But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
2 Corinthians 3:7-11
Jesus said that the teacher of the law who was instructed in the ways of the Kingdom, that is, of the Spirit, would be like one who brought out of his storehouses old treasures as well as new (Matthew13:52). So too, today, the most important thing is to understand the life in the Spirit, but now like then, we can bring forth many more great treasures through the history of God’s litany.
The Gospel of John begins by drawing a contrast between the Law and Grace by saying this,
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.
Yet, from the rest of the New Testament, we know that God still has a purpose and a desire for the Law, when understood in the proper spirit. In fact, Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus says clearly that whoever breaks and teaches others to break the least commandment of the Law of Moses will be the least in the Kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). The physical body and the physical soul are not evil creations. In the beginning, God created them, and He called them good (Genesis 1:31). Yet, fallen man is completely incapable of pleasing God on his own (Romans 3:11). It takes Faith to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and this is given (Romans 12:3).
The life of the Christian is marked by ‘baptisms’ (plural, see Hebrews 6:1). We are baptized (immersion, you go down into it) into Christ, and we are baptized (immersion, you come underneath it) into the Holy Spirit. This was depicted in the wilderness by the Israelites being baptized into the Red sea (water baptism) and the cloud (the Holy Spirit) (1 Corinthians 10:2).
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
The word for “save us” in the Greek here is “sozo”, the same word meaning to save from sin and hell, to heal, and to deliver. The disciples were asking Jesus to rescue them from death. What the disciples couldn’t see, beyond the clouds, beyond the winds and storm, was the real realm of God and destiny, over both their Teacher and themselves.
Jesus passed through crowds unharmed, simply because it was not his time to die. Jesus found ways to hide himself at other times. Other times, the Spirit would not permit Him to go up to Jerusalem, simply because it wasn’t His time.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1). He created it good, and filled it with things that He declared good.
He planned from the beginning there to be a man, and that he would rule over the Earth and subdue it. He would walk through the lands, fields, valleys, forests, and hills, and be its master. He would bring the natural Earth into the pattern of the garden.
This failed, when the man ate from the fruit. It is said that the woman was deceived, and the man chose to disobey willingly, so as not to be separated from the woman. Genesis 3:6 indicates that the man was not somewhere far away when the woman sinned, but was “with her”.
Into His love we commend ourselves each day. Further into His glory, His goodness, His mercy.
All we need is His love. Our only true possession in this life is this place of union.
The life of the flesh doesn’t matter in the end. What matters is Eternity. According to Isaiah 40, all of man’s pomp and pride fall away into the dust and ashes they came from, and all that remains is faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
John wrote in his first epistle that perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment (1 John 4:18). John explained that it is when we abide in love that we abide in God.
Nearly all of the gospel, and hence life, revolves around fear in some way in another. From the first time in the garden, when Adam and Eve knew they were naked, covered themselves, and hid from the presence of Almighty God. To the first murder, when Cain offered an unacceptable sacrifice, God warned him, and slew Abel out of jealousy.
As someone points out, if you were fully doing love, loving God with everything and loving your neighbor as Jesus loves us, we would be fulfilling the Law and the Prophets. Said another way, if we could do that, we would be fulfill the Old Covenant, the Mosaic law.
This really is a startling proposition, and yet, like the Jews surrounding the woman caught in the act of adultery, we all turn away as we realize we have all fallen short in love. It remains, however, that love was the sum total of the law and prophets.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
This verse is Paul’s advice on how to avoid sin. This is the simple solution to the issue plaguing the church today.
I call it the Million Dollar Question, that is, why are new testament believers not living according to their new creation nature? We know why the world does, because it’s in ’em. But, why does a Christian?