Here is a sermon my Dad, Jerry Trammell, preached on March 23rd, 2004 in Dumas Texas at the church he pastored.
Let me ask you, what is the primary subject that these verses deal with? Is it not spirituality? Notice just the first 3 words of verse 15, the Spiritual man. For a few moments I want to preach to you from the subject of, “Becoming Spiritual.” I cannot overly stress how important it is that God’s people are spiritual. But how do we become spiritual? I sometimes think that believers mistake what true spirituality is. I’m afraid that our comprehension of spirituality is quite different from the biblical definition of it. I’m afraid that we may equate spirituality with how zealous and boisterous someone may be in the way that they pray, and certainly spiritual people might be very emotional and demonstrative in the way that they pray, but friend that’s not what makes them spiritual, nor is it evidence of their true spirituality.
Even being used of the gifts of the Spirit is not indication of one’s spiritual depth. As I stated last week, when Paul spoke to the Corinthian church he said, I could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal. Onlookers would probably have thought, “my these Corinthian believers are so spiritual…look at how all the gifts of the Spirit are in operation in them.” Yet Paul said they were not spiritual, but carnal. So Paul must have used some other criteria to gauge who is truly spiritual and who is not, one that we normally don’t use.
What is the criteria which reveal the spirituality of an individual?
I like the way that the International Bible Encyclopedia puts it. It says, “In the New Testament the general use of the word, spiritual, gives indication of a man, or woman, who is generated, indwelt, enlightened, endued, empowered, and guided by the Holy Spirit. It points to one who has been conformed to the will of God, and who has the mind of Christ, and who is living in and is led by the Spirit of God.”
Wow. When I read that I thought, “my I’m not as spiritual as I thought I was.”
According to what the International Bible Encyclopedia said then, the first step to true spirituality is regeneration.
And I think that we all understand what regeneration implies. It is reference to the New Birth.
There can be no spirituality in a person until they have been genuinely transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and have become a new creation in Christ Jesus. Remember, “Old things passed away, and all things become new.”
Regeneration is the spiritual change wrought in man by the Holy Spirit, by which he becomes the possessor of a new life. It is only then, after regeneration, that we can embark on a whole new spiritual journey.
But sadly, some have been regenerated in the past, but they have never become spiritual. They are like the Corinthian Church was. Instead of continuing in the work that the Holy Spirit began in them when they were regenerated by the power of the Spirit, they continued to embrace carnal things. They never allowed the Spirit to develop in them the mind of Christ. And thus, like the Corinthian Church, they have remained carnal. It takes more than regeneration to make one spiritual.
According to what the International Bible Encyclopedia said, you must go to the next higher level to become truly spiritual. And that next higher level is to become indwelt with the Holy Spirit.
Church, I cannot stress too much how important it is that each of you become indwelt with the Holy Spirit.
Let me encourage those that are seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Don’t become discouraged in your seeking. Don’t allow the enemy to detour you from hungering and thirsting until you are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Don’t you suppose there is a reason why the devil doesn’t want you to be Spirit-filled, and why he is fighting you so? I believe there is! He wants to keep you weak. He wants you to remain carnal. He doesn’t want you to become empowered by the Holy Spirit because he knows that when you do, that you will live in greater victory, and he will become defeated in your life.
Become a spiritually mature believer. Study the Scriptures relating to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Become thoroughly convinced that this experience is for you, and that God intends for you to have it. Begin to live in expectancy that this gift is yours and that you are going to receive it.
It is when you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit that a whole array of things takes place in your life.
It is then that you will be enlightened, endued, empowered, and guided by the Holy Spirit. It is when you have put on the mind of Christ, and start living in, and are being led by the Spirit that you become spiritual. It is then that a whole array of things can be developed in your life. Things like: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and temperance, or self control. It is then, as spiritual believers, that we become children of light. For the fruit of the Spirit works in us to produce, according to Ephesians 5:9…all goodness, righteousness, and truth.
It is then, as believers indwelt, enlightened, endued, empowered, and guided by the Holy Spirit, who have the mind of Christ, and who are living in and are led by the Spirit of God, that we can be taught by the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual with spiritual.
Which brings us to greater depth and spirituality. So that we are able to make correct judgment concerning spiritual things, because of the depth of spirituality that we have grown to through the teaching and leadership of the Holy Spirit within our lives.
This is what is meant in my text where the Apostle Paul said, He who is spiritual judges all things. Those who have been indwelt, enlightened, endued, empowered, and guided by the Holy Spirit have special depth so that they can discern deep spiritual truth. Their understanding and perception in spiritual matters becomes sharpened. And when we reach that point then we can say we are becoming truly spiritual.
Most people who think they are spiritual often are not as spiritual as they think that they are. But the truly spiritual person is a humble person who realizes that any depth that they have has not come because of themselves, but has come because of the Spirit who is at work in them. Church, let’s seek to become spiritual.