Class Notes: 11/11/2009

The believer who is considering themselves "alive to God in Christ Jesus" is advancing to spiritual maturity


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 the thinking of TLJC in spiritual self esteem that was exhibited in the garden prior to his being arrested and taken away to be beaten and crucified.

where he said in Luke 22:42; "Father, if you are willing remove this cup from Me. yet not My will but Yours be done."

Spiritual self-esteem is where the believer makes their relationship with God a priority over their relationship with people. It is characterized primarily by personal love for God, as the highest motivation in life.

The next stage of spiritual advance is described as spiritual autonomy.

The believer in spiritual autonomy is described in. Eph 3:16-17, "I pray that He might give you on the basis of His riches in glory (portfolio of invisible assets), that you might become strong (in spiritual adulthood) by means of His power ( the divine power system) through His Spirit (the enabling power of the Holy Spirit) in your inner being ( the indwelling of the Spirit is the base of operations for filling of the Holy Spirit); so that Christ may be at home in the your right lobe of your soul through doctrine (maximum metabolized doctrine) when you have been rooted (through the inculcation of doctrine) and grounded in virtue-love."

Christ at home in the thinking of the believer is the cognitive status of the believer in spiritual autonomy.

Virtue-love includes the motivational virtue of personal love for God, that is a characteristic of spiritual self-esteem. This is combined with the functional virtue of impersonal love for all mankind that in spiritual autonomy.

Since verse 17 makes virtue-love a prerequisite for "Christ being at home in the right lobe of the believer's soul," this statement must refer to the believer in spiritual autonomy who has both the motivational virtue of personal love for God and the functional virtue of integrity love for all mankind.

The believer in spiritual autonomy is already motivated by personal love for God. Impersonal love for all mankind is the how the believer who is "rooted and grounded in personal love for God love exhibits this love. John 13:35;

The status quo of spiritual autonomy, or being "rooted and grounded in virtue-love," comes from the inculcation of Bible Doctrine therefore, Christ is now at home in the right lobe of the believer's soul by means of or by agency of that metabolized doctrine.

The next stage of advance is called Spiritual Maturity.

Spiritual maturity is described in. Phil 1:20-21, "According to my eager expectation and resultant hope (absolute confident expectation in Divine good), that I will not be put to shame in anything (failure to pass suffering for blessing), but with all integrity, even now as always (in spiritual maturity), Christ shall be glorified in My body, whether by living or by dying."

"eager expectation," refers to one's absolute confidence in God that is set above any other relationship, so the believer is giving first priority and focus on their relationship with God over their relationship with people or their concern for circumstances.

"Shame" refers to failure to pass the various categories of undeserved suffering (providential preventative suffering, momentum testing, or evidence testing).

This is the highest experience of the spiritual life, that whether we are living or dying, Jesus Christ is glorified in or by means of our body.

"Christ being glorified in the body" is not the positional reality of the indwelling of Christ, it is the experiential and cognitive reality of spiritual maturity.

v21, "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain or profit."

"Living is Christ" is the ultimate experience of the spiritual life, the attainment of spiritual maturity, the passing of evidence testing, that results in the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ in the believer's body.

"Dying is gain or profit," refers to dying grace that is the last escrow blessing that is conveyed to believers who are living in the PPOG while they are on earth.

Dying grace includes anticipation of the conveyance of even greater escrow blessings for the eternal state that are distributed by our Lord Himself at the evaluation after the exit resurrection of the church.

The spiritual life provides proper emphasis and determines one's priorities. This means that the believer is not only a new spiritual species and a member of the Royal family of God in Christ Jesus, but this also demands the first priority for the entire body of Christ is that their relationship with God must come before their relationship with people.

As long as believers emphasize their experience with people over their experience with God, their experience in life will be characterized by self-induced misery under the law of volitional responsibility, plus the categories of divine discipline that go from warning, to intensive, and then to dying discipline because of wrong priorities.

All too often, believers perpetuate their condition in spiritual childhood because of wrong priorities. None of us can escape the consequences of putting our relationships with people before our relationship with God.

The PPOG demands that believers have the proper relationship with God before they can ever have a proper relationship with people.

But God is invisible, so the believer's relationship with the invisible God can only come from persistent positive volition towards Bible Doctrine that reveals God. Heb 11:6;

A proper relationship with God can only come from the understanding of and consistent residence inside God's power system under the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit and momentum from metabolized doctrine.

The believer's relationship with invisible God is only possible by through the cognition of Bible Doctrine that comes under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit and concentration on the teaching of the Word of God.

Invisible God only becomes real to believers through the Word of God, which is the "mind of Christ" 1Cor 2:16.

Failure to function in the PMA of Bible Doctrine after salvation results in improper experience with God and with people.

Improper priorities isn't necessarily just negative volition to doctrine, it may be that the believer is to busy doing other things that results in their priorities being misplaced.

Right experience with God occurs when believers consistently live inside God's power system under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit with momentum from metabolized doctrine.

The indwelling of Jesus Christ is related to right emphasis in the protocol plan of God.

The indwelling of Christ demands believers place first priority on their relationship with God.

The indwelling of Christ demands that believers place their second priority on their relationship with themselves. This is the emergence of spiritual self-esteem as the first stage of spiritual adulthood.

When one's relationship with God is correct the result is spiritual self-esteem that provides the basis for a good relationship with one's self.

The indwelling of Christ demands that believers place their third priority on their relationship with people.

The believer's proper relationship with self is exhibited as spiritual self- esteem and their proper relationship with others is exhibited as spiritual autonomy.

