The Spirit’s Law of Life in Christ Pt. 3

Spirit's Law

Sunday 03/08/20

Series: Do we Really Believe?

Message – The Spirit’s Law of Life in Christ Pt. 3

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Life in Christ

We are still using 2Cor. 3:2&3 as our KEY text today.

“(2) You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone, (3)  since it is plain that you are Christ’s letter, produced by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.”

You are Christ’s letter, written by the Spirit of God!

We’ve been talking about “Do we REALLY believe?” 

We’ve found that ‘Being doers and not hearers ONLY’ is connected to HOW we see ourselves in the Perfect law of liberty [as James calls it] OR the Spirit’s Law of Life in Christ [as Paul calls it] .

Spirit's Law

Up until last week we’d covered the first three and last week’s teaching covered the Holy Spirit’s role in all of this.

The Holy Spirit is the revealer of Jesus! The teacher of the LAW of Life that is found in Christ Jesus!

1 Corinthians 1-2, tells us that Jesus has been made unto us the wisdom of God as well as righteousness, sanctification and redemption.

Furthermore, it is the Holy Spirit Who has been sent to us to reveal Christ both to us and through us.

Let’s quickly read those verses.

1 Corinthians 1:30-31, “(30) But from Him you are in Christ Jesus, Who for us became wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption(31)  IN ORDER THAT, as it is written: The one who boasts must boast in the Lord.”

These first few verses show us that God made Jesus our wisdom. That means FAR more than could be thoroughly covered ought now but in brief it means:

    1. Jesus is revealed as God’s endgame for mankind – in the ‘IN HIM WAS LIFE’ > THAT was man’s revelation!
    2. The beginning of wisdom is the Fear of the Lord – so it stands that in Jesus becoming our wisdom – He embodied the Fear of the Lord and honoring Him and obeying Him as OUR Lord is the first step in Fearing God and becoming truly wise.
    3. He has been made to us “right thinking” – for righteousness has MUCH to do with how you think!
      1. Isa. 55:7, “Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”
    4. He has made to us sanctification – separation in that He is the truth.
      1. John 17:14-20, (14) I have given them Your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. (15)  I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. (16) They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. (17)  Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. (18)  As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (19)  I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth. (20)  I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message.”
    5. He has been made unto us Redemption – meaning the blood of the everlasting covenant.
  • Rom. 3:24, “(24) They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” [His blood being the redemptive price]

THIS is WHO the Holy Spirit is revealing to us!

It is interesting that in at least some way those 3 things are immediately connected to our overcoming. 

“they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and not living their lives to the death.” ~ Rev. 12:11

Continuing in 1 Corinthians… 

1 Corinthians 2:1-5, “(1) When I came to you, brothers, announcing the testimony of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom.”

Paul came preaching WISDOM – a.k.a. The testimony of God, which is Jesus!

1 John 5:11-12,  (11) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  (12) The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life.”

“(2)  For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  (3) And I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. (4) My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and power,  (5) so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power.”

Here is the Spirit working through Paul in ministry! This is the final reference back to our first verse, in that Paul did not minister in his own ability but by that which the Spirit supplied… his boasting was in Christ… Not in self effort. 

6) However, among the mature we do speak a wisdom, but not a wisdom of this age, or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  (7) On the contrary, we speak God’s hidden wisdom in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory.  (8)  None of the rulers of this age knew it, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  (9) But as it is written: What no eye has seen and no ear has heard, and what has never come into a man’s heart, is what God has prepared for those who love Him. (10)  Now God has revealed them to us by the Spirit, for the Spirit searches everything, even the deep things of God.  (11) For who among men knows the concerns of a man except the spirit of the man that is in him? In the same way, no one knows the concerns of God except the Spirit of God.  (12) Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order to know what has been freely given to us by God. (13) We also speak these things, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.  (14) But the natural man does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to know it since it is evaluated spiritually. (15) The spiritual person, however, can evaluate everything, yet he himself cannot be evaluated by anyone. (16) For: who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

I told you last week that in various ways, John 14-16 reveals that when the Holy Spirit came, He would lead us into Truth – WHO IS Jesus… In other words he would lead us into and reveal to us  LIFE!  Life is IN Christ…HE is the revelation to man. The revelation that was and is hidden… It’s a mystery. 

God is making US like Christ that WE might be living revelations to man of union with God (Life in Christ).

John 1 tells us that Jesus shined in the darkness, but the darkness did not comprehend it. 

Some translations (and this unfortunately includes the Holman) adopt the secondary meaning of the word “comprehend” as “overcome” – but that is not the preferred translation in that it doesn’t quite fit the narrative nor the flow of the thought being laid before the reader. 

