What is Spiritual Enlightenment?


Many are on the quest for "spiritual enlightenment." It sounds quite lofty and inspiring, doesn't it? But what it is? Is “spiritual enlightenment” something everyone should pursue?

The term usually has overtones of New Age and Eastern mysticism, tracing its  roots to religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Gnosticism. Teaching the goodness of the inner self, transcendentalism, or the worship of angels is all man-made ideology and is contrary to the Bible. Jehovah God is the ultimate Spirit, and any search for “enlightenment” must lead to Him, through His Son, or it is a false religion (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 45:5; John 14:6).

The goal of spiritual enlightenment is to satisfy the human longing for immortality and purpose. People have attempted to meet that longing through a variety of emotional experiences that they call “god.” But we cannot create our own gods. Nor can we decide how we will approach the real God. He already exists, and the only way a human being can truly know Him is through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 10:30). Because of our sinful state, we cannot come to a holy God by any other means. All paths do NOT lead to God, regardless of how sincere the seeker may be (John 3:16–18). Jesus is the way. Any religion or movement that offers another path to spiritual wholeness is leading away from true enlightenment, not toward it.

God said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). We seek Him by getting to know Him through His Word , accepting His Son’s sacrifice for our sin, and living a life guided by the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16). As we grow in our faith, our understanding deepens. We begin to see life from God’s perspective (Isaiah 55:8–9), and, as we obey Him, we acquire wisdom (Psalm 128:1). So, within that context, everyone should absolutely seek spiritual enlightenment. To know God and align our will with His is the ultimate goal of human existence. The more we know Jesus Christ, the more enlightened we are (John 1:4–5). Any other path leads only to darkness (Matthew 22:13).

According to the Bible, a disciple of Christ is one who has made Jesus Christ the Lord of his or her life and has been “born again” into the family of God (John 3:3). The very act of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is the ultimate spiritual enlightenment, because Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). When we invite Him into our lives, He sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within our spirits (1 Corinthians 6:19). What was dead inside comes to life; what was dark becomes light. So a born-again Christian has already attained true spiritual enlightenment.

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