The Believer's Sphere of Life and Base of Operations (continued)
We recognize that if the full impact of this declaration, with all its implications was to come by revelation to the "inner man" of Christian people and workers it would be nothing short of revolutionary in all methods, means, and motives. Surely, for instance, we know by now that remorse and regret for sin leading to tears and resolutions does not mean salvation. Decisions, confessions, and religious feelings, are no criteria, any more than are reasoned conclusions, intellectual convictions, mental acceptances, aspirations after sublime, the beautiful, the "good." Does someone inquire then "do you rule out the intellect, the reason, the emotions, the human will or resolution?" and our answer is emphatically we do rule all this out as an initial and basic factor in the matter of salvation, it is secondary, later, and been then only a bond-slave and not a master.
Let us ask some questions which will clarify the matter. What was it or where was it that death took place when "death passed upon all," and it came true that was said "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die?" Was it the body? Obviously not. Was it the soul? If our foregoing descriptions truly represents the soul, then again, obviously not. Repudiating the suggestion that the words were but a sentence of death to be carried out at some future time, there remains but the third part of man's "whole," namely his spirit. That was the topstone of God's creative work. The organ in man of all the Divine activity; the sphere and instrument of all the operations of God. God is a Spirit, and only Spirit can have access to or fellowship with Spirit.
"Only the spirit can know spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:9-11)
"Only spirit can serve spirit" (Romans 1:9; 7:6; 12:11)
"Only spirit can worship God Who is Spirit" (John 4:23-24)
"Only spirit can receive revelation from God Who is Spirit" (Revelation 1:10; 1 Corinthians 2:10)
We shall return to this later.
Let it be clearly recognized that God determined to have all His dealings with man and fulfill all His purposes through man by means of that in man which was "after His own likeness", that is, his spirit; but this spirit of man for all such Divine intentions must be kept in living union with Himself, and never for one instant infringe the laws of its Divine union by crossing over to the outer circle of the soul at at the call of any emotion, suggestion, argument or desire coming from without. When this took place death entered, and the nature of death, as the word is used in the scriptures, is severance in the Divine union of spirit. This does not mean that man no longer had a spirit, but that the ascendency of the spirit was surrendered to the soul and this at a time when the soul had accepted from without by desire, and reason, that which was intended to draw away from fellowship with God. "Drawn away by his own lusts (desires)."
This is where the "fall" begins, all else follows. From that time the inclusive designation of man in a state of separation from spirit union and life with God is "flesh."
(continued with # 3)