Wednesday, January 16, 2019

You Are a Spiritual Being

Image result for john piippo linda
Linda, in Ann Arbor
When it comes to the nature of persons, I am a substance dualist. Substance dualism is the belief that the spirit (or soul) is an immaterial thing different from the body and the brain. (For a defense of substance dualism, see J. P. Moreland, The Soul: How We Know It's Real and Why it Matters.) 

Who are you? You are a body-spirit composite.

I shared this slide with our Redeemer family this past Sunday.

Someone recently asked me, "What attracted you to Linda?" I told him this story.

I had met Linda in the campus ministry we were in. We were in many small group settings together. Her physical beauty was, to me, stunning. But her spirit was even more so.

She cared for people. She spent time with others, even the marginalized. One day I walked into the student union of Northern Illinois university, where we were students, and saw Linda meeting with a young man who had few real friends. He was socially maladjusted, and awkward in his mannerisms. I found it hard to be around him. Why, I wondered, was Linda meeting with him? 

I later found out she had a weekly Bible study in the union with him. This was compelling and attractive to me. This was not about physical beauty, but spiritual beauty. I was being attracted to Linda's spirit, as well as learning from it.

When the apostle Paul declares that, though his physical body is wasting away, his inward being is renewed day by day, he is talking about his non-physical, immaterial spirit (see here). Non-physical substances do not physically erode. This is why you and I will survive physical death.

Do non-physical realities exist? If you believe in God, then you are a believer in non-physical realities, since, as Jesus said, "God is spirit." (See here.) 

You are an embodied spirit. This is why the Holy Spirit speaks your language and moves you and gets to you. You can experience this deep spirit activity by engaging in spirit-strengthening repetitions in the spiritual gymnasium. (See here. The Greek word is "agonize.") 

Exercise your spirit unto godliness. Train to be godly. (See here. Again, the word is gymnaze.)

Do worship reps, prayer reps, Scripture study and meditation reps, fasting reps, serving reps, solitude with God reps, silence before God reps, Jesus-community reps, in the spiritual gymnasium.