Two Ways of Life
There are two kinds of people.
Those who are of the flesh and those who are of the Spirit. Those who are of
the flesh love this life and seek its glory. They worship evil and hate what is
good. The spiritual people give up their lives for the sake of righteousness.
They live for the Lord. The two differ markedly in thoughts, wills, and
Those Who are of the Flesh
Those who are of the flesh refer
to those who live in this sinful world, who refuse to accept sound advice but
insist on their own ways. They may be classified as follows:
1. Worshipping the false gods
“For what can be known about God
is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of
the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been
clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without
excuse” (Rom 1:19-20). These people have exchanged the truth of God for lies
and worship the created instead of the Creator. They have changed the glory of
God into breathless idols which look like perishable men. For this reason, they
can never find peace.
2. Seeking after pleasures
Many people seek after pleasures
in order to satisfy the desires of their flesh. One needs to earn money before
one can seek pleasures. Some countries develop a type of “pleasure
fulfillment”. The advance in science, industries, agriculture and technology
does not make one live in peace. The fear that good things don’t last is always
present. Millions of people in the superpower nations are sick because they
worry too much about losing their happiness through sickness. They are fearful
of cancer and high blood pressure because these are the diseases which have no
known cure, and which make one lose love ones. Money is not everything. It can
only give you enjoyment when you are well but it will not remove the pangs in
your heart because of the loss of your loved one. As sin came into the world
through one man and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all
men sinned (Rom 5:12).
3. Showing no charity to the poor
The world offers a sea of
opportunities to love and show kindness to the less fortunate. However many
refuse to give aid to the poor and needy. They show no compassion to the sick
and dying. Such people will realise the follies of their actions as seen in the
gospel of Luke. Jesus narrated a story of a rich man who cared for nothing
except his own indulgence in earthly pleasures. He showed no charity or mercy
to a poor man named Lazarus who was full of sores, lying at the gate of his
house. In the end God punished him.
He was tormented in Hades alter
he had died (Luke 16:9-31). Hence, if it is within our means, we should always
give to the poor and never follow the footsteps of the stingy rich man.
4. Rejecting the salvation grace
There are those who treasure the
world above anything else. They will give all sorts of excuses for not
accepting the grace of God. They are like those recorded in the gospel of Luke
chapter 14 where the Master sent out invitations to a great banquet. Excuses
such as having bought a field, oxen and having married a wife were given for
not accepting the invitation to attend the banquet. Thus, many people reject
the salvation grace because they are preoccupied with the things of the world,
little realizing that they are walking in the path that leads to destruction.
5. Quarrelling over the division of family wealth
There are those who would quarrel
over the division of family property with no regard for blood relation because
of their greed for money. The Lord Jesus gave warnings to such people: “’Man,
who made me a judge or divider over you?’ And he said to them, ‘Take heed, and
beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance
of his possessions’” (Luke 12:14-151). People turn away from God because of
their greed for money. Without God, the spiritual life will wither and die.
Judas Iscariot is an example of a man whose greed for money leads to his own
Those Who are of the Spirit
Those who are of the Spirit are
the people who have given up fame, status and wealth to take up the cross and
follow Jesus. They lead people to walk in the path of righteousness and bring
glory to the name of the Lord.
They are characterized by:
1. A truthful heart.
People who are truthful have no
deceit in their hearts. They flee from what is evil and keep to their path.
They worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It is for this reason that
God chose Abraham (Neh 9:7-8). He was made a great nation, having peace in this
life and blessing in the life to come.
2. An ability to discern truth from falsehood.
A true believer is not only
truthful and faithful to the Lord, he also knows what
is from above. “He who comes from above is greater than all. He who is from the
earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly matters” (Jn 3:31).
People who belong to the light
walk in the light. They bear the fruits of goodness, righteousness and truth,
to the glory of God (Eph 5:8-9). But the fools give themselves up to
drunkenness and immorality. They make troubles for others and plot evils
against the innocent (Prov 17:5).
3. A charitable character.
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or
boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it
is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in
the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor 13:4-7).
4. A devout heart.
They worship the one and only
Lord Jesus who hate evil and abhor wickedness. God has highly exalted Him and
bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus
every knee should how, in heaven and on earth and under the earth (Phil
2:9-10). Paul sacrificed himself and served the Lord faithfully because he knew
that (1) the resurrected Lord Jesus who is now in heaven will one day come
again to end the world with his judgment, punishing the evildoers and rewarding
those who do good; (2) there is no salvation apart from Jesus; (3) Jesus holds
the key to life and earth and he gives grace to whom he has chosen; (4) Jesus
is the father of Light; (5) those who believe in him have their woes changed to
blessings, and will pass from death to life; (6) he created all things in
heaven and on earth and in him all things hold together; (7) he forgives our
sins and heals our sickness; (8) his love is everlasting; (9) his words are
true; every word he said will come to pass; (10) those who reject him will
surely die, being unable to save themselves.
5. A thirst for God’s righteousness.
They seek God’s kingdom and
consider His righteousness foremost. This enables them to abstain from
impurities and overcome temptations. They understand that bodily needs like
food and clothings will be granted if they pursue the higher goal of
6. A complete trust and faith in God
To trust God completely and to
fully obey him is to receive His blessings. By faith Abraham, when he was
tested, offered up Isaac. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to he
called the son of Pharaohs daughter, choosing rather to share ill-treatment
with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. They are
able to press on towards the goal which is to receive the blessings from above.
The advancement in science and
technology and the improvement in the standard of living have made the world a
heaven to some. It has all forms of entertainment for pleasures and life is
transformed from simplicity to sophistication, from a relaxed pace to a
fast-moving pace. In the final analysis, the world has two kinds of people, the
godly, righteous and the saved ones and the worldly, wicked people who will
Those who are of the flesh do not
believe in God and their souls have no anchor. However, those who are of the
spirit lead a life of fearing God and loving man. Obedience to Gods word gives
meaning and value to their lives, having a sure and steadfast anchor of the
soul (Heb 6:19).