The Nagging Question

For 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.  Romans 8:5

Many believe that a person is in one of three spiritual conditions; he is an unbeliever, he is a committed follower of Christ, or he is backslidden. I have always followed this line of thinking but after wrestling with Romans, perhaps there are only two categories; believers and unbelievers.  Those who live according to the flesh are unbelievers.  And, those who live according to the Spirit are believers. 

Could it be that simple?  We either follow Christ or we don’t.  The notion of God’s church being largely comprised of lukewarm, backslidden people could mean that we will all be surprised one day to witness ‘too whom’ Jesus says, “Depart from me.  I never knew you.”  It is worth asking the question ~ “Are we either followers of Jesus (with our minds set on the things of the Spirit) or are we hostile to Christ (having our minds set on the things of the flesh?) In just a few verses past today’s scripture, Paul will say that those who have their minds set on the flesh are hostile to God. He doesn’t call them backslidden.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that if I sin today, I am not God’s child.  I am going to sin – and I have already sinned even though it’s yet early in the day.  The question I must ask myself is this ~ “Did I sin with no regard whatsoever to the heart of God?  Did I sin without a conscience?  Will future sins follow today for which I will feel no tinge of remorse?”  The reason King David was called a ‘man after God’s own heart’ was not that he never sinned. It was because, when he did, his heart was pierced with remorse.

If I am a disciple, I will be ever conscious of the One I embraced as LORD.  If He never crosses my mind, then how, by definition, can I say that I gave my life to Christ?

God, please make things clear. If your child sins, He will think of you and be miserable. If someone else sins and does not think of you at all, is he simply lost? Bring me understanding. Teach me. I am your child. Amen

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