The Body is for the Manifestation of a Personality part two

The purpose of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection not only concern the salvation of soul but the transformation of life.  “To reveal his Son in me…” (Gal.1:16). The cross not only secures eternal life but also enables the transformation of present life: “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” (Rom.8:29). The goal is to develop “Christ-like character”…a total change of HEART, OUTLOOK, and PRIORITIES “…by the renewing of your mind” (Rom.12:2). “The entrance of thy words giveth light…” (Ps. 119:130).

This involves a process of yielding, by which we allow the truth of God’s word to reshape our thinking, restructure our priorities and refocus our outlook…so that our way of thinking, living and responding lines up with His. Many are the believers who seem to be ignorant of this foundational truth, failing to fully comprehend the purpose of salvation.  It does not mention the soul as the container that houses all the goings on which is the salvation of soul.

Faith is the catalyst which transfers knowledge into experience. Many fellowships step back from experiences in one’s life. They say, “we do not live by our experiences, but rather by the Word of God only.”That is highly commendable, but “Really”?

In our daily walk as Christians do we not experience being transformed by the presence of the Holy Spirit within us? Do we not go through the growing pains of character transformation and look back and behold the wonder of His work in us. Living is a daily experience in that we should seethe effect it has on us as Christians.

What is the ability to discern?

Read Heb. 5:12-14-emphasize in 14 full-age (mature) and by use (practice). It is vital to the Christian’s spiritual welfare and usefulness to the Lord, that he/she learns to discern…refuse the evil and choose the good.

There are two types of wisdom in the world. One is born of  Light the other of darkness; one is from above the other from below. The new man is animated (made alive) by the wisdom from above; the old man by the wisdom from that is from below. Spiritual growth depends on discernment and choice. The first challenge is to discern between the two types of wisdom. The second challenge is to choose between the two.

What is discernment? Read list. Discern, to separate by the eye, or by the understanding. To discover by the intellect; to distinguish; hence, to have knowledge of; to judge. “So is my lord the king to discern good and bad. 2 Samuel 14:7. Solomon said, in 1 Kings 3:9 “Therefore give to your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil…”

Discern, verb. To see or understand the difference; to make distinction; as, to discern between good and evil, truth and falsehood. The errors of youth often proceed from the want of discernment.

Learning to discern the nature and source of our beliefs and thoughts and be willing to make the necessary changes is pivotal.  “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” [defenseless] (Prov.25:28).  If you don’t control your thoughts your thoughts will control you. “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”  “How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” (Jer. 4:14).“…choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Josh. 24:15).

Therein lies the power to resist temptation. Self-determination, in and of itself, is incapable of overcoming the flesh. Self-discipline is, of course,important but it can only carry you so far; it is insufficient in the sense that we cannot will ourselves spiritual…we can only “yield” our will to God’s will  “…not my will,  but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42). Concerning spiritual matters, sheer determination, because it is rooted in the flesh is inadequate. Flesh cannot over come flesh…only the Holy Spirit can do that. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3)

No matter how hard you try you cannot serve God in the flesh“the flesh profiteth nothing…” (John 6:63). Inconsistency is the enemy of spirituality; in order to consistently guard our hearts and overcome our enemies, we must ask the Lord to supply the spiritual wisdom and necessary grace to live a life pleasing to Him. “Ask and it shall be given you…”(Matt.7:1).

The Eye Gate.

In order to guard our hearts, we must control our eyes.  The eye gate is the primary entrance to the mind. Eighty-nine percent of what we learn comes through visual stimulation,ten percent through audible stimulation, and one percent through the other three senses. Therefore, the eye gate is of foremost concern and must be strictly guarded.

The eye gate is the primary pathway of enticement…the trigger of temptation. Temptation is a struggle between desire and reason which begins (activated) when (stimulus, influence) on the outside connects (through the eye gate) with something on the inside (old sinful nature) setting off a lustful response.

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15)

You must guard your heart by learning to recognize and “abstain from all appearance of evil.” Avoid that which provokes negative stimulation…identify and shun your areas of weakness;abstain from every form of evil 1 Thess. 5:22. In those things to which you have little resistance. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Rom. 13:14). Acknowledging and shunning our vulnerabilities goes along way to guard our hearts.

Remember, the “eye-gate” is the primary entrance to the soul. In order to guard your heart, you must control your eyes; a glimpse will lead to a gaze; imprinting an indelible image on the heart. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes…” (Ps. 101:3).

To illustrate: Eyes the projector, heart the screen and mind the computer (memory). The eyes project indelible images upon the heart, which are then stored in the mind.

A definition of indelible means it cannot be removed, washed away, or erased except by the Holy Spirit in true repentance, confession, and coming out of agreement with the image. The Holy Spirit removes the lust or passion out of the memory. It is still there, but the image has no power; only God can do this.

One of the most amazing features of the human mind is the memory, which is in effect, an incredible living computer. Man’s memory not only has the capability of recalling information and reviving past images but also has the capacity to create its own scenes in the form of dreams and imaginations from information stored in the subconscious.

