Volume. XX, No. 29
Sunday, 15 January 2006

From the Pastors Heart: Word Study about 'Spiritual' - Part 1

In order to understand the phrase “spiritual gifts”, we begin with the word, “spiritual” in the New Testament. There are a few Greek words to study.  Seven words will be studied, but all of them are from the same root word.

Pneumatikos: It occurs four times in the New Testament. 






Rom 7:14

The law




1 Cor 2:15

A spiritual person



All things

1 Cor 14:37

A person




1 Pet 2:5 (2x)

Persons (believers)

Are built up

To offer


Spiritual house

Spiritual sacrifices

 1)     The law is spiritual. 

2)    A person may be spiritual, and he is able to judge all things.

a) A spiritual man is in contrast to a natural man.

b) A natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:14).

c) A spiritual man has the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

3)    The believers are built up spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5a).

a) The believers are living stones, which is non-physical.

b) The spiritual house must refer to non-physical church-universal.

c) It is the house that the Spirit of God dwells.

4)    The believers offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5b).

a) The believers are built up an holy priesthood.

b) They are to offer spiritual sacrifices.

c) The spiritual sacrifices are acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

d) The spiritual sacrifices are non-physical, and if it is understood in the light of verse 9, they must be praises of God (cf. Hebrews 13:15-16).

e) However, there are other sacrifices we must consider.

i. Romans 12:1, “ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God

ii. Romans 15:16, “the offering up of the Gentiles”

iii. Romans 15:27, “It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.”

iv. Philippians 2:17, “if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.”

v. Philippians 4:18, “an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.”

vi. Revelation 6:9, “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.”

5)    In summary,

a) Whatever is in line with the law of God is spiritual.

b) Whoever is led and built by the Spirit of God is spiritual.

c) Whoever offers spiritual sacrifices is spiritual.

d) Thus, the believers of Christ are spiritual by following the Word of God, being led by the Holy Spirit, and offering spiritual sacrifices (e.g. praises and thanksgiving).


Pneumatikois (adjective normal dative neuter plural): It occurs 3 times.






Rom 15:27

Their spiritual things


The Gentiles

Carnal things-financial support

1 Cor 2:13

Spiritual things


Believers are taught by the Spirit of God


1 Cor 3:1

Spiritual (people)



Carnal/babies in Christ

1) Spiritual things are blessings of the Gospel through the people of God.

a) Spiritual things are in contrast to carnal things.

b) Carnal things refer to financial contributions to the saints in Jerusalem.

c) Gentile believers are the recipients of the blessings from the Gospel.

2)     1 Corinthians 2:13 is difficult: “comparing spiritual things with spiritual”

a) If the second “spiritual” (in Greek, it is the first spiritual) is neutral, then it means “spiritual things with spiritual things.”  In this case, it may mean, spiritual things (spiritual thoughts by John McArthur; the words spoken by Leon Morris) with spiritual things (spiritual words by McArthur; the truth expressed by Leon Morris).

b) If the second “spiritual” is masculine, it means “spiritual things” (words or thoughts) with spiritual men.

c) Whatever interpretation is chosen, “spiritual” is related to the truth of God or the word of God one way or another.

3)     1 Corinthians 3:1 talks about spiritual people.

a) The spiritual people are in contrast to carnal people.

b) The carnal people are babies in Christ.

c) Carnal people or babies in Christ are not able to bear the teachings of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:2.

d) Carnal people show some characteristics such as envying, strife, and divisions.

e) Therefore, spiritual people are the ones who are able to bear the teachings of the truth and to be mature enough not to show those carnal characteristics.

4)     In summary,

a) Being spiritual is related to our abiding in God’s Word.

b) Being spiritual means to be mature in Christian character.

The followings are temporary conclusions:

1) The word of God is spiritual.

2) The followers of the word of God are spiritual.

3) The mature Christians who are led by the Spirit of God and built up a good Christian character are spiritual.

4) The spiritual people’s sacrifices are spiritual.

I’ll continue on this word study next week.  Till then, God bless!

Lovingly, Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No. 28: Wherein consisteth Christ’s exaltation? Christ’s exaltation consisteth in his rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day.

Please pray for health & God’s healing: Pastor Ki & Sis Myung Ki, Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Joon Ho Lee (Bro Tae-Yul’s father), Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Winston Selvanayagam, Thomas Tan, John Tann, & Kevin Tye; Sisters Kimmy Chong, Alice Lee’s father, Gillian Ong’s grandfather, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law, Auntie Oei, & Auntie Sheila George, and others afflicted with illness. "For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:5).

Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions: Rev George van Buuren as he prepares for missions trip, leaving on 24 Jan; Rev & Mrs Moses Hahn & their ministry; b) Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam - for health & God’s provision; c) Journey mercies - Pastor Ki (Kerala), Rev & Mrs Choi (S’pore & Adl); Dn David Yeo (Adl); Bro Richard Tee (Darwin); Sisters Myung Ki (Adl), Smrithi George (India) & others who are travelling; d) Sketch N’ Tell ministry of Bro Hai Seng Lim and for his next missions trip; e) Comfort & encouragement - Bro Tae-Yul Lee & family at this difficult time; f) Job for Bro Jonathon Liao (KL); g) God’s wisdom and guidance  - Ps Ki as he ministers to Rev Lee & family, & the faithfuls in Korea, & the Gospel Rally/ministry in Kerala, India; Deacons Gong & Law as they prepare the Lord’s Day messages; h) The Lord’s guidance - Bro Richard Tee as he continues with his medical training in Darwin, & Sis Amanda Fu to complete her uni study here or interstate (Syd).

Praise and Thank God for – a) Joy, Maranatha, YAF/Teens, AFG & Wednesday Bible Study & Prayer Meetings; b) Journey mercies - Pastor & Mrs Ki & family (Korea), Dn David Yeo (Melb), Bro Eu-Jzin Tan, Sisters Marion Chan & her mother (Adl), Wendy Wong (Adl/Syd) & others who travelled recently; c) Acceptance by Flinders Uni - Sis Clara Sim.

Warm welcome to Rev James White to our pulpit today.

Special Item of Prayer: For the LORD to provide $20,000 for Pastor’s car by 31 Mar 06.

Greetings & Thank you from Rev Moses & Mrs Grace Hahn and family (Cambodia). Greetings also from Bros Jeremy and Kipkah Teo (Kuching).

Ladies’ Fellowship: Please note date changes - Prayer & Share Meeting this Tues, 17 Jan, at 11.00am, at the home of Sis Giok Yeo, and thereafter every fortnight. Ladies Fellowship’s AGM on Sat, 11 Feb, at 2.00pm for election of a new committee. All ladies invited to attend.

Special announcement: Rev & Mrs Stephen Choi will be in Adelaide, 18-20 January.



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