"Love not the world, neither the...things...that are in the world." 1 Jn 2:15
"Know His will and approve the...things...that are more excellent. Rom 2:18 "But the natural man receiveth not the...things...of the Spirit." 1 Corth, 2:14 "Set your affections on...things...above not on the...things of the earth. Col. 3:2 "For they that are after the flesh do mind the...things...of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the...things...of the Spirit." Rom. 8:5
Finally, 1 Corth. 3:21 "Let no man glory in man, for all...things...are yours". Then Paul makes at least a partial list of those things that are yours...Paul/ Apollos/ Cephas/ World/ Life/ Death/ All things present/ All things to come..are all mine.
But I'm a bit confused. What are the "things" of the world/earth/flesh as opposed to the "things" of the Spirit/ above/ excellent? Where do I get my list of each? And if "all things" are presently mine as a gift from God, to which list is that referring. What are we to make of all this?
I did a study of the "things" of the flesh and the "things of the Spirit one time and found an amazing thing. At least to me it was amazing. They are all the same things. It was important that during that study I remembered a couple of facts from scripture. One is that the word "world" and the word "flesh" had both a neutral and an evil use. Neutral use was world/flesh referring to creation and people. "God so loved the world..." But both can refer to evil. However, that is not a "thing" but an attitude of life. John referred to it as "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life." The key word here is "lust". It is taking some "thing" and using it for an illegitimate purpose. "Self" is that illegitimate purpose.
That brings me to the second point I had to bear in mind and that is "self" is simply independence from God. So any "thing" I use or view independent of who God is as He reveals Himself to be is a "thing" of the flesh. But any "thing" I use or view dependent on who God is as He reveals Himself to be, is a "thing" of the Spirit.
So I wrote my lists. Here they are: [A partial list only.]
The "things" of the world list.
My Church attendance
My Bible reading
The "things of the Spirit list
My Church Attendance
My Bible Reading
Let me explain if I can. My Job, be it law, medicine, home making, or ministry is a thing of the flesh/world OR Spirit/heaven depending on my motive. If it is a way to make money for things I want only or to get my strokes from people if I do well, or to show how good I am, it is a "thing" of the world/flesh. But, if it is, to me, a way of providing for my own and the Kingdom of God and enjoying that Kingdom reality, it is a "thing" of the Spirit/heaven.
My marriage. If it is a "thing", to me, that gets me sex, or security, or love, or comfort, it is a "thing" of the world/flesh. But, if it is to me, a "thing" that pictures Christ and His Church relationship, or a way to be a resource to another person, or a way of enjoying Kingdom reality, it is a "thing" of the Spirit/heaven.
My recreation. If it is a "thing" that shows off my abilities, or to get the praise of men, or to prove I'm better than anyone else, it is a "thing" of the world/flesh. But, if it is a "thing" that enables me to keep the Temple of God fit, or to accomplish personal/team goals that are healthy, or to enjoy a respite from work, it is a "thing" of the Spirit/heaven.
My Church attendance. If it is a way for me to get acceptance from people or God, or a way to check off a list that shows I'm better than those who don't attend, it is a "thing" of the flesh/world. You see the point...don't you?
So in reality, every "thing" I do ,whether attending church, preaching, motorcycle riding, making money, reading my bible, eating with friends, has the potential of being a "thing of the Spirit" or a "thing of the world".
Since "all things" are mine according to Paul the Apostle maybe the only question is why I'm doing it, not what I'm doing. That's the determining factor of it's nature whether good or evil, flesh or Spirit, earthy or heavenly. So I'm just celebrating the reality of God as He has revealed Himself to be, in every "thing" in life. WOW, that means the lists can be forgotten as a standard of behavior and all of life is spiritual. It's my motive/heart in what I do that makes it evil or good [the issues of life thing].......I wonder if this applies to blogging??