Whether prior to, or after salvation, all evil which has entered through the unguarded eye-gate is permanently stored in the mind; thus,providing the enemy internal poison with which to hinder the Holy Spirit.  As each sensual, thought-provoking scene passes unchecked through the breach, the will to resist is weakened until the eye gate becomes the failed floodgate. The effect can be profound and lasting, adding much resistance and frustration to the battle for God’s control of the total being. Henceforth the postle Paul’s exhortations in 2 Cor. 10:3-5 & Rom. 12:1-2: read.

The Essential Exchange   (“Put off”  “Put on”)

Real spiritual growth is a choice; depending on a willingness to be changed…submission born out of sincere gratitude; a heart felt desire to obey the will of the Lord as revealed in His word. Spiritual development requires retreat from self “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). The deciding factor, which determines whether we are carnal or spiritual, hinges on a crucial exchange:

(Eph. 4:22-24). READ.

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation [manner of living] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

This putting off or yielding,initiates an essential lifelong process whereby changed people   learn to live changed lives; a gradual transformation which causes that which happened on the inside to become evident on the outside “Christ be formed in you…” (Gal.4:19).

Spirituality is the fruit of resistance; the more you choose to resist self-life (flesh) the more spiritual clarity and supply of God’s power you experience. However, it is of utmost importance to realize, in and of ourselves, we do not possess the power necessary to overcome the influence world, flesh, and devil.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest impediments to resisting the flesh and guarding the heart is to rely on our own strength…attempt to go it alone. The surest path to defeat is to forget, or be ignorant of, the fact that “…our sufficiency is of God” (2 Cor. 3:5). “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2 Cor. 4:7) “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.” (Phil.2:13) The power is in you yet not of you. There is a vast difference between a work “for God” and a work “of God.”

As far as living the Christian life successfully and overcoming the flesh the most important thing to realize is that Jesus Christ lives in you in the person of the Holy Spirit “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)  “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his son into your hearts, crying, Abba,Father.” (Gal.4:6) Consider the Apostle Paul’s declaration in Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”

Therein resides the power to resist temptation. Self-determination, in and of itself, is incapable of overcoming the flesh. Self-discipline is, of course, important but it can only carry you so far; it is insufficient in the sense that we cannot will ourselves spiritual…we can only “yield” our will to God’s will  “…not my will,  but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42). Concerning spiritual matters, sheer determination,because it is rooted in the flesh is inadequate. Flesh cannot over come flesh…only the Holy Spirit can do that. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3)

Summary:

No matter how hard you try you cannot serve God in the flesh“the flesh profiteth nothing…” (John 6:63). Inconsistency is the enemy of spirituality; in order to consistently guard our hearts and overcome our enemies, we must seek the Lord to supply the spiritual wisdom and necessary grace to live a life pleasing to Him. “Ask and it shall be given you…”(Matt.7:1).

God dwells in the spirit, self-dwells in the soul, and senses dwell in the body.The battle between good and evil is a tug-of-war for the control of man’s soul.

The Body is for the Manifestation of a Personality part 1

The purpose of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection not only concern the salvation of soul but the transformation of life.  “To reveal his Son in me…” (Gal.1:16). The cross not only secures eternal life but also enables the transformation of present life: “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” (Rom.8:29). The goal is to develop “Christ-like character”…a total change of HEART, OUTLOOK, and PRIORITIES “…by the renewing of your mind” (Rom.12:2). “The entrance of thy words giveth light…” (Ps. 119:130).

This involves a process of yielding, by which we allow the truth of God’s word to reshape our thinking, restructure our priorities and refocus our outlook…so that our way of thinking, living and responding lines up with His. Many are the believers who seem to be ignorant of this foundational truth, failing to fully comprehend the purpose of salvation.     It does not mention the soul as the container that houses all the goings on the salvation of soul.

It is obvious that contemporary Christianity has left off teaching the vital fundamental doctrines of the Bible: “co-crucifixion”[Gal.2:20],the distinction between the believers “standing and state”, the significance of “spiritual circumcision” [Col.2:11], the dynamics of inner struggle between the “new man” and the “old man” [Eph. 4:22-24] etc. Sound doctrine is designed to produce sound Christians…believers who understand their identity,purpose, authority, and freedom “in Christ”.“Therefore, my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge…”(Isa.5:13).

Week after week many well-meaning pastors and Bible teachers exhort God’s people to live sanctified lives…to be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit…mortify the flesh and abide in Christ;without sufficiently teaching them HOW. Without a good understanding of the above-mentioned doctrinal truths, most of which are contained within Romans chapters 6-8, it is impossible to “…be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man” (Eph. 4:23-24). How can a believer obey the command “…yield your selves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead…”(Rom.6:13) without a thorough understanding of the doctrine of co-crucifixion?

Modern Christianity is a victim of liberalism/humanism/Socialism and has drifted far from its Biblical roots, away from the fundamental doctrines which are vital to its effectiveness and well-being. Even among good Bible-believing churches, the divisive disparity of doctrine demonstrates the depth of deception in these last days.

This current crisis within Christianity should not come as a surprise considering the fact that there are numerous prophecies in the New Testament clearly stating the end times to be characterized by a dramatic increase in demonic activity and false doctrine.

