Class Notes: 8/19/2009

The believer is commanded to function in the unique spiritual life of the church age


In our present study we are examining just what is the precedence for the spiritual life of the church age believer and we are making the case that the precedence was established by TLJC in his unglorified humanity during his life on this earth at the beginning of the hypostatic union.

We saw that Precedence is defined as: (1) an earlier occurrence of something similar; (2) something done or said that may serve as an example or rule to authorize or justify a subsequent act of the same or an analogous kind (3) a verdict that had no precedent (4) the convention established by such a precedent or by long practice or (5) a person or thing that serves as a model.

This is because church age believers are a new spiritual species in union with TLJC. Gal 3: 26-29; and because of this all of their advantages or disadvantages from first birth are not a factor in their relationship with God.

In our last class we left off with the passage in Rom 8:3-4, where it says "For what the (Mosaic) Law was powerless to do, in that it was weakened by the flesh [the OSN], God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and for a sin offering He judged sin in the flesh, in order that the legal requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

This is also addressed in Gal 3:21-25;

The legal requirement of the Law is that we stand perfect before God. The filling of the Holy Spirit fulfills the legal requirement of the Mosaic Law.

We see here that Carnality and spirituality are shown be absolutes.

The law of the sin nature is carnality. The law of the Spirit of life is spirituality.

Rom 8:5-6, "For those (believers) who are according to the flesh keep thinking about the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, keep thinking about the things of the Spirit. Consequently, the thought pattern of the flesh is (carnal) death, but the thought pattern of the Spirit is life and prosperity,"

The carnal believer whose soul is controlled by the OSN has a mental attitude related to sin and carnality. But the spiritual believer's mental attitude is controlled by the Holy Spirit and is occupied with TLJC who is God's solution for the removal of sin and carnality.

The believer's decisions in life are therefore made on the basis of norms and standards from the old sin nature or on the basis of their spiritual norms and standards from the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Because of this, believers are not stuck with their personality. Once they start to think doctrine, they are a different person. Paul describes this in Gal 2:20;

Application of doctrine to experience is a change in one's personality. Momentum from spiritual growth changes one's personality.

Rom 8:7-8, "because the thought pattern of the flesh is hostile toward God; for it is not subordinate to the law of God, because it is not able to do so. Furthermore, those who are in the flesh (controlled by the sin nature) cannot please God."

So the issue for the believer is to know how to recover from carnality and how to have their volition related to spirituality.

We have seen that the mechanics for recovery from carnality is to acknowledge any known sin that results in the believer's recovery of fellowship with God, and their recovery of the filling of the Spirit.

The first time a believer sins after salvation, they lose their fellowship with God and the filling of the Spirit and the filling of the Spirit is replaced by quenching or grieving the Spirit.

The loss of the filling of the Spirit means the believer is outside of God's power system and as a result the soul is controlled by the OSN.

God the Holy Spirit indwells the body of the Church Age believer. The OSN also indwells his body.

So the major issue for the Church Age believer is: Who will control their life.

The guard at the gate of the believer's soul is volition. The old sin nature presents constant temptations to the soul, and the believer uses their volition to choose for or against those temptations.

When initially saved, the Holy Spirit enters every believer into God's power system through the filling of the Spirit, and as a result He controls the believer's soul. The first time the believer sins, the Holy Spirit no longer controls the soul but the OSN controls the soul instead and the believer is functioning in carnality.

Therefore the origin of all the sin that the believer commits is their volition. It is not sinful to be tempted. It is sinful when the believer's volition accedes to that temptation and commits the sin.

The believer's volition determines at every given moment whether they are controlled by the Holy Spirit or by the old sin nature.

When the believer sins, they must use their volition if they are to recover their status inside the God's power system so that the Holy Spirit again controls the soul.

This is why the word translated "if" in 1John 1:9 is a third class condition (maybe the believer will and maybe they won't.)

Recovery of fellowship with God is the same in the Old Testament as in the New Testament.

This is seen when we compare David's prayer in Psa 32:5; "I acknowledge my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, `I will acknowledge my transgression to the Lord.' And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. How about that (SELAH)?" with

1John 1:9; "If we acknowledge our sins to God, He is faithful and righteous with the result that He forgives us our (known) sins and He purifies us from all wrongdoing (the unknown sins)."

All the sins of human history were imputed to Jesus Christ on the cross and judged by the justice of God the Father. Christ's work provides two things: salvation, and restoration to fellowship with God.

The way of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. The way of spirituality is to cite or name any known sins in our life that removed us from fellowship with God.

This is the only way we can reenter God's power system through the filling of the Spirit, so that Holy Spirit controls the believer's soul.

The sins we cite already went to court and were judged. Therefore, 1 John 1:9 says we simply "homologeo" our sins, which means to cite as in a courtroom case, to name something, or to acknowledge.

As a priest, every believer represents himself before God. So in the privacy of their priesthood, the believer simply names the sins they have committed, and "God is faithful (God always does the same thing) and God is just or righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse or purify us from all unrighteousness."

This is the only way anyone can ever be spiritual.

Apart from this grace provision, believers would be carnal from the first time they sinned after salvation and there would be no plan of God for their lives, no spirituality, no protocol plan of any kind.

