The Spiritual Man #7 – Judgeth All Things
1 Corinthians 2:15 NIV
You see, it is the spiritual man that is free.
According to Paul, he, the spiritual man, judges all things, and yet is judged by no one.
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1 Corinthians 2:15 KJV
He that is spiritual judges. He that is spiritual is not subject to other men’s judgement.
The man led by the Spirit is not under the law. He neither looks directly to it for his direction nor does he receive criticism or accusation that he has violated it or has transgressed it.
The Spiritual man, instead, looks only to the Spirit.
I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
Jesus, in John’s Gospel, describes the place of all true judgement. He is the true spiritual man in every regard, and, by His judgement, we are made righteous and whole. Yet He is the model for us–He is our teacher. Being fully God, He lived only as a man, not wearing His divinity, but putting on the role of a servant and lived among us.
So, He, like a fully yielded vessel, offered up his own soul to be His Father’s son completely.
This Spiritual Man, Jesus, judged nothing of Himself. The spiritual man, we all who are in Christ who endeavors to live godly in Christ Jesus, judge only as Jesus did. As we hear, we judge. And our judgement is just. We seek not our own.
The spiritual man listens to the Spirit, and follows completely.
It requires that one be able to hear. It requires that one be emptied of self-judging. It requires every self will and motive to be removed from the heart to both hear and speak clearly. It takes, in a word, everything.
So what if everyone is not matured to this point? The Lord said that the man that is fully trained will be just like his instructor. Let us continue in His training until we reach His perfection, whether it takes a lifetime or not.
This is the man who judges spiritually.
The spiritual man is not subject to the law, that is the man who is truly spiritual. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Unless we divide soul from Spirit, where withal shall we ever divide the precious from the common?
There are many people still learning Christ and they are still attempting to put on Christ in the midst of working out their salvation. But, as God loves all uniquely and completely that have turned to Him, and He cherishes every life at the exact level they are at, His desire is that we continue to grow in Him until we mature, not in understanding only, but in Christ.
Paul, in fact, said that while many of them should have been teachers by that time, in Hebrews 5:12, they were in fact still needing the elementary principles, “milk” instead of “meat”.
And, many of us are still new to the things of the Spirit. We may be at a sprout or a stalk or even leaves, but we are not mature to the bearing of grain.
We must mature, we must put off the things of this flesh. We must be renewed, we must put on Christ. We must continue to learn and grow, until perfection.
What is the lesson? That, whatever level you are at in Christ, there is further we can go, deeper that we can understand His love and His infinite mercy and grace.
And, for those who are part way there, let us live up to what we have already attained. If we hear, let us obey, and respond, and God will reward our faithfulness as we continue in Him.
But, the spirit led man does not live by the law. It is not his guide, nor does it constitute his focus. For, a man must be singly focused, and this must be upon His Grace.
And, here we must be careful not to lead any astray.
This is not “anti-nomianism”, which is against any moral code. We must be careful to follow the Lord Jesus’ example in how He preached.
The law remains, and is God’s perfect standard, but it is not our guide, nor our judge. In fact, as Jesus so aptly put it, the man who breaks the least of these commands and teaches others to do so as well will be called least in the Kingdom. To depart from the Law, whether or not we think we are spiritual, we demonstrate we are not. Yet, wisdom is proven by all of her children. Every step, every part, and every motive.
This constitutes the totality of His Grace and nature.
The man led by the Spirit is not bound to the law, but lives only by the Spirit of God. Yet, if we are truly found to be in violation of the spirit of the Law, we demonstrate completely that we are not led by His Spirit in this part.
While spending no focus at all upon the law, the man who is truly led by the Spirit of Grace find Himself perfectly fulfilling the spirit of the law, for He is its author and its penmanship. He who authored the law does not violate what He instituted, even though we have been separated from it.
It is in this context that we can come before Christ. We are not cut off from Him when we stumble and fall. Yet, it is His desire and requirement that we follow after Him, stand up again, and continue on, no matter what it takes.
