Mere Humans

   “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ they do not belong to Christ.”1  That’s pretty clear. And not only do believers have his Spirit, they also “have the mind of Christ.”2 Which is pretty amazing! But if believers have Christ’s mind and his Spirit, then why do so many struggle so much? Perhaps it is because many do not “live by the Spirit.”3  We do not access the power that we have!

     And here’s what Paul writes about believers who do not “live by the Spirit.” They are “still worldly.”4  Hmm. Here’s what else he says: they are “mere infants in Christ.”3 It appears that some believers just won’t grow up! Why? Because growing up in Christ is optional. We can all remain immature, not knowing anything but the basics, “the elementary truths of God’s word.”5 And get along just fine—but not great.

     But here’s the really interesting thing. Paul asks those “mere infants in Christ” a critical question: “Are you not acting like mere humans?”4 “Mere humans”? Are we not all “mere humans”? No! Not at all! Why? Because we have the Spirit of Christ and the mind of Christ! (Am I repeating myself?) It’s just that we often do not act like we do and instead refuse to grow in Christ. We act like children, who do not eat solid food but still need milk. And “everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.”6  Is to be “skilled in the word of righteousness” really necessary? No. But it will result in living life as a “mere human.”

     On the other hand, if we choose to grow up, we will be eating solid food, and “solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”7 This discerning ability to “distinguish good from evil” is crucial; without it we are lost, tossed back and forth not knowing what to believe and how to act and what to do. Paul prayed this prayer for believers: “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”8

     Discernment also gives us the ability to “approve what is excellent,”—to know what is right and to then do what is right. That is a mature person. And as we do what is right, we will be “filled with the fruit of righteousness.” And that, my friend, is the reward for living by his Spirit.

     So our choice as believers is twofold: 1) to remain “mere infants in Christ,” “worldly,” who “need milk, not solid food,”5 and to act like “mere humans,” or 2) to grow up and to be “conformed to the image of his Son,”9  and then we will be amazed at the fact that “in this world we are like Jesus.”10  Which is way better than living as “mere humans”!

     C. S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity is a great one and I advise everyone—Christians mere and not so mere—to read it. But the title is a bit misleading because some might suppose that Lewis means that Christianity is a small thing when what he actually means is that there is nothing ordinary about the Christian life. Therefore, to live as a “mere human” is to ignore all of what Christ has given us in order that we might live an abundant glorious life. The question for us is this: Are we acting as “mere humans”?

1Romans 8:9   21 Corinthians 2:16   31 Corinthians 3:1   41 Corinthians 3:3   5Hebrews 5:12   6Hebrews 5:13   7Hebrews 5:13-1   8Philippians 1:9-11   9Romans 8:9   101 John 4:17 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *