By the fall recorded in Genesis 3 mankind fell not only from grace and Gods presence but into disunity within himself. By the fall we mean that not only was mankind out of harmony with God but he was out of harmony within himself. Before the fall Adam and Eve, our parents were in harmony and perfect balance within themselves, for their spirit, soul and body were in perfect equilibrium. Before the fall both Adam & Eve were in perfect harmony and equality with each other.
When a person is born again he is re introduced back into a right relationship with God and with himself. Our spirits have been energized by the life of the Son of God being born into our hearts, but that obedience must permeate into our soul and body. We must guard against nourishing one part of our life and neglecting the others. When we are born again we must allow not only our spirit to be re-born but also our soul and body.
By neglecting an area we are in danger of making ship wreck of our new found faith. When we are born anew we are given a new name and are sealed with the Holy Spirit and our new name is written in the book of life. Our name has been changed from 'lost' to 'found in Christ.' But the damage occurred by the previous owner still remains. The margins of our spirit, soul and body still carry the marks of neglect done by the fall, even after sanctification the scars still remain.
Unless we walk in the light after regeneration and continually renovate our spirit, soul and body with the risen life of Christ the former owner can return disguised as an 'angel of light' and beguile us.
To illustrate this process of saturation of our being by Christs life I think of a former mansion in a city street that has be neglected and abused as the former owner and builder have been rejected. Finally theformer owner and builder purchases the house at great cost and gives the house a new identity, but the building is still run down – the plumbing does not work, the electrical wire needs rewiring and rooms need to be 're gutted' and modernized and a coat a paint applied. But this takes time as the builder goes about the renovation/regeneration process.
In the spiritual we are a new creation with a new name but in reality the experience of growing unto glory takes time as we learn obedience, surrender and denial of self. Hence it is important that we grow in our most holy faith by being rightly related to God at all times by surrender of self to his will. Unless we do this we will fall to the 'angel of light's' suggestions to stress the spirit, soul or body and neglect the others.
Guardthe good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2 Timothy 1
Habits of Ecstasy This is the tendency to live our new found spiritual life before God in the realm of thespiritual apart from the rationalism of the soul and the physical life of the body.
Do not let anyone who delights in false humilityand the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize.Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. Colossians 2
It is easy to slip into the error that the soul and body are some what not important and at worst, full of evil. As we are caught up with our new found zeal and communion with God we can neglect the nourishment of the soul and body. We cannot grow unto glory apart from the soul and body. God is never in such teaching. Taken to its end point the God of the Bible becomes another spiritual force in the world. A mystical relationship is not the growth in faith shown in the scriptures. Never give way to a mystical union with God the father unless it can worked out rationally and physically. Nights and days in prayer, fasting and waiting on God may be a curse for us and a magnet for Satan.
Habits of Dogma This is the tendency to live our new found spiritual life before God in the realm of the intellect of the soul.
But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslavedby them all over again?10You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! Gal 4.
The traditions of man and the church, if we are not on our guard can become so important to us that we neglect the energization of the spirit and body in pursuit of the correctness of thought and intellect. The intellect is a fine thing but left to the master of darkness it is flawed and needs to be submitted to the mind of Christ. We need to be forming the mind of Christ by the surrender of our will unto the will and obedience of the father. Failure to do so exposes us to the angel of light that will convince us that days and seasons and dogmas are essential to our walk. Such teaching is not from God.
Habits of sensuality This is the tendency to live our new found spiritual life before God in the realm of the 'flesh.'
So I say, live by the Spirit,and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Galatians 5
We make the mistake of thinking that our endeavours are good enough for God, that God will accept our works, for it is the right, the noble and good from the natural worldly standpoint that keep us back from Gods best. It is so easy to believe that our marred talents are acceptable to God, that the natural that seems so acceptable to our common sense is pleasing to God. It is not. For our natural talents and abilities must be turned into the spiritual by sacrifice. The only way we can do this is to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God. This is accompanied by discipline and new habit forming. Let us not be deceived into thinking that our 'fleshly' efforts are acceptable to God – Gods demands the best, not second best.
We must take heed that we are allowing ourselves to be rightly related to God, in spirit, soul and body. We must be on our watch that if we sense a tightness in our spirit, or a dryness rationally or a hindered felling physically, for it is the Holy Spirit's quiet warning that we are not rightly relating to God. At once we must retire before God and be repaired in the heavenly realms so that our spirit, soul and body are in harmony before God and mankind
Our life must be hid in Christ.
[quote][b]The traditions of man and the church[/b] , if we are not on our guard can become so important to us that we neglect the energization of the spirit and body in pursuit of the correctness of thought and intellect. The intellect is a fine thing but left to he master of darkness it is flawed and needs to be submitted to the mind of Christ. We need to be forming the mind of Christ by the surrender of our will unto the will and obedience of the father. Failure to do so exposes us to the angel of light that will convince us that days and seasons and dogmas are essential to our walk. Such teaching is not from God
An excellent synopsis of your text,wmj, because all too often it is [b]"traditions"[/b] that lie at the source of many problems between man and church; they tend to "corrupt" more than edify. Although certain traditions have their place, it is urgent that we have the potential of their toxicity pointed out, as you have so eloquently done, so that we can better understand, as Christians, the potential of their snare.
Thank you for this exhortation.
I could certainly be missing what it is, exactly, that your saying but it seems to me that you are writing about growing in Christ or becoming a mature Christian. I have come to believe that our growth as Christians, in large part, comes by faith, in believing what we are as Christians. Paul says we are crucified with Christ and goes on to say that, "it is no longer I that live but Christ lives in me." We identify with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection and walk in this life after the Spirit that has given us new life in Him and not by the flesh, the old man. We plant the seed of His word in our hearts, our minds, and that grows us into the image of Christ. Jesus said, "the flesh avails nothing, only the Spirit." The more we focus our minds and hearts on Christ Jesus to the exclusion of everything else the more we become like Him. I have not read, or seen, or heard anything since the time of the Apostles as recorded in the New Testament that adds anything to the truth we have been given. Which is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and He has left us everything we need, "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." In His word. God Bless. Phil