The Heavenly Man and the Word of God (continued)
The Word of God Never To Be Set Aside
But there is a danger of which we need to beware. What we have said does not mean that we can take up a course of trying to walk in the Spirit, and neglect the Word of God. We cannot say: Well, to walk in the Spirit is all we need and we shall be according to the Word of God; we need not bother about that. There are a lot of people who live in what they call their "spirit." The "get it from the Lord." They get something, and act upon it, and afterwards it is discovered that it is a direct violation of the Word of God. How often have we met that. People get things "from the Lord", and do something which they think they got from the Lord, and it is as clear as possible that the Word of God is positively against what they have done.
Thus the matter needs safeguarding. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom ..." (Colossians 3:16) as a basis for the Holy Spirit. If, however, you are doing that you will not always have the exact passage to hand to govern the thing of the moment, but the Holy Spirit will be making good in you what He knows to be the Word of God, and holding you up. How true that is. Some of us have found that our natural memories have in great measure broken down. Very often a misquotation of Scripture does not touch doctrine at all, but the point is this, that there is a governing Intelligence which makes us know the Word of God, though we may not be able for the moment to give a particular passage in its exact phrasing or call it to mind. We are governed by it if we belong to the Heavenly Man. "As He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17). Here is the Heavenly Man governed by the Word of God, inasmuch as there was life in Him.
What is true of the Head, is to be true of the members. If we are joined to the Heavenly Man, we become parts of that corporate Heavenly Man, and that same life is in us, and we shall walk by the Word. We shall be governed by the Word through the Spirit of life that is in the Word, and that Spirit of life is all-knowing, all-intelligent. I wish that all the Lord's people lived on that basis. It would save us from all that deadly heresy-hunting kind of thing; from always being suspicious, little, doctrinal watch-dogs, keeping a look-out for anything that is erroneous, and producing a blight of death over everything. If we were but living in the Spirit, we should know in our hearts whether a thing were right or not, without projecting our analytical minds into things; the Spirit would bear witness in our hearts. That would be life and salvation. The other is a miserable existence for everybody.
Now you see the Heavenly Man, eternal life, and the Word governing throughout. What a difference there is between being governed by the letter and being governed by the Spirit. We may have the book; may possess all the letter; and may be constantly exclaiming, "To the law and to the testimony!" We may thus become very legal, checking up on the letter all the time. The Lord Jesus did not thus act, nor did the Apostle Paul. Zealous as they were for the Scriptures, for the Word of God, utterly governed by the Word of God, the thing which mattered with them was the living Word. Said our Lord Jesus: "... the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life"; "... the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63). We can kill with the letter. We can kill with the Word, as the Word. Surely we want to be delivered from dealing with the Scriptures as words, as letters, and to be brought into the place where it is the Spirit in the Word giving life. What a difference there is between those tow realms. One leads to nothing but death, paralysis, to the chilling and blighting of everything; the other leads to a positive condemnation, to judgment which is necessary to slay the thing that is evil. It does not leave things in the blighted state without any meaning, which is all too often the case when it is merely a thing of the letter.
(continued with # 60