2-7. GROW TO SHARE
"For they disciplined us only a short time, as it seemed proper to them; but He does it for our good, in order that we may share His holy character" (Hebrews 12:10, Wms.).
It is only natural to feel that our need requires immediate victory, but the truth is that we cannot come to maturity apart from the Holy Spirit's processing and development of our life, day by day. A quick and easy victory would cripple our usefulness in these two ways: we would not understand the all-important principle of processing; we would not appreciate the needs of others. If we are unable to share, we abide alone like the grain of wheat that does not die.
"So often in the battle we go to the Lord, and pray, and plead, and appeal for victory, for ascendancy, for mastery over the forces of evil and death, and our thought is that in some way the Lord is going to come in with a mighty exercise of power and put us into a place of spiritual maturity as in an act. We must have this mentality corrected. What the Lord does is to enlarge us to possess. He takes us through some exercise, through some experience, takes us by some way which means our spiritual expansion, an increase of spirituality so we occupy the larger place spontaneously because of our growth 'I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased' (Exodus 23:29, 30)." -T. A-S.
"Now for the time being no discipline [child-training] seems to be pleasant; it is painful; later on, however, to those who are trained by it, it yields the fruit of peace which grows from upright character" (Hebrews 12:11, Wms.).
2-8. SUBTLE SELF
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10).
A healthy spiritual birth results in the falling away of many of the more obvious works of the flesh, often causing the new believer to claim 2 Corinthians 5:17 or Galatians 2:20 as his testimony. However, for the Lord Jesus to be fully manifested, it is going to involve a lifetime of the Holy Spirit's deep dealing with the more subtle and deadly characteristics of the self-life "always delivered unto death" (2 Corinthians 4:11).
"By the daily 'supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ' (Philippians 1:19), the believer united to his Risen Lord 'grows continually to a more perfect knowledge and likeness of his Creator,' and grows up 'after the image of Him that created him, in the sphere where 'Christ is all, and in all.'
"The child naturally grows up in the likeness of his father, and the new life communicated to the redeemed grows up in the likeness of Him who is the Creator of the new creation if so be that the death with Christ is unflinchingly recognized, and 'old things' are truly allowed to pass away to make room for the growth of the new man 'which is after God . . . created in righteousness, and holiness of truth' (Ephesians 4:24)."
"How many earnest and religious people belong to 'the Old Adam Improvement Society.' It is the recognition of the Christ-life, it is union with the Risen Christ, that men need instead of the culture of the religious self-life." -E.H.
"Unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).