Class Notes: 7/10/2011
Believers in Spiritual Self esteem have established the PMA of Bible Doctrine as the highest priority in their life
In our study of spiritual self-esteem, when we stopped last time we were looking at 1Pet 5:6-9; where we saw that believers choose to be under the authority of the pastor by listening to the doctrine that is communicated by the pastor and, after accepting or rejecting that doctrine, choosing to live according to doctrine that has been metabolized into their own soul.
When believers are "clothed with humility" in the local assembly they give others a chance to learn doctrine in the privacy of their priesthood without any spiritual influence or bullying.
Spiritual self-esteem is not self-centered or self-absorbed. It takes responsibility for one's own decisions without blaming others for the unintended consequences of bad decisions because it recognizes that God has taken the bad decisions into account and made provision for them in His unique plan for every believer.
There can be no spiritual advance without the grace, doctrinal and authority orientation of humility. This advance leads to harmony among believers because it respects the privacy and freedom of every believer.
Spiritual self-esteem does not fantasize greatness or success, but instead centers on the reality and objectivity of Bible doctrine and establishes the perception, metabolization and application of doctrine as the first priority.
Since spiritual self-esteem is highly vulnerable to failure from arrogance, it can be the best or the worst time in the believer's life. In fact it may be simultaneously the best and worst time because God's power is perfected in our weakness. 2Cor 12:9;
As a system of thinking, humility is freedom from both subjective and objective arrogance. This principle is shown in Prov 15:33; "Respect for the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility."
Prov 11:2; "When arrogance comes, then comes dishonor; but with the humble is wisdom."
Prov 29:23; "A person's arrogance will bring him low, but a spirit of humility will attain honor."
Psa 25:9; "In justice God guides the humble; consequentially He teaches the humble His way."
Humility orients everything in life to God's grace. Arrogance orients everything in life to one's self. This means that all promotion in the spiritual life is attained in the sphere of humility
James 4:10; "Allow yourself to be humbled before the Lord and He will promote you."
1Pet 5:6; "Allow yourselves to be humbled under the powerful hand of God that He may promote you at the proper time."
We have previously seen that both of these passages are in the passive voice so they should be translated "allow yourselves to be humbled"
James 4:5-6; "Do you presume that the Scripture speaks in vain against jealousy? The Spirit that dwells in us pursues us with virtue-love. He gives greater grace. Therefore it says, `God makes war against the arrogant believer, but He gives grace to the humble believer.'"
As we have seen, the precedence for humility that was established by TLJC is described in Phil 2:5-8; "Keep on having this mental attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.
v6 Who though He existed in the essence of God, He did not think equality with God a gain to be seized and held.
v7 Therefore He deprived Himself of the proper function of deity when He received the form of a servant, when He had been born in the likeness of mankind.
v8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even the death on a cross."
v9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
1Pet 5;6b; If God does not promote you, you are not promoted. God promotes the mature believer in the sphere of humility that is the mental attitude of grace orientation.
In the cognitive self-confidence of spiritual self-esteem there is enough doctrine in the believer's soul to be spiritually mature, but the problem solving devices have not yet been completely deployed on the FLOT line of the soul such that the doctrine can applied properly.
Believers in spiritual self esteem cannot advance in the application of doctrine until arrogance and emotion are eliminated as a factor in the spiritual life. The issue is always what the Word of God says not how we feel or what human viewpoint thinks.
In order to pass through providential preventative suffering we must cast all of our anxieties on the Lord. If you do not cast all your anxieties on God, you will become emotional in the testing and begin to go backwards in the spiritual life.
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