If we are learning His Spirit, and find ourselves in the violation of the Old Law, such as through adultery, poor speech, or another sin (as Paul wrote, the works of the flesh are obvious), Jesus’ warning is that it would be better to cut off an arm than miss life. Jesus is never interested in the flesh for a heart matter (He notably introduces the statement with the word “if”)., but if it were that basic, it would be warranted even to remove an arm to be in Him.
But, through this, through basic light, and truth, and honesty, where He shines His light upon our path and our heart, that which is within our souls is exposed, and, as we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This is the basic truth. The man truly led by the Spirit perfectly fulfills the Spirit of the Law in every detail, and every place that we find ourselves not doing this, we must be honest, sincere, humbly repent and expose ourselves, so that He can bring the cleansing through His blood and His cross.
Those that continue in error and teach others will be the least, whereas those who do truth will come into the light so that it may be plainly seen that what they have done has been done through God.
The process is described in Luke 6:48 as “digging deep” to the rock to build a house upon it. There is no a land somewhere with a rock and sand, and we choose were to build. But, rather, in Christ, we have Him in our heart. And, as He teaches us, equips us, and prepares us, we learn to stand and build everything completely upon Him.
As we grow in Christ, we must not presume that we are immune to either temptation or other influences. Even in places of blindness in our own heart, even while we can be sincere, we can still be influence by strongholds and other forces. Yet, when we fully submit, and are fully cleansed, we can fully follow, fully learn, and fully obey.
We learn to hear His voice. We learn, often through suffering, to obey it! We learn to follow Him and trust Him completely. All the while we are yet pleasing to the Lord in our growing.
And, it is not grievous. For, His is a light and easy yoke, and a good Father. While some requests are hard and go to the extreme, His Grace is always sufficient, and the reward far exceeds the cost.
This is the cost of discipleship. We have not arrived on day one, but we submit to learning His Ways, His voice, and His anointing, so that we might be fit vessels, prepared for every good work (2 Timothy 2:21). At the beginning, we are but babes in a new way, and at each step, as we humble ourselves as little children, He leads us by His ways.
If we submit, it goes well for us. If we resist, He always has His way to try and convince us that His way is best, which unfortunately usually involves some of our ways, and seeing what they produce.
The spiritual man is wholly governed, even controlled, by the Holy Spirit.
As anger can control an angry man, or lust can control a perverse one, so His Spirit constrains us with His love.
Consider Jesus’ saying that it was harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. It is interesting to note that the word for Camel is one vowel different from the word “rope” in the Greek, making a similar sounding word. Imagine for a moment that the common expression was “harder for a rope to go through the eye of a needle”. Jesus intentionally changes the word to something even more obtuse. He takes what appears to be an idiomatic phrase, makes a pun on one word, and makes it so profoundly clear that He is talking about an impossibility.
This is not lost on the disciples, who then respond with astonishment, exclaiming, Who then can be saved? Jesus’ response makes it clear that this is not a typographical or copyist error. He clearly says what phrase meant. It is impossible with men, but possible with God! While some point to a gate where camels had to crawl on their knees that was called the eye of the needle, the standard Bible Encyclopedia is to the point indicating that this gate did exist, but not until some centuries after the time of Christ. Clearly, what Jesus intended was not something that we can work to or through, but something so profoundly impossible it would take God to do it completely.
Yet, why is it this impossible for the rich man? If for no other reason than everything it takes to become rich works directly against a love which gives to its last for its brother. The man whose heart breaks for the dying, damned, and those in need, the man who sees with eyes that see and hears the cries that no one wants to look intently upon the suffering humanity, and breaks in response to it. When it comes to wealth, who can take it? When it comes to a profit, what is more important, your bottom line or another’s life?
Certainly, God has and continues to bless those that follow and serve Him diligently. Yet, the very things that enable a man to make wealth in and of himself generally bind him to that life. As the eye and heart fall upon it, do we see it or our common man? As we are increased in the things of this world, does our eye still stay above the horizon, to the heights of the Heavens, where Christ is seated? Do we still see what matters?
Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
Genesis 9:5 NAS
God requires it of us, that we are at least in some ways accountable for the life of our brother, even as our own.
Truly, those who are led by the Spirit are like those blown by the wind (the Spirit). Those observing might see that you are moving, but they don’t understand what motivates you or what end purpose you are serving. It may seem erratic, it may seem unfair or unbalanced. But, the spiritual man is not judged, responds to no criticism, but continues doing precisely and only the one thing that brought him to that place, which is to follow the Spirit.
The man wholly surrendered, wholly committed to the Lord, must always, in everything, respond only with the Spirit of Christ.
The man wholly given, like the tree planted by the rivers of living water, must not have a response other than to respond from the Spirit within him.
In this way, Jesus could stand before angry crowds, and at times walk away and at times escalate the situation to the point of inciting murder in a crowd. In this way, Jesus was brought before Pilate and the Jewish council, saying nothing, but being silent as a sheep before his sheerer. He simply did the one thing that He always does, followed the Spirit.
The spiritual man only does what he sees his Father doing, whether it be Jesus, or those who take up their cross daily and follow after Him.
This is the same one thing that David prayed.
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
This is the same singular eye from Jesus’ preaching.
The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.
This is the same same hatred of this life (Luke 14:26, Luke 16:13, John 12:25).
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
This is the cross, and this is the price. And, the man who does it, by living in the Spirit, shall live.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
The Spiritual man lives out the first and second commandment by the Spirit. He loves God, and He loves others, upon which hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12).
He follows the Lamb, wherever He goes.
If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Do you want to be great? Learn to serve, follow, and obey.
The desire of man is to be great. The disciples argued about it on the road. Yet, for all that Jesus did, He did not counsel the men out of being great, He just told them how to do it.
What they didn’t yet understand that it wasn’t as man sees it, but that the greatest is the servant of all. The one who fully lowers himself, as Jesus did, to absolute nothing, for the sake of the Father’s will and His Kingdom and Righteousness, while not enjoying the things of this life, enjoys the Eternal Kingdom now, and in enjoying, walks in what is far surpassing what any mortal life ever possibly could.
As even Paul wrote, though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are renewed every day. This life, this walk, is so precious, so blessed, that God is sure that no one who gives their all will ever be sold short. For, although it is with persecutions, whoever has left house or field or house or mother or brother or sister for His sake and the sake of His Gospel will not fail to receive one hundred fold in this life and in the age to come, Eternal Life.
When Jesus was baptized, He was cut off from this world, and given a new existence. Being fully God, He yet had to receive God the Holy Spirit, as a man, to be fully equipped to serve. In the wilderness, after being driven there by the Spirit, He fasted and was tempted, and was ministered to by angels. His world changed.
No longer was He the carpenter’s son, but, though He was God before and after, He was now anointed with the Spirit, endued with power, and living in the Kingdom of God.
This was the difference.
Scripture does not describe how God fills God, or how God exists , in some perspective, without some part of God, or more later with “more” of God, but there it was. But, God filled with God came out of that river, and God the Father blessed Him with a voice from Heaven, so there it is.
God, dwelling on the inside of us, if we would let Him, and learn from Him, and yield to Him, would fully control, guide, and satisfy us with good things.
The things of this Earth as passing away. If God gives us a physical treasure, what do we have? After a while, it will rust, or rot, or decay. They may be nice in what they are, even a position or a ministry, but they will fade away. Rejoice not that the demons are subject to you in His name, but that your names are written in heaven. Find something Eternal, for these are the only real treasures.
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
For Paul said that where one exists in envying, strife, and divisions, while they were still brothers, they were still carnal, still babes in Christ.
They had not learned to discern soul from Spirit. They had not left behind their earthly things. They had not, in Peter’s words in 1 Peter 1:22, had their souls yet purified by obeying the truth and learned the ways of God.
The man of the Spirit is like the tree of Psalm 1:3, planted by the streams of living water, drawing its strength from the Spirit. As Jesus, the giver of life said, He Himself is the vine, and we are merely His branches. Apart from Him we can do nothing, and in Him, we bear much fruit.
