Class Notes: 11/8/2009
The unglorified humanity of TLJC is the model for the believer's spiritual life
In our continuing study of the mandates of the PPOG for believers we are presently looking at the imperative moods found in Rom 6:11-13. Where we have the second person plural present middle imperative of "logizomai" that is translated "consider",
We are presently discussing the second part of the mandate where believers are commanded to consider themselves "alive to God in Christ Jesus" as members of the Royal Family of God and when we stopped last time we were looking at what this does not consist of:
It is not living in cosmic one, that is called "grieving the Holy Spirit" in Eph 4:30; In cosmic one the believer emphasizes relationship with self over their relationship with God.
It is not living in cosmic two that is called "quenching the Holy Spirit in 1Thes 5:19; In cosmic two the believer emphasizes their relationship with people and their human good achievements over their relationship with God.
It is not the life of the carnal believer that is described in 1Cor 3:1-3; The carnal believer emphasizes sin and human good over their relationship with God.
It is not living under the Mosaic Law, according to Gal 5:18, 23 and Rom 10:4. God has given Church Age believers a far greater plan than ever existed for Israel under the Mosaic Law.
Any Christian experience outside of God's grace provision and power is not a part of the spiritual life.
Experientially, the spiritual life is glorification of our Lord Jesus Christ in the body. This is an experience that is in contrast with the indwelling of Christ that is not an experience.
Non-experientially, the spiritual life is the status of every member of the Trinity indwelling the believer's body. The indwelling of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is classified as a permanent status quo rather than something that is experienced.
But, the experiential side of the spiritual life is made possible and comes out of the non-experiential indwelling presence of the Trinity.
The spiritual life is Jesus Christ being glorified in our physical bodies during our time on this earth.
Passages, including Eph 5:1; and 1Cor 6:20; refer to "imitating God" and "glorifying God in your bodies" without specifying which member of the Trinity is involved or how it is to be accomplished.
Believers must understand that Jesus Christ is God but he is also in hypostatic union.
The essence of His deity cannot be imitated. It is blasphemous to think that a human being with an old sin nature could even approximate imitating God.
It is also impossible for any human to imitate the attributes of God such as sovereignty, righteousness, justice, love, or eternal life.
So when believers are commanded to imitate God they are not commanded to imitate the deity of God.
So the reference to "imitating God" in Eph 5:1; has to refer to Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is undiminished deity but in hypostatic union, He is also true humanity in one person forever. It is therefore the humanity of Christ that believers are commanded to imitate.
In his true humanity Christ was sinless and impeccable. Believers cannot imitate this because we possess and old sin nature and we sin.
Therefore the imitation of Jesus Christ must be limited to His humanity and it must be limited to something we can do, not something we cannot do.
The humanity of Christ was constantly filled with the Holy Spirit and sustained by the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit. When the believer is filled with and sustained by God the Holy Spirit, the believer becomes the imitator of the humanity of TLJC.
The principle of imitating Christ is therefore related to the commands to "Be filled with the Spirit" and to "Walk in the Spirit." because this is how TLJC functioned while on this earth.
The believer can also imitate TLJC by advancing to spiritual maturity just as he advanced to spiritual maturity according to Luke 2:40,52;
Therefore in "imitating God, believers are being commanded to be filled with the Spirit and advance to spiritual maturity through the PMA of Bible Doctrine..
As Jesus Christ took doctrine in His soul, so can we. As He erected an edification complex in his soul from his PMA of Bible Doctrine, so can we, as the Lord Jesus Christ advanced to spiritual maturity and supergrace in His humanity, so can we. Eph 4:11--13;
When believers are filled with the Spirit they imitate Jesus Christ Eph 5:18; Galatians 4:19; Gal 5:22,23; 2Cor 3:3;
Just as TLJC advanced to spiritual maturity and the supergrace life, according to Luke 2:40,52; believers are commanded to imitate Jesus Christ by advancing to spiritual maturity and the supergrace life.
Believers of the Church Age are members of the royal family of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Therefore we should bear the family resemblance of this nobility.
The principle that is being referred to in Eph 5:1 ; 1Cor 6:20; and our passage Rom 6:11b;
Believers are able to re-present TLJC and exhibit this family resemblance when they understand the difference between the indwelling of Christ and the Christian experience of glorifying Christ in their body.
Believers must understand that Christ's indwelling is not an experience, but glorifying Christ in their body is an experience.
They must also understand the difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in their bodies and the function of the Holy Spirit in glorifying Christ in their bodies.
The indwelling Christ doesn't glorify Christ in their bodies; that is the function of the Holy Spirit. In Eph 5:1a, believers are commanded to "become imitators of God as beloved children, and walk in virtue-love."
In this verse, God refers to our Lord Jesus Christ as the only visible member of the Trinity, John 1:18, John 6:46; 1Tim 3:16; 1John 4:12.
With this is understood, is obvious that the command to "become imitators of God" is a reference to the fulfillment of the protocol plan of God in the same way that our Lord Jesus Christ in His humanity lived inside the prototype plan.
He was filled with the Holy Spirit and walked by means of the Spirit so we are commanded to "imitate God" in the sense that we can live in the operational divine power system, under the filling of the Spirit, by walking by means of the Spirit, and by the execution God's plan for the Church Age believer.
In 1Cor 6:20, we are told, "For you have been bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body." Again, the reference is to our Lord Jesus Christ, though it can also include God the Father who provided everything in eternity past necessary to fulfill His plan.
Rom 8:10; states that the indwelling of Christ has a definite relationship to the believer's spiritual life. "In fact, if Christ is in you (and He is), on the one hand, the body is dead because of the sin nature, but on the other hand, the (Holy) Spirit is alive because of (imputed divine) righteousness."
One of the two reasons why the Holy Spirit indwells the believer's body is to function as a beachhead for the fulfillment of the PPOG through function in the unique spiritual life.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not in itself the means of executing the Christian life; that is done through two mandates related to the function of the Spirit: to "be filled with the Spirit" and to "walk by means of the Spirit."
Both of these two mandates refer to the believer's function in God's power system but, they are different. The mandate to "Be filled with the Spirit" is a reference to God the Holy Spirit controlling the believer's body and especially their soul.
The mandate to "Walk by means of the Spirit" refers to believer's conduct as they advance to spiritual maturity in God's power system.
When believer's persistently "walk by means of the Spirit they are advanced into the three stages of spiritual adulthood, spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy at and spiritual maturity.
Spiritual adulthood is attained when believers consistently function inside God's power system under the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit and receive momentum from the PMA of Bible Doctrine that results in spiritual growth and a lifestyle of wisdom.
We have seen that the Holy Spirit is the teacher of Bible doctrine, John 14:26, 16:12-14; 1Cor 2:9-16; 1 John 2:27, where the "anointing of the Spirit" has made the believer a member of the Royal family of God and he abides in the believer to teach them the doctrine needed for this new life.
The communicator of the doctrine is the pastor-teacher, but without the ministry of the Holy Spirit believers cannot understand the doctrine that is communicated and cannot make proper application.
Each stage of spiritual adulthood includes suffering for blessing or undeserved suffering, that is designed to intensify and accelerate the believer's advance to spiritual maturity. Phil 1:29;
Providential preventative suffering is combined with spiritual self-esteem to advance believers to spiritual autonomy.
Momentum testing is combined with spiritual autonomy to advance believers to spiritual maturity.
Evidence testing is combined with spiritual maturity for the maximum glorification of God while on this earth is the ultimate demonstration in the spiritual life.
All this adds up to glorification of Jesus Christ in our bodies that is accomplished in the believer by God the Holy Spirit. Eph 2:10; Phil 1:6;
Gal 6:14; describes the spiritual life as it relates to spiritual self-esteem. Gal 4:19, "My little children (believers too long in spiritual childhood, and who are now in legalism), from whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you."
When believers attain spiritual self-esteem Christ is "formed in our bodies." And church age believers have a personal sense of destiny from spiritual self-esteem just like humanity of Christ had in His earthly ministry.
"Christ is formed in our bodies" means that the characteristics of Jesus Christ in spiritual self-esteem become the characteristics of the believer.
The spiritual self-esteem of our Lord was illustrated in His prayer the night before His crucifixion in Luke 22:42; where he said, "Father, if it be Your will, let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless, not My will but Your will be done."
© Copyright 2022, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.