There has to be a grace system for recovering fellowship just as the way of salvation is by grace through faith alone.

Just as there are many false gospels that add human works or gimmicks to faith alone in Christ alone, likewise there are many erroneous ideas of what believers must do to be spiritual.

If anything is added to faith in Christ, that is no salvation at all.

People want to help God, but God doesn't need our help.

Just as He provided everything necessary for our salvation, He also provides everything necessary for the recovery of fellowship after salvation.

Therefore, spirituality is only possible because the believer confesses their sins. As long as we live on this earth, we will continue to commit sins because of the indwelling OSN.

In order to do this, believers must also be taught the doctrine of Hamartiology so they can identify what is sin, but the believer is never to be occupied with sin they are to be occupied with God's solution for sin, TLJC.

Believers never reach sinless perfection in this life. The closest they come is positional sanctification, in which we are entered into union with Christ at the moment of salvation. 2Cor 5:21; and life in God's power system wherein the believer does not sin.
1John 3:9; 1John 5:18;

At salvation the Holy Spirit indwells the believer's body, 1 Cor 3:16. The filling of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit controlling your soul. Indwelling is permanent (1 Cor 6:19-20, 1Cor 3:16;) regardless of the believer's spiritual status.

The believer who is out of fellowship is described in 1 Cor 3:1-3 and Rom 8:5-8 as being "men of flesh". When we are "men of flesh" , we are functioning in one of two ways.

Grieving the Spirit in satan's cosmic 1. We are commanded in Eph 4:30 to "not grieve the Spirit." or

Quenching the Spirit in satan's cosmic 2. We are commanded in 1Thes 5:19 to "not quench the Spirit."

So grieving or quenching the Spirit means being out of fellowship in a status quo of carnality. Persistent carnality results in the believer reverting experientially back to what they were like before their salvation. This is called reversionism.

At any given moment believers are either spiritual or carnal. Both are an absolute status that finds the believer either in fellowship with God or out of fellowship with God. In other words, there are no degrees of spirituality; it's either 100% or 0%.

The experiential status of the Christian life is related to one's degree of spiritual growth but there are never degrees of spirituality.

The believer at any stage of spiritual growth can be spiritual or carnal. A baby can be carnal or spiritual. An adolescent can be carnal or spiritual; the same is true for a mature believer. Usually, the mature believer has very little carnality in their life, but when they fail they may fail in a way that will shock others as David did with Bathsheba and Uriah.

A new believer filled with the Spirit does not have the power that a mature believer has who is filled with the Spirit. The power of the Spirit really becomes dynamic once the believer reaches spiritual self-esteem.

In the absolute status of carnality, there is a relative retrogression line. The believer can be in any of the eight stages of reversionism.

So there is a relative concept experientially, that is either progressive or retrogressive, in one's function in Christianity.

So at any given time the believer can be in one of three different states: the filling of the Holy Spirit, grieving the Holy Spirit, or quenching the Holy Spirit.

We have seen that there are commands related to each of these in Scripture.

The misunderstanding of spirituality is the reason believers do not advance to maturity. Apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit the believer cannot advance to maturity. Spirituality is the link between salvation and spiritual maturity.

A believer who is not controlled by the Holy Spirit cannot be distinguished from an unbeliever. When the old sin nature controls the soul, a believer can do anything an unbeliever can do.

There is a great danger when the believer does not acknowledging known sin immediately because this perpetuates their function in carnality, entangles the believer in satan's cosmic system, and enters the believer into the three stages of Christian degeneracy.

Over the various dispensations, God the Holy Spirit's function toward mankind has taken the form of enablement and enduement.

Enablement is the present ministry of God the Holy Spirit to Church Age believers. Enablement only functions when believers are filled with the Spirit and functioning inside the operational type divine power system.

Enablement is the availability of the power of the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit for every believer.

The same divine power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is the power available to every Church Age believer. Eph 1:19-20, "And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who have believed for the working of His superior power, which superior power He made operational by means of Christ, when He raised Him from the dead."

To utilize the power of the Holy Spirit, the believer must consistently execute the mandate of Eph 5:18, and "Be filled with the Spirit."

Just as the protocol plan of God supersedes ritual plan of God in the Church Age, so enablement of the Spirit in the Church age supersedes the enduement of the Spirit in the previous dispensations.

Enduement describes the ministry of the Holy Spirit toward a few Old Testament saints.

In the Old Testament, God the Holy Spirit helped a very small number of the born again believers. He helped the prophets who wrote like Moses and David, and also the judges and kings. But every believer was not indwelt or filled by the Spirit like they are today.

Some examples of endument are as follows:

Enduement was provided for Joseph, in Gen 41:38.

Enduement was provided for certain skilled laborers who worked on the Tabernacle in Exod 28:3, and those tailors who made the High Priest's clothes.

Enduement was provided as administrative assistance to Moses and the seventy elders in Num 11:25.

Enduement was provided to Joshua in Num 27:18, Gideon, Judges 6:34. Samson, Judges 14:6, Judges 15:14-15. Saul, 1Sam 10:9-10. David, 1Sam 16:13. and Daniel for communication, Dan 4:8, Dan 5:11-12;


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