Jesus was the firstborn from among the dead, and the Way in which we should live.
He did not receive criticism about how He acted, because His every action was in complete obedience to His Master, the Father. He looked, heard, followed and spoke.
In this way, by learning to follow the Holy Spirit, He pleased the Father in everything He did, so that the Father never left Him alone. By this, His yoke was easy and His burden light. In this way, He neither failed nor was discouraged until He established justice in the Earth.
This then, is the household of faith (1 Timothy 1:4).
Those that live by this faith, and walk in this way, have pleased the Father. In doing so, by simply living out of the Spirit within them, by believing on His Name, they produce the fruit of righteousness in their lives by their obedience to the Spirit. They thus surpass even the Pharisees in their self attempt at righteousness, which is always only filthy rags in the Father’s sight.
But, the one and only thing that pleases the Father is Faith out a good conscience and love from a pure heart.
Whether by gifts, as they flow in His name, or with signs and mighty miracles, they are all in Him and through Him.
Who can boast? Let the man who boasts boast in this, that He knows and understands the Lord, that He exercises loving-kindness, judgement, and righteousness in the Earth in these He delights. Jeremiah 9:24.
He who is spiritual in such manner so likewise delights, for so is he in all that he does.
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
As Paul wrote to Timothy, the servant of the Lord must not quarrel, but be kind. The life of the Spirit within must become evident, not with a natural putting on of a regulations and learned behavior, but of that which springs both actually, warmly, and freely from the Spirit within.
The man of the flesh can produce behavior, to a point, that imitates the life of the Spirit, but it never reproduces it. Far from it, for in fact, it is the soulish, flesh-based work which has no merit. It’s end is always corruption, for it can never profit anything.
It is only, in fact, the life borne by His Spirit, and the pure conduct flowing from Him that has any merit before the Father, which is rewarded. That which is flesh is flesh, and that which is Spirit is Spirit.
As man divides soul from Spirit, the stewardship of the body becomes more possible. As we are able to distinguish between a work of the soul and the work of the Spirit within, we are less apt to allow spiritual looking yet still carnal displays and we are more apt to encourage that which might look small, but has the substance of faith in it. We are less likely to be distracted by every wind of doctrine, but wholly follow that way of teaching which we have received, the Truth.
This is, of course, still talking as carnal in part. But, we must allow the training of the Spirit to take us through, to divide soul from Spirit, both in us and in the world around us. We must allow Him to separate from us that which is worldly and that which is divine. We must allow Him to bring us to the deeper place of completely abiding and depending upon His Spirit alone for guidance, nourishment, and sustainment.
Jesus spoke, in His sermon on the mount, that those who hear His words and do them is like the man who built his house on the rock. When the rains and storms came, it remained, while the other fell down.
This is the difference between the spiritual man and the one who is still learning Christ.
For the man wholly upon the rock, he is unmovable. He has ceased with identifying with anything of this Earth. He has stopped placing the center of his being upon anything other than the immovable, the Eternal, the Perfect.
No matter what comes, the man who is wholly there, whether it be loss, grief, poverty, calamity, disaster, or other negative events, the man on the rock does not move.
The natural or carnal man is built upon himself. As Adam means “earth” or “dirt”, so the rock within is Christ and the sand through which we must dig deep could be likened to our “adam”, or dirt.
However we understand this, it is apparent that there are those who say they are standing, who fall, and those who, for no necessarily apparent reason, withstand the greatest onslaught.
The difference is that the one who stands has left everything except Christ. While one is in the world, we must interact with it so much as to live, but it is never a part of the heart. The heart is wholly and firmly seated in Christ.
No matter what comes before them, the only thing that moves or affects them is the dictates and motives of Heaven.
The self life is movable. The self heart is not dependable.
As Proverbs says, the man who trusts his own heart is a fool (Proverbs 28:26).
