Class Notes: 8/26/2009
Spirituality versus Pseudo Spirituality
In our present study we are examining 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 any advantages or disadvantages from first birth are not a factor in their relationship with God.
In our last class we left off when we left off with the principle of grace that god through his omnipotence does everything for the believer.
The omnipotence of God the Father provides the encouragement for the Christian through His grace policy and divine provision of our portfolio of invisible assets.
The omnipotence of God the Son provides the necessary historical environment for the believer to execute the protocol plan for the Church.
The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit provides the enabling power inside the God's power system for the execution of God's plan.
No discussion of true spirituality would be complete without addressing some of the systems of pseudo spirituality that carnal believers use in an attempt to be spiritual.
Most systems of pseudo spirituality arise from legalism.
Legalism is defined as the strictness in conforming to a code of deeds, observances, and dead works as a means of self-justification or self-promotion.
Legalism is the attempt to be spiritual and be pleasing to God by human works or taboos in the energy of the OSN.
Legalism originates from a combination of self-righteous arrogance and subjective self-justification.
Legalism is a trend of the sin nature that results in moral degeneracy.
Legalism is influenced by two carnal states: the carnal believer involved in the cosmic system of Satan, and the carnal believer involved in Christian moral degeneracy.
Some of the systems of pseudo spirituality include the following.
Spirituality by personality imitation begins by creating a role model out of another person other than the person of TLJC.
This involves imitating someone whom the believer admires. It may include associating with certain overt superficial mannerisms of that believer rather than having the filling of the Spirit and can manifest itself by the wearing certain dress or colors.
The practice of women not wearing or using make-up or cosmetics or the neglect of grooming is associated with humility or spirituality by asceticism.
It may include speaking with stereotypical phrases, or using old English words such as "Thou" and "Thee" in one's prayers or having certain mannerisms such as poor posture and making certain facial expressions in an effort to emulate what the believer thinks represents humility, sincerity and spirituality and the cultivation of a so called sweet personality.
All this adds up to the fact that the believer must learn to distinguish between spirituality and personality. God uses all different types of personalities, and believers do not have to create a "spiritual" personality.
Another system of pseudo spirituality called spirituality by "yielding" it is based on a false interpretation of the Greek verb "paristemi "that is translated "yield" in the KJV that is found in Rom 6:13-19; Rom12: 1, and Rom 6:13 where it really says, "And stop putting your members at the disposal of the sin nature as weapons of wrongdoing, but place yourself under orders to God as those who are alive from the dead."
The Greek word "paristemi" means to place yourself at someone's disposal. Believers place themselves under orders to God by the filling of the Spirit through the acknowledgment of any known sin when necessary and the cognition of doctrine on a daily basis.
The word "paristemi" translated "yielding" in the KJV therefore refers to the day-by-day function of the spiritual skills in the believer's life under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit.
Pseudo spirituality through yielding assumes that the believer is spiritual because of some overt act of dedication such as coming forward at the end of a church service.
Rededication and reaffirmation of faith can be blasphemy when performed by a Christian because all believers are placed into service by God at the moment of their salvation.
As we have seen, true spirituality is the filling of the Holy Spirit, that places the believer at the disposal of TLJC every day through the function of spiritual skills.
True dedication simply involves the daily decisions that the believer makes from a position of strength from their residence and function inside God's power system.
So the true meaning of placing yourself at the disposal of God in Rom 6:13; and presenting your body as a living sacrifice to God in Rom 12:1; is fulfilled when the believer is filled with the Holy Spirit and presents himself for the perception of Bible doctrine under His mentorship in the local assembly.
Another form of pseudo spirituality is "spirituality" by taboos.
A Taboo is something prescribed by society as improper and unacceptable. A taboo becomes a false system of spirituality when such prohibitions are established in the church by legalistic Christians.
A taboo is a forbidden activity by a religious group or a mixed up Christian, but is not something that is forbidden by the Word of God.
Such a practice superimposes legalism on the Christian community as if it were a mandate from God.
Most taboos are established on the basis of human subjectivity and prejudice. Therefore, taboos are not a true issue in the function the Christian way of life.
The Bible is specific about forbidding sin, but taboos do not address sins.
Legalistic taboos include such things as Sabbath observance, which means church age believers are expected to keep a Sabbath Day as was commanded in the Mosaic law for Israel.
This taboo originates from the failure to distinguish between God's plan for Israel and God's plan for the Church Age where there are no sabbath days.
Popular taboos of legalism also include: do not drink, do not dance, do not go to movies, do not smoke, or do not gamble. These things may cause health problems or be socially unacceptable, but they do not indicate a lack of the filling of the Spirit.
