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May 15, 2020

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Bible Gem 192 - Living according to the Spiri or the spirit (Rom 8:5-13)

March 24, 2019


For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the spirit the things of the spirit.  For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the spirit is life and peace: because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be: and they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the spirit ye mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  Rom 8:5-13  


In the Revised Version there is a clear line of distinction between the Holy Spirit and human spirit, indicated by whether the word is begun with a capital S or not. The editors of the RV have determined that all references not specifically stated to be Holy Spirit references will be taken as being human spirit. The point is there is a difference between the Holy Spirit of God and the human spirit. 

Let’s look at those verses again that are listed as determinant yesterday. 

But if God's Spirit lives in you, you are under the control of your spiritual nature, not your corrupt nature. Whoever doesn't have the Spirit of Christ doesn't belong to him.  (GW)

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  (RV)

You, however, are not of the flesh but under the control of the Spirit, since God's Spirit lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. (ISV)

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to Him at all.) (NLT)


Both the GW and RV determine that the first reference in Greek to πνεύμα in the sentence is the human spirit. These are the references that have the small case π [πνεύμα] in the Greek text. But the ISV and the NLT choose Holy Spirit rather human spirit. They have generalised all references to mean Holy Spirit not human spirit, despite the presence of the small case π [πνεύμα] in the Greek text. 


There is a degree of confusion as to whether the Holy Spirit is meant or the human spirit is meant. That confusion is present in life. We ourselves at times find it difficult to determine whether something is coming from the Holy Spirit or our human spirit. Is that the Holy Spirit or is that just me? The answer to that question is honed over years and through countless experiences whereby we are called on to make a value judgement. There are times when we will get it wrong. But the process thereof is the learning curve along which we progress. Time and experience helps us to determine if it is the Holy Spirit’s voice or our own. We learn to discern Him by hearing Him. Then the next time we can compare the current experience with what we remember of the previous ones. Yes we will get it wrong from time to time by God doesn’t mind that. Keep going. 


Ponder on this a little more and we will talk about it again tomorrow when we discuss Romans 8:14-18. 



If your 10 closest people do not know your passion, it is likely you do not know it yourself.


Fulfilment comes from the desires of your heart, not just the ideas in your head. Bob Gass 


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