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

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Christ - A Process of Transformation #3   T. Austin Sparks

Started Aug-24 by PAULFROMNYS; 138 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-24

   

Balance

So, over against intellectualism - foolishness; over against powerism - weakness; over against emotionalism - what? The denial that the quest, the craving, the pursuit of sensationalism will get you there. For I believe that was the heart of these Corinthians' lust, their excessive desire, their outreach of soul for spiritual gifts. It is impressive that it is to the Corinthians, far more than to any other church in the New Testament, that so much is said about spiritual gifts. These demonstrations, this display, these things that you can see and glory in because you can see them, are all out of sensationalism. I am quite sure, from what we read, that if you had gone into those gatherings in Corinth you would have seen some hysterical behaviour as they made these spiritual gifts, as they thought, the ground and nature of their spirituality - and they are the most unspiritual church of all. So over against unbalance, lopsidedness in the Christian Church, there is need of balance.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-24

   Do you notice one characteristic of these Christians, one defect which is written so clearly and so largely here in the Letter? There is a lack of the power of spiritual discernment, the spiritual perception, the spiritual intuition which warns us: 'Go steady! Don't be carried away! Don't be thrown off your balance! This thing may be all right in its right place and under proper control, but be careful! There is a snare in every spiritual gift, and if you make the gift the main thing and not the spiritual meaning of the gift, that thing, which in itself may be quite right, will lead you into trouble.' I am covering a lot of history when I say that. Perhaps some of the biggest problems with which some of us have had to deal in people have been the result of this unbalanced quest for the manifestation of the sensational aspects of Christianity.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-24

   Well, perhaps some of you are not able to understand all this, but this is the situation here in Corinth, and I am only saying this to show that there are these two orders, these two categories of what I have called species of humanity which have their residence within one shell of the human body: soul and spirit. They are there, and the Apostle writes to these same people - for the second Letter is only a continuation of the first - 'We are being changed from one form to another.' What is going on? What is the process of the Spirit of God in the believer? What is the meaning of all this that the Lord allows to come our way, this discipline, these adversities, these trials, these sufferings, these difficulties, these 'strange things' (to use Peter's words, for they are strange to us as coming from God, or being allowed by God)? What is the meaning of it all? To bring about the change, the transformation from one species to another, from one kind of humanity to another. There is something in each trial, in each adversity in the suffering, which, under the sovereignty of God, is intended by Him to make a difference in us. 'We are being transformed.'

It is certainly not wrong to have a soul! It is that which has to be saved. In the course of that salvation, the great lesson is how to keep the soul under the control of the spirit. This is what is meant by being 'spiritual'. This is truly "He that is spiritual".

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-24

   

Christianity - A Process of Transformation
by T. Austin-Sparks

Chapter 2

 

Reading: Luke 1:26-35.

 

"Now the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual discerns (or examines) all things" (1 Cor. 2:14).

 

"But we all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image" (2 Cor. 3:18).

 

"For whom He foreknew, He also foreordained to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:29).

 

Luke 1:26-35 falls right into line with our present consideration. We are seeing that Christ is Christianity. If we really do need - as we do - to understand, to know what Christianity really is amidst all the confusion which has arisen within the compass of that word 'Christianity', to know the real nature of this into which we have come, it requires that we shall have a true, a genuine spiritual understanding of Christ, and that is not as simple as it sounds when it is stated like that. For the oldest believer, the one who has gone longest and farthest with the Lord, still realises how much he, or she, needs to know and understand the Lord Jesus. If we want proof of a statement like that, let us remember that so great servant of Jesus Christ who had so great a revelation of Him, and who could say that he had, at a certain time, "been caught up into the third heaven and shown unspeakable things which it is not lawful for a man to utter", and remember that that man, with all his spiritual history and knowledge, was still crying in his prison in the closing days of his life: "That I may know Him" (Phil. 3:10). It was still the predominating ambition and quest of a man with all that. Everything, therefore, is a matter of knowing the Lord Jesus in a spiritual way, so that Christ is really Christianity. Christianity is not a system of truth, of doctrine, of teaching, of practice, of creed. It is a Person; and yet, a Person beyond all comprehending.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-24

   Now we come to the next phase of our present consideration. Paul said here to the Corinthians: "I determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ.(When amongst you, all I intended to know was Jesus Christ), and then he said: "And Him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2). That was excluding one whole realm of things and focusing and concentrating everything upon this Person, Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Why? Here again is the key to our New Testament as well as to these letters. Jesus Christ has come into this world as the first and the representative of a different type of humanity. A different type of man has broken into history in the Person of Jesus Christ, and it is this that gives the explanation of the incarnation, the miraculous birth, the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-24

   

You know that the two things about which there has been more controversy than anything else where Jesus Christ is concerned, where all the schools of theological interpretation have been in conflict, are the birth and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. There are many other things in His life, too, but the two main points of controversy have been the virgin birth and the resurrection, and it is very significant that this should be so.

 

Leaving the resurrection for the present, let us start here with this birth of which we have just read, that which is called, and scripturally so, 'the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus'. I have said that this is the point of controversy and point of difficulty in real spiritual understanding; and the spiritual battle of these ages began at that point when there emerged into this world and into history this One after this particular kind of humanity. So soon after His birth all hell rose up to quench that flame, to blot out that life and its testimony. Herod, that devil-dominated and devil-driven man, went so far as to massacre all infant boys with the object of getting this One. But it was not only Herod. The Lord Jesus Himself later said of other men than Herod: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44). The murderer behind Herod and his mind rose up immediately this type of humanity broke into the world.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Aug-24

   

Well, that is patent. The explanation is that you have two alternative humanities, or mankind. You have the one that Satan made. When he got hold of Adam he changed the humanity, the kind of being that man was. He changed that man, and by an evil, spiritual fornication he produced a race after his own mind. Comprehensively the Word declares: "The whole world lies in the evil one" (1 John 5:19). This is a race after Satan's mind, a race of which he is the prince and the god. That is one kind of humanity.

 

On the other side there is this mind, this type brought into history and into this world. There is another, an alternative humanity to that evil one, and in this humanity all that other was going to be judged, and if unrepentant and not transformed (passed over from one to the other) it was doomed to be blotted out of God's universe. Therefore all the painstaking work and labour and effort of the evil one and the evil powers in the whole Adam race were going to be upset by this new kind of humanity. All Satan's work was going to be undone in this, and all that he ever set himself to do in spoiling God's kind of man was just going to be undercut and blotted out in this One who had now broken into this world. You can understand why Satan said: 'As soon as possible, in His earliest days, we must blot Him out, dismiss Him, get rid of Him!'

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