1 Corinthians 2 Lesson

Living in the Spirit


What does it mean to live in the Spirit?

To answer that question, we will first review the following scripture from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians:

  • “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” – 1 Corinthians 2:12-13.

 To live in the Spirit means that our actions are guided by the Holy Spirit, as opposed to the secular influences of the world.   


In John’s Gospel, we read that the Holy Spirit was sent from God to help us and to teach us:

  • But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.” – John 14:26.

The Book of Acts teaches us that we receive the Holy Spirit when we are baptized:

  • “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38.

The Bible lets us read God’s word.

The Holy Spirit lets us feel it.

There will be times in our lives when we encounter questions or have to make a decision that we cannot answer from scripture alone.  

It is in these times that the Holy Spirit can guide us by helping us feel what God wants us to do.  

The Holy Spirit and the Bible will always agree.  

They will never contradict one another.  

The Apostle John wrote about this in his first epistle:

  • “By this, you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist.’ – 1 John 4:2.”

There is a special relationship between God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as evidenced in the following three scriptures:

  1. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” - Mathew 28:19,
  2. “The graceof the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.” - 2 Corinthians 13:14,
  3. “To those who reside as strangers, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” – 1 Peter 1:1-2.

And while they are different entities, they are all one, always in agreement, and never contradict one another.  

Now that we have reviewed the Holy Spirit, we will continue our discussion about what it means to live in the Spirit.


Once we understand the importance of the Holy Spirit, and how to obtain the Holy Spirit, all we need to do is act!  

When we repent and are baptized, we receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

And once we have received the Holy Spirit, we must choose to allow ourselves to be led by Him.

This means that we are constantly reading the Bible and seeking out God’s Spirit to guide our actions. 

Being led by the Spirit is the opposite of being led by the flesh. 

When we are led by the flesh, we seek after our own ambitions and pleasures. 

When we are led by the Spirit, we seek to glorify God and serve one another


Our priorities have a lot to do with determining whether we are going to be led by the Spirit or the world.

God does not want to be an afterthought that we reach out to only when we need something, or when we are in trouble. Instead, God wants to be the first thing that we think about when we wake up in the morning, and the last thing we think about before we go to bed.

It is only by prioritizing God in our thoughts, words, and actions that we are pleasing to God, and bring glory to Him.

Anything less than that is unacceptable to God.


All of us have a choice to make.

Are we going to follow the world and live according to the desires of the flesh?

Or are we going to follow God and the teachings of Jesus?

It is the most important decision that we will make during our time on Earth and one that others cannot make for us.

We cannot choose both, as evidenced by the following words spoken by Jesus:

  • “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” -Mathew 6:24 .

Are we going to follow the world and live according to the works of the flesh?

Or will we follow Jesus and commit our lives to walking in the Spirit?

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture from the Book of Joshua that reminds us of the choice that we all must make:

  • “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates  River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15.


Pat Dermody

When I need to visit someone who has suffered a loss or been given some bad news I wonder what can I possibly say to help them. I feel inadequate. But I find when I take the time to turn it over to the Holy Spirit things are better. Instead of thinking about ME and my inadequacies I turn it over to someone more powrful who will help me help them.

Pat Dermody

Thank you

Dan W

Yes--knowing that the Spirit does not contradict the Bible but actually inspired it and works through it to guide us is an important fact to help us evaluate our feelings and hunches. We often think emotionally, but thinking spiritually means we focus toward the Word of God.


Relying on the Holy Spirit can take the pressure off of us to say something wise, or witty, or profound. By relying on the Spirit and not man, we can breath easy knowing that our priorities are right with God.

Dan W

Agreed. Letting the Spirit speak through the Word rather is more powerful than all of our efforts, and is the safe way to handle the Sword correctly.

Dan W

Appreciate your insights Brother!