But, as we have a Father in Heaven, and we have our mother and brethren who are those that hear Jesus’ words and do them, and as He supplies our needs according to His riches in glory, what more are we looking for?
But, instead, we look to Him, the author and finisher of our faith. We live without the love of anything in this world, and we stand.
And, if in some area we find ourselves to stumble or to fall, it is always what is in our heart that is the root.
For the provision of heaven is sufficient to keep us, yet it will not tolerate a divided heart.
The spiritual man is free, and although the natural man, nor those who are not of the Spirit do not perceive or understand, he is completely free from their religious rules and regulations. He is not encumbered by them, nor does he trivialize with their fancies.
They perish with the use, as Paul writes, having no value restraining sensual indulgence.
But it is the living by the Spirit that we are free from the law.
As Moses said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” But, Moses did not stop there, the full quote from the text reads, “Let my people go! That they might come and worship me, says the Lord”. You see, it is freedom to grow and become more greater in love with our God. It is freedom to be filled with His Spirit. It is freedom to live holy and to live above the desires of the flesh and the wiles of the enemy.
This is freedom.
This man is judged by no one, not even by them self!
He who sins is of the devil, but the one born of God cannot continue to sin.
Anyone who sells a “gospel” that merely espouses Christ as a stop-gap to sin, and may even pay lip service to a new creation, without actually producing one, is not Christ.
Any doctrine that leaves a man with no remedy for sin and without even the recourse to identify sin as sin anymore is no more spiritual than a rock or a basketball.
It takes Christ to set a man free, and to free Him from His sins.
Not only those committed, but his actual sin nature so that He can live totally free in the Father, and grow in His Son and Holy Spirit.
But, the Gospel of the Kingdom brings forth His Spirit, sent from above when our Lord and Savior ascended upon High, giving gifts to men. This is God Himself, come to dwell within our members, take hostage our thoughts, our wills, our psyches, until we are transformed, renewed in the Spirit of our minds, so that we are overtaken with godliness and holiness, and the Spirit of his meekness, His humlity, and His lowliness, so that, at the end, the world will truly know we are His disciples in that we love each other, the brethren.
This is His word.
It was this way in the beginning, before the big ministries, before the conferences, before the years where church “grew up”, lost her first love, and stopped being a child.
It was there in the beginning, when half scared, half seemingly deranged and delusional men crowded in an upper room, and the Holy Spirit fell upon them like cloven tongues of fire.
They knew His Word, and they knew His ways. They had seen how He walked among them, and they felt His real love, tangible, warm, overflowing.
They had learned from Him, ministered in the anointing on Him, and seen His glory.
And, they knew who He was, and they loved Him.
The man who knew these things lived by them, and worshipped in Spirit and in truth.
And, somewhere, in the near two thousand years, church became an organization, and most love grew cold. Most turned away from faith, or merely bumbled along on the back alleys, half living on starvation, and have on a diet of morsels of substance that came through every now and again.
But, Jesus, the Life, said that He had come to give life, and that more abundantly (John 10:10).
How long will we continue to look at the starvation in our churches and call it food? How long will we stand aside, and look at the nothing we have in the offering plate, other than dollars, and see that we are, indeed, wretched, pitiful, blind, naked, and poor? We cannot even see.
But, I counsel you to buy gold refined in the fire, the faith tested by trials, so that you might be rich. I counsel you to buy clothes to wear, the white garments that are the righteous acts of the saints, that you might be covered. And, I counsel you to buy salve for your eyes, the balm of the Word and the Spirit, mixed with faith, that you might see, with eyes that see. That you might see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man. That you might see Him in heavenly places. That you might see the blood poured out for us. That you might see the heavenly Kingdom, right here, around us.
This is the faith once entrusted to all the saints. Not that we would live by rules of men, the doctrines and dogmas and creeds and formulas and patterns of worship made by men, and not by God.
But, let us seek Him, and continue to seek Him, with all of our hearts, until we find Him. Until He comes down. Until He leaves a blessing in the place where judgment was determined. Let us hear His voice, and respond to His call, while there is still day.
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.