No in this phrase, the darkness is presented as being so thick that the light could not penetrate it. Which is NOT to speak to God’s ability, but to man’s unwillingness to allow the light in. 

You see…on the one side you have God revealing Himself within the conscience of every human who comes into the world. So on that level everyone has seen the light. 

On the other hand, you have the devil blinding the eyes of those who will not believe

On that level their unwillingness to believe and their determination to forsake the love of truth, brings the judgement of God upon them Who turns them over to the will of their father the devil… and it is he who in turn blinds their eyes so they cannot see. [John 1:9; Rom. 1:18-32]

Consider 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, 

“(3) But if, in fact, our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.  (4) Regarding them: the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Who is the image of God.”

Turn now to Romans 8:3 where we first made the connection between Perfect law of liberty [as James calls it] AND the Spirit’s Law of Life in Christ [as Paul calls it] .

“(3) What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His Own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering,  (4) in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

THIS is a key verse which is OFTEN misquoted by the liberal Christians. 

This verse does NOT say, “the law’s requirement is fulfilled FOR us”. That would be a 100% fact, no chance of failure truth that requires nothing on our part – it is done TO you & FOR you.  No trust in God would be required, not interaction, no real relationship at all.

No, this verse requires something out of you and it is a CONDITIONAL statement at that! 

It says, that God did this so that the righteous REQUIREMENT of the law might be fulfilled in usIF we stop walking according to our flesh and make it a habit of life to live according to the dictates of the Holy Spirit. 

This is part of the Spirit’s role in forming Christ in you and making us a letter to the world (ministry)

“We are Christ’s letter written by the Holy Spirit…known and read by all men!” – 2Cor. 3:2,3

The difference between the two ideas could not be MORE pronounced! 

One is false doctrine, the other is the truth of redemption offered and taught in the gospel. 

ALSO, this was to accomplish what we could not do because of the weakness of our flesh. 

Go back with me in your mind back to the garden. Fleshly thinking was represented only in the single tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil in the center of the garden. It was by turning to fleshly thinking that man fell and became weak. By weak we mean separated from God. 

At the new birth all of us was paid for… Spirit, soul and body. But there is a progression. 

First the spirit is born again and all things are made new… we become one spirit with Him. 

Then throughout the time of our lives here on Earth we work out the salvation of our soul with fear and trembling by receiving the en-grafted word of God and looking steadfastly into the perfect law of Liberty so that by the work of the Holy Spirit revealing Christ both TO and IN US, we become transformed into that image from glory to glory. 

Finally As Romans 8 says, we are saved in Hope of the future Redemption of our bodies. Our flesh… that same flesh which Paul calls our body of death. The same flush that makes us weak and incapable of righteousness. The same flash that serves as avail blinding the Mind’s Eye from the sweet revelation of Jesus. 

Now, it is not that our bodies are not already redeemed… It is paid for, but Paul says it this way we are existing in favorable expectation of the Redemption of the purchased possession“. 

Crudely put, we have a ticket that we bring with us at the return of Jesus which allows us to redeem are old Fallen Flesh with a glorified Flesh. 

This Flesh has stood in the way of our righteousness and our ability to see God clearly. It serves as a veil that covers our eyes. For those of us in Christ there is a way in which the veil has been taken away or we would not have spiritual sight to see or appreciate him at all. Yet in another way the veil is progressively being peeled away layer by layer. 

We know this instinctively and from scripture since the Bible is very clear that we only see Him in part now but then we will see Him as He really is face-to-face! 

Consider again but these following verses in fact this letter is written to the Christians who were in Rome. And he explains here that to the degree that our minds are focused on fleshly things we are incapable of transformation. 

“(5) For those whose lives are according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those whose lives are according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit.” 

ARE ACCORDING TO…the governing principle!

Again, this also veils our eyes in the reading and comprehension of the scriptures!

Philippians 3:18-19 describes this condition. 

“(18)  For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  (19) Their end is destruction; their god is their stomach; their glory is in their shame. They are focused on earthly things,”

The words focused on mean are devoted to

This same word is translated as set your affections on in Col. 3:2

As such it is connected ‘in spirit’ to the phrase Whoever wants to be the friend of the world as is stated in James 4:4, which gives even more clarity still in that intent is mentioned in James. 

For the words, Whoever wants to be is emphatic in the Greek and means, firmly determined to be

“(6) For the mind-set of the flesh is death, [meaning “the pursuit of fleshly ends IS separation from God”] but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.” 

We will pick back up here next week!

God Bless!

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been shepherding in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!