Bible talk

Hosted by PAULFROMNYS|Malachi 3:16-18/Bible talk

Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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The Spiritual man #47   Topics/belief

Started 1/16/22 by PAULFROMNYS; 104 views.
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   Carnal believers may be long on so-called spiritual knowledge but usually are short on experience. Hence they condemn others but do not correct themselves. When they hear the teaching of the dividing of soul and spirit their natural minds smoothly assimilate it. But what happens then? They set about discerning and dissecting the soulish thoughts and acts not in their own lives but in those of others. Their acquisition of knowledge has merely propelled them to judge someone else and not to help themselves. This propensity to criticize is a common practice among the soulish. They have the soulical capacity to receive knowledge but lack the spiritual capacity to be humble. In their association with people they leave one with the impression of being cold and hard. Their dealing with others possesses a certain stiffness about it. Unlike spiritual believers their outward man has not been broken and they are therefore not easy to approach or to accompany. Christians who thrive on the soul life are very proud. This is because they make self the center. However much they may try to give the glory to God and acknowledge any merit as of God’s grace, carnal believers have their mind set upon self. Whether accounting their lives good or bad their thoughts revolve around themselves. They have not yet lost themselves in God. These feel greatly hurt if they are laid aside either in work or in the judgment of others. They cannot bear to be misunderstood or criticized because they—unlike their more spiritual brethren—still have not learned to accept gladly God’s orderings, whether resulting in uplift or in rejection. Unwilling are they to appear inferior, as being despised. Even after they have received grace to know the actual state of their natural life as most corrupt and even after they may have humbled themselves before God—counting their lives to be the worst in the world, these nevertheless ironically end up regarding themselves more humble than the rest. They boast in their humility! Pride is deeply bred in the bone.

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             The Works of Soulish Believers

The soulish are second to none in the matter of works. They are most active, zealous and willing. But they do not labor because they have received God’s order; they labor instead because they have zeal and capacity so to do. They believe doing God’s work is good enough, unaware that only doing the labor of God’s appointment is truly commendable. These individuals have neither the heart to trust nor the time to wait. They never sincerely seek the will of God. On the contrary, they labor according to their ideas, with a mind teeming with schemes and plans. Because they diligently work, these Christians fall into the error of looking upon themselves as far more advanced than their leisurely brethren. Who can deny, however, that with God’s grace the latter can easily be more spiritual than the former? The labor of soulish believers chiefly depends upon feeling. They take to work only when they feel up to it; and if these congenial feelings cease while working they will quit automatically. They can witness to people for hours on end without weariness if they experience within their hearts a burning and unspeakably joyful feeling. But if they sustain a coldness or dryness within they will scarcely speak, or not even speak at all, in the face of the greatest need—as, say, before a death-bed situation. With tingling warmth they can run a thousand miles; without it, they will not move a tiny step. They cannot ignore their feelings to the extent of speaking when stomach is empty to a Samaritan woman or talking while eyes are drowsy to a Nicodemus. Carnal Christians crave works; yet amid many labors they are unable to maintain calm in their spirit. They cannot fulfill God’s orders quietly as can the spiritual believers. Much work disturbs them. Outer confusion causes inner unrest. Their hearts are governed by outward matters. Being “distracted with much serving” (Luke 10.40) is the characteristic of the work of any soulish believer. Carnal Christians are readily discouraged in their exertions. They lack that quiet confidence which trusts God for His work. Regulated as they are by their internal sensations and external environments, they cannot appreciate the “law of faith.” Upon feeling that they have failed, though not necessarily true, they give up. They faint when the surroundings appear dark and uninviting to them. They have not yet entered into the rest of God.