Life in the Spirit

Key Texts: Romans 8:12-14

So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh–for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

 

The Apostle Paul makes it clear – the stakes are high.

To live “according to the flesh” – satisfying our desires and nothing more – is to ultimately choose death.

To live “according to the Spirit” – desiring a rich, full, life with God that extends far beyond physical life – is to choose life in the greatest way possible.

And the choice is ours.

God will not, and does not, force Himself upon us.

We can choose to live “seeking first the kingdom of God” or go chasing after idols of our own making, to our own end.

Paul goes on to say that we need not live a life of fear, but can live a life full of joy and fulfillment, even if for a awhile we are not “happy” as the world defines.

It’s a simple, and profound, choice.

Choose life.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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