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Friday, June 26, 2015

The Inner Man of the Heart # 14

The Ascendency of the Spiritual Man Over the Natural Man (continued)

May we just strike a note of warning here. There is a peril that we might live too much in our own human spirit as a thing by itself. For the born again child of God the Holy Spirit is the Divine indweller of the human spirit, and it is not our spirit but His presence in our spirit that has to be our direction and government. A larger reason for this warning will be mentioned later, but as one very vital principle for safety in this matter let us here emphasize the corporate nature of the Holy Spirit's work. He is essentially the gift to the Body of Christ as a whole, and only indwells individual members relatively. It is Christ corporate Who is anointed in this age to fulfill the eternal purpose, and the Holy Spirit resting in and upon the "Body" (1 Corinthians 12:12) energizes and endows each member in relation to the whole and to the "Head" (Ephesians 1:22). Hence spiritual guidance should be corporate, and the complement, corroboration, and confirmation should be sought in the spirits of "two or three" members. This "discerning of the Body" (1 Corinthians 10:16, 17; 11:29) is very important in the matter of service as in fellowship. God is jealous of proper order in the Body of Christ, and failure to note this is the traceable cause of very much error, chaos, and disruption; as also of failure, suffering, and shame. There are also "joints of supply" in the "Body," and while they do not compose a priestly or ecclesiastical class or order, they are in - by the appointment of God and the seal of the Spirit - a representative position and capacity. God will not have these set aside, but requires that those who are within the sphere of their oversight (1 Peter 5:2, etc.) shall consult with them, "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" in the matter of service and conduct, as in matters of truth and doctrine. Where this is possible, God locks up His direction to this law, and only trouble can follow sooner or later if the law is ignored. We must not overlook the Divine appointments within the "Body" (Ephesians 4:11-14). These appointments were made and these personal gifts were given for the "perfecting of the saints unto the work of ministry, for the building up of the Body of Christ till" - till when, the end of the Apostolic age? - "till we attain ... unto the measure of the stature of the fullness  of Christ," and that has not taken place yet.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 15 - (Spiritual Discernment and the Bewildering Mass of Conflicting Teachings)

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