Class Notes: 8/31/2011
Integrity is the basis for handling problems properly
In our study of spiritual self-esteem, last time we left off with the principle that the four categories of suffering are for our benefit and advance in the protocol plan of God for our life.
This means that we should never resent suffering in any category because in God's plan there is always a reason for suffering that will ultimately result in our benefit if we remain humble and wait on God for deliverance. 1Pet 5:6;
If you resent suffering, you have failed in the spiritual life because suffering is designed for your alertness and advance in the spiritual life. If you resent suffering the benefit from it is lost because of arrogance. Rom 5:3-5;
Remember the two categories of evidence testing that comprise satan's cross-examination of the mature believer.
The relationship with God test will test our relationship with the Holy Spirit, Matt 4:1-4; and/or our relationship with the Word of God, Matt 4:5-7 and/or our relationship with the Plan of God, Matt 4:8-10;
The relationship with life test may involve Loss of prosperity, Job 1; and Loss of health, Job 2:1-10; and a loss of friends, Job 2:11ff;
Some principles we must always recall when we are going through suffering:
Suffering for blessing begins with spiritual self- esteem, continues with spiritual autonomy, and reaches its peak in spiritual maturity.
God never puts on the believer more suffering than can be endured. If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot endure the suffering, that is an indication that your spiritual life is not functioning properly.
If you cannot endure the suffering, it is generally related to Divine discipline or the suffering is the result of the natural consequences of sewing to the wind and reaping the whirlwind.
The purpose for this whole process is for believers to think the thinking of TLJC who as we know in hypostatic union is God and man in one person. This means that when believers are in spiritual self-esteem and spiritual autonomy their personal love for God the Father and impersonal love for all mankind are patterned after God's own virtue-love.
God loves and always has loved His own perfect righteousness. This is His Divine self-esteem. God's personal love is always directed only toward that which is perfect. God cannot love imperfect man except impersonally.
But once man believes in Christ and receives the imputation of God's perfect righteousness, then God is free to love the believer personally because the believer possesses the righteousness of God by imputation. 2Cor 5:21;
The love each member of the Trinity has toward Himself is spiritual self-esteem. The love He has for the other members of the Godhead is personal love.
Personal love is always based on the object of love. Each member of the Trinity is a perfect object with perfect integrity. The basis for God's love is His perfect spiritual self-esteem that gives maximum capacity for loving the other members of the Trinity.
The test for God's perfect spiritual self-esteem was created with the invention of creatures that required another category of love that would need to be directed toward them after they failed.
This third category of love is completely unnecessary in the eternal relationship of the members of the Trinity and it becomes a problem-solving device. Spiritual self-esteem was never a problem-solving device among the Trinity, but was instead the capacity for the expression of personal love.
This means that no one can express true love until spiritual self-esteem has been developed because they have no capacity for it.
This third category of love is impersonal unconditional integrity love, that is designed to express the perfect integrity of God. Impersonal unconditional integrity love emphasizes the merit of the subject, but this category of love is not necessary in the relationship of the members of the Trinity because they are perfect.
With man's fall and the resultant spiritual death, there was a gap between man and God that God's personal love could not breach without violating his perfect righteousness. God's perfect personal love cannot love man's relative righteousness and remain perfect so this creates a problem.
God's solution is His spiritual self-esteem plus its production of impersonal love that is made possible because God's righteousness and justice are satisfied by the work of TLJC on the cross. 2Cor 5:21; Rom 5:8;
This integrity is analogous to our spiritual autonomy that comes into play to become a problem solving device for us.
Spiritual autonomy therefore emphasizes the integrity of the subject, so that it makes no difference what the object is. Spiritual autonomy loves, regardless of how obnoxious, or unattractive the object may be because the love is sourced from the integrity of the lover.
The pattern for spiritual self-esteem and spiritual autonomy with impersonal love comes from God. God 's spiritual self-esteem is His eternal and perfect love for His own eternal and perfect righteousness.
Because of His perfect righteousness and spiritual self-esteem, "God so loved the world (man in spiritual death with relative righteousness) that He gave His uniquely-born Son," John 3:16;
God the Father could not have judged His own perfect Son with the sins of the world apart from impersonal love. The basis of His impersonal love is His spiritual autonomy. So God the Father's spiritual self-esteem plus His impersonal love is the basis for our salvation.
This pattern for spiritual self-esteem is demonstrated in the ministry of God the Father, when His spiritual self-esteem produces the impersonal love of spiritual autonomy that made salvation by believing in TLJC possible.
God's virtue-love as a problem solving device is therefore the pattern for the spiritual self-esteem that becomes a problem solving device for the believer in the protocol plan of God.
This is why the church has a previously undisclosed mandate to have this impersonal unconditional integrity love. John 13:34;
The environment for spiritual self-esteem is found in our very own spiritual life that is modeled after our Lord's spiritual life. Personal love for God is followed by spiritual self-esteem and after passing providential preventative suffering reaching spiritual autonomy.
Virtue-love, as both motivational (personal love for God) and functional virtue (impersonal love for all) is the environment for spiritual self-esteem.
We see from this that spiritual self-esteem provides the power and the ability to fulfill the protocol plan of God.
Spiritual self-esteem is the choice to learn and use the metabolized doctrine that is resident in the soul. Believers cannot function under undeserved suffering for blessing until they reach the point where they live by their own decision to apply metabolized doctrine in three categories of suffering for blessing.
Spiritual self-esteem leads to spiritual autonomy. Spiritual autonomy must be tested through suffering for blessing that adds power and strength to spiritual self-esteem.
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