By Ernest O'Neill

What Does Life in the Spirit Mean?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

Being in Christ Jesus is something to do with everyday life. I'd love you to know that and to know what that is. Here's where my heart and my head feels for you. When you go on to read Romans 8:6 it's pretty strong.

Romans 8:6, "To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." My heart goes out to you because I think a number of you have little idea of what that means. You want to know, and you say to set the mind on the flesh is death but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. But still, we're all mixed up about it.

I don't know who the latest beauty is in the movies but we men think, "Oh yes, I shouldn't set my mind on the flesh, sex, or anything like that. That's death. And to set my mind on the Spirit, that's thinking of God and thinking of the church." We have all kinds of strange ideas of what setting the mind on the Spirit means and what setting the mind on the flesh means. So that's what I'd like to try to share with you today and in the next few Sundays if God guides us.

What is it to live in the Spirit? What does this business of living in the Spirit mean? We need to start right back in a very basic truth. That is the truth of why God made you and me. You find it there in 1 John 1:3.

This is why God made us -- why He made you. 1 John 1:3: "that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." That's why God made you. God made you to have fellowship with Him. I hope you don't go to sleep with that and think "Oh yes that means I'll be walking around his throne with candles and all kinds of things in my hands." No. Fellowship is friendship. Friendship, that's the dearest thing in this world, you know it is.

Friendship is beautiful. The friendships that you have, that's about all you've got because all the money goes, all the businesses go, all the professions die but you've got friendship. Friendship is the dearest thing that we have in this world and it's the dearest thing in the universe. God made you and me to be His friends. Loved ones, you have to cast out of your mind all silly ideas of God. You have all kinds of wild ideas of Him as a kind of holy, holy person who doesn't know you at all. He is the dearest guy in the whole universe. He knows you better than your mom knows you. He knows you better than your best friend in the bar knows you.

He knows your worst parts. He bore them in Himself on Calvary. He knows you, and yet He still loves you. That's the amazing thing. All the rest of us can love you because we don't know you so well, but He loves you even though He knows you with His whole heart. He knows every bit of you and He still loves you.

See, our dear Father made you to have fellowship with Himself, to be His friend. That's what will go on and on forever. I don't know if you have ever thought of eternity, but I have said, "Oh, I am looking forward to eternity. It will be great when we're there." Thank God we can't too often conceive of infinity. If you ever do conceive of infinity, haven't you been frightened and terrified by it? It's terrible to think of this going on and on forever and ever.

It's terrible except if it's a friend that we can trust. Friendship is the only thing that could go on forever and ever and never bore you into hell. So, it's friendship and fellowship that is the purpose that we're made for.