Sometimes taboos must be regarded for social acceptance and self-restraint under the filling of the Holy Spirit must be practiced. When this is the case, the four laws of Christian behavior apply as described in. 1Cor 9:20-23;
The law of liberty is where believers have the right to do certain things that will not cause them to sin or enter into carnality. 1Cor 8:4, 9. Believers have to be careful when they are around others who may be corrupted by something that is meaningless to them but would affect others who do not have the doctrinal understanding of the freedom that is available to the church age believer.
The law of love is the function of impersonal love to avoid offending weaker believers and becoming a distraction to their spiritual growth. 1Cor 8:13.
The law of expediency is directed toward the unbeliever where the believer avoids doing certain things so that the unbeliever is not prevented from seeing the true issue of Christ.
In self-righteous arrogance, unbelievers often superimposes their own standards on the believer, and expects the believer to comply with those standards regardless of their true spiritual connotation.
Therefore, in the interest of witnessing for Christ, the believer refrains from doing certain things because they prevent the unbeliever from seeing the true issue in salvation and to believe in TLJC for salvation. This is described by Paul in 1Cor 9:18-19;
The law of supreme sacrifice is the highest law of Christian behavior. It sometimes requires the believer to forgo even normal living and legitimate function in life, in order to serve our Lord in a special capacity. This is described by Paul in 1Cor 9:1-15.
The problem with taboos is that they reject the enabling power of the Holy Spirit inside the God's power system for spirituality.
Taboos ignore the doctrine that the Christian way of life is a supernatural way of life, and therefore, demands a supernatural means of execution.
Taboos ignore the principle that spiritual skills must precede production skills for the performance of divine good.
Taboos ignore the fact that no two believers have attained the same spiritual growth; therefore, there are differences in the choices believers make.
Taboos produce legalistic bullying. The result of legalistic bullying is that there is no development of spiritual skills from the PMA of Bible Doctrine. This means that production skills supercede spiritual skills, resulting in the performance of dead works and evil.
Conformance to taboos pushes weak believers into to the practice of legalism, resulting in Christian moral degeneracy.
In some cases, reaction to the tyranny of the legalism of taboos may cause believers not only to reject the taboos but also results in their going in the opposite direction from moral degeneracy into the practice of Christian antinomianism, and Christian immoral degeneracy.
Taboos distract from Bible doctrine, such that the believer fails to advance in the protocol plan of God and become a loser at the evaluation seat of TLJC. Taboos also weaken the volition and cause believers to judge and invade the privacy of others.
Taboos are used in an attempt to control the OSN through legislation, they restrain through peer pressure without providing internal capacity for self control and glorify legalism and the function of human power thereby hindering true spiritual growth in grace.
Taboos obscure the uniqueness of the Church Age, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the portfolio of invisible assets, the royal commissions, the mystery doctrine, and the indwelling of the Trinity.
Another false system of spirituality is spirituality by respectability it is the erroneous contention that a believer is spiritual because their sins are more "respectable" than the sins of some other believer.
This is arrogant self-righteousness involved in arrogant self vindication or self justification of one's own sins while condemning the sins of others.
The believer involved in this system of pseudo spirituality is very legalistic, very superficial, and involved in more subtle sins than the believer who is antinomian.
This is another form of Christian moral degeneracy.
Spirituality by respectability establishes a system of overt morality, and calls it a system of spirituality. It is believed that "believers are spiritual because they do not do anything to offend" or that "a believer cannot do those things and be saved."
This system is heavily involved in inordinate ambition and inordinate competition.
These believers rationalize divine discipline as suffering for blessing.
These believers do not understand that one category of sin makes them just as carnal as another category of sin. Any sin destroys fellowship with God and demands the use of confession alone to God alone.
Lack of human self esteem is often source the attraction of spirituality by respectability. When people have no human self-esteem, then they strive to find something to make themselves important in their own eyes. By so doing, they develop a pseudo or human self esteem instead of spiritual self esteem from living the spiritual life in God's power system.
Improper understanding of just what is sin results in the believer's failure to address his or her own problems by simply acknowledging them for recovery of the spiritual life.
Self-righteous believers always have a tendency to bully, judge, and meddle in other Christian's business. Self-righteous arrogance is the basis of spirituality by respectability.
Spirituality makes the believer respectable, but respectability does not make the believer spiritual. Respectability is not spirituality.
The sin pattern of self-righteous arrogance is often the worst. It results in Christian moral degeneracy and all of it's associated evils that are not recognized by the believer in moral arrogance. Morality is not spirituality.
© Copyright 2018, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.