeds are all linked with the spiritual world. Our motivation, our plans and desires, all this is a part of both the spiritual world and the physical world at the same time. Often the bible speaks about “spiritual” behavior, in contrast to a worldly behavior, or a behavior according to 'the flesh'. This does not refer to the spirit as such, but to the spirit of God and his presence in our life.

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This brings us to an important point and task of the bible. Its idea is to bring us into a state where God's spirit lives in us, where we are linked and connected with his spirit. The goal is to bring humans into a spiritual unity with the Holy Spirit. It is important to realize that the biblical idea of “spirit” is much more than just similarity or identical goals. The spirit is understood to have an existence by itself. It is a reality. Humans are flesh and spirit. We all live in these two highly integrated realms. Some parts of philosophy have tried to make a crucial distinction between the spiritual world and the world of matter. But for the bible both is strongly linked. The Jewish tradition does not know the separation between spirit and matter in the same way as later philosophical streams tried to work it out. For the bible our spiritual state will also influence our physical state and vice versa.

The spirit of God longs to come to us and have community with us. God wants us to become a part of his kingdom, to become a part of the “body of Christ”. When we come to faith in Jesus, we are “born again” in a spiritual sense, we appear as a part of the earthly body of Jesus. We become a part of the spiritual realm of God. His spirit comes to us and takes his home in us. We appear to God as a part of Jesus, as the extended body, Jesus leaving on earth today through all his followers. His love, his truth, his dedication, his patience and all the other parts of his character become real in and through us. He tries to live and work out his ways in our life, through his spirit. That might be a hard thing for him, since we keep our will. We still might have many of our habits which do not fit to his character. But now he is there, he wants to move forward towards a future which is reigned by the Holy Spirit.

God's concept of spirituality is the Holy Spirit in those who believe in Jesus. His concept includes the power of the spirit as the guiding force in our life. His character becomes a part of our hearts, of our will, of our minds. It is a concept if intimacy in its deepest meaning. It is a concept of sincere love and dedication, of community as strong and deep as we could ever imagine. God's concept of spirituality is the best we can think of, far beyond our wildest dreams! [R.W.E.P., jesusnetwork.eu]

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