In the sequence, the believer's priority for their proper relationship with God establishes the basis for their proper relationship with self that becomes the basis for their proper relationship with others.

This is all occurs as a natural result of the believer growing up in their new identity as a "new creature" or new spiritual species. Gal 6:15;

The believer learns the principles and the mechanics of living in their new identity through their persistent and consistent PMA of Bible Doctrine that results in the believer having wisdom from metabolized Bible Doctrine on the launching pad of the soul that is available for application in life.

The last thing Peter wrote in scripture was recorded in 2Pet 3:18 where he said, "But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; to Him be glory, both now and in the day of eternity."

Peter understood that priority must be placed on one's relationship with God.

Although Jesus Christ as the Shekinah Glory indwells every believer it is only the advance of the members of His royal family into spiritual maturity that gives Him the glory that belongs to Him.

He is glorified when believers take advantage of their position in union with him.

The writer of the book of Hebrews describes TLJC as the model for believers in Heb 12:2-3, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you do not grow weary and become discouraged."

Believers are to be occupied with or focused on TLJC who is the model for their spiritual life We are to "consider Him," Jesus Christ, who as eternal God, indwells every believer's body who also in his unglorified humanity provides the model for the believer's life.

We can consider His life because, Jesus Christ gave first priority to the will, purpose, and plan of God the Father for the incarnation that we saw illustrated in His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.

The night before the cross, Jesus Christ anticipated the imputation of all sins in the human race, knowing full well their impact as perfect humanity and perfect God in one person forever. Yet at that very moment of realization, as it were, Jesus Christ prayed, "Father, if it be Your will, let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless, not My will but Your will be done.

Jesus had his priorities straight. He put God's interests before his own personal interests.

This was only possible because he was established his own unique personal sense of destiny from metabolized Bible Doctrine under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit.

2Cor 3:1-3; states that the believer's residence and function in the spiritual life depends on accurate Bible teaching from whomever is your right pastor and the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

v1: "Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you?"

Paul is saying, "Do we need a letter of recommendation now, since you have now accepted the false teaching of legalism, since you've now permitted Judaizers to teach your congregation, since you've now opened the door to false teaching?"

Paul's sarcasm is the phrase "from you." where Paul is asking them if he needs a letter of recommendation from them to enter their local assembly.

Paul is suggesting that there are some in the Corinthian assembly who should have letters of recommendation before they are permitted to enter. Yet the Judaizers were permitted to enter without letters of recommendation.

The Judaizers have now misled the Corinthians into becoming a very legalistic congregation. Paul is criticizing the Corinthians for permitting the legalistic false teachers to infiltrate their local assembly.

In rejecting Paul's ministry, the Corinthians have invalidated Paul's original letter of recommendation to them, though they have required no letters of recommendation from the false teachers.

Paul is not requesting any letters of recommendation from them; Paul is asking for no favors. The minister of the Lord relies on the divine provision of grace and seeks no special treatment or favor.

2Cor 3:2, "You yourselves are our letters, written by hearts, known and read by all men."

The statement "You yourselves are our letters" refers to the fact that Paul does not need a letter of recommendation to or from the Corinthians, because most of the Corinthian believers were saved as a result of his ministry in the Gospel of Grace.

They are living letters of flesh, manifesting the evangelism and the teaching ministry of the apostle Paul. So Paul introduces the concept of the walking letter of commendation or recommendation.

"Written by our hearts" means that Paul had the doctrine in the right lobe of his soul and communicated it. The Corinthians were beneficiaries of the doctrinal teaching that came from the right lobe of Paul's heart.

The Corinthian believers are letters written by Paul as recipients of his doctrinal teaching. When he first came to them, as new believers they were a blank piece of paper. When he left, they had the writing of doctrine in their lives.

"Known and read by all men" means that everyone in contact with the believer is "reading" their life.

What is written there is doctrine or disaster, spirituality or legalism, grace or arrogance, Christ and God's power system or Satan and the cosmic system.

The believer's life is either a good or a bad letter, depending upon their attitude toward Bible Doctrine.

Since all three members of the Trinity indwell believers, and since we have been provided with our very own portfolio of invisible assets, people should read Christ in our lives because we are re-presenting TLJC to them.

This is the challenge to every believer as a "living letter," or a "walking epistle.

We must evaluate just how we are re-presenting TLJC and how those who are in our periphery are reading that presentation.

2Cor 3:3; "Being revealed that you are a letter from Christ who has been ministered by us, having been written, not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tables of the right lobe of the soul."

"Being revealed that you are a letter from Christ" is Paul's use of a reverse metaphor in his sarcasm. The Corinthian believers are not only Paul's letter of recommendation of his teaching, but also comprise an open letter from Christ to the entire human race.

This letter either calls attention to self, which is negative, or calls attention to Christ, which is positive.

"Who has been ministered by us" means that the doctrine communicated by the pastor becomes the writing of God the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers in the local assembly.

In this case "Us" refers to Paul, Timothy, Titus, and Apollos, who were successively assigned as pastors to the Corinthian believers. None of these men were teaching the Corinthian believers at the time because the church was under terrible legalistic teaching.

Being written "with the Spirit of the living God" refers to the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

The indwelling of the Spirit is the base of operations, but it is only by the filling of the Spirit and walking by means of the Spirit that the teaching ministry of the Spirit operational in the believer's life.

"Not on tables of stone" refers to the Mosaic Law, which has absolutely nothing to do with the spiritual life and the PPOG for Church Age believers.


© Copyright 2018, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.