The apostle Paul repeatedly warned that as the Church Age drew to a close, “…evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13).

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils…” (1 Tim.4:1).

Day by day, as we draw closer to the return of the Lord,satanic influences are increasing, and contemporary Christianity moves further and further away from the fundamental truths of Scripture.

So, we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. Eph. 4:14.

Doctrine isn’t merely meant to be a transfer of spiritual principles from one mind to another…doctrine is designed to renew the mind and change the heart! In order to comprehend spiritual truth, you must first have a heart for it: “Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it? (Proverbs 17:16); that is, a humble heart that’s willing to be changed by truth, (Ex.35:5,21,22,29). The obedience of heart which is rooted in love and gratitude for the Savior, “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:10).

Sound doctrine exposes false doctrine and prevents us from being deceived.

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee”(1 Tim. 4:16). Paul obviously is not referring to Timothy’s salvation when he said, “save thyself and them that hear thee.” The context of this chapter deals with deception. So, when Paul says, “save thyself,”he’s speaking of being delivered from false doctrine.Save thyself and those whom you teach from being deceived. Sound doctrine is of utmost importance…especially, in the latter days.

The Minefield of your mind.

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind…” (1 Peter 1:13) the analogy put forth in this verse provides valuable insight regarding the essential defense of the mind. The key word is“loins” which means the vital parts of the body, major organs which were protected in battle. A wound in this critical region was almost always fatal.

“ For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Cor. 10:3-5). Notice the war like terminology used by the Holy Spirit in these highly instructive verses; war,weapons, warfare, casting down, and captivity.

Consider the three main spheres of influence (strongholds, imaginations, and thoughts) detailed in the above verses concerning the spiritual battle for the mind:

Strongholds: Prior to salvation we lived, “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience…” (Eph. 2:2). During that time the insidious influence of an ungodly society had thoroughly indoctrinated our way of thinking…conforming us to “this present evil world.” Over time, through repeated exposure, thought patterns were formed and a world view established.The Bible refers to these carry over captive areas of the mind, held by the devil and strongly defended, as “strongholds.” These well-founded worldly attitudes are contrary to the teachings of the word of God and unless “pulled down” will add much resistance to spiritual growth. As new creatures in Christ,we are clearly warned by the word of God, not to be, “conformed to this world”(Rom.12:2).

Imaginations: The LORD hates “A heart that devises wickedimaginations…  ”(Prov.6:18). The word“imaginations” is mentioned 6 times in the scriptures and always carries a negative connotation.  Consider (1 Chron. 28:9, Prov. 6:18, Lam. 3:60-61, Rom.1:21, 2 Cor. 10:5). Imaginations: The ability to form a mental image of something not actually present to the physical senses…mind pictures. Imaginations can be defined as spontaneous thoughts and mental images projected from the sub-conscious; stored thought and images which primarily arise from the sinful heart of the “old man.”Fantasize… the sensuous free play of man’s sin nature.

The first mention of “imagination”  “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen.6:5). Fallen man is “a transgressor from the womb…” (Isa.48:8),  “…for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” (Gen.8:21). It is vital to the Christian’s spiritual welfare (and usefulness to the Lord) that he or she learns to discern “…refuse the evil and choose the good…”(Isa.7:15; Heb.5:14).

Thoughts:  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (Prov.23:7). Every word, every action, begins as a thought.  “Sow a thought, reap an act, Sow an act reap a habit, Sow a habit reap your character, Sow your character reap your destiny.”   Our thoughts can sway the whole inner being in one direction or another; they are an accurate reflection of who we really are. That which occupies the mind shapes the heart “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matt.12:34). “The language we employ is a sure index to the condition our souls.”

All “thought” and “belief” belongs to one of two realms…the realm of truth or the realm of falsehood…each having its source in God or Satan.” Quote from Jessie Penn Lewis “War on the Saints”

(James 3:13-17) read

13 “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you?let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly,sensual, devilish.16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits,without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”

There are two types of wisdom in the world. One is born of Light the other of darkness; one is from above the other from below. The new man is animated by the wisdom from above; the old man by the wisdom from that is from below. Spiritual growth depends on discernment and choice.The first challenge is to discern between the two types of wisdom. The second challenge is to choose between the two.

Thoughts, like most everything else in life, are a matter of choices.  Keeping your heart pure involves selectivity in the thought life and control of imaginations. Thoughts are like food; some foods are beneficial, some are harmful and many times that which looks or tastes good isn’t good at all.It is vital to our spiritual health and mental wellbeing that we choose wisely

Learning to discern the nature and source of our beliefs and thoughts and be willing to make the necessary changes is pivotal.  “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” [defenseless](Prov.25:28).  If you don’t control your thoughts your thoughts will control you. “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”  “How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” (Jer. 4:14).“…choose you this day whom ye will serve.” (Josh. 24:15)

“We will remain the same until the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change.” Unknown.

What does the Bible mean when it speaks of the salvation of the soul?

I want to touch on something that goes on a lot in Christianity. Many camps of Protestants are divided over Biblical truths no matter how many recognized positions of Bible scholars and theologians may be referenced in support of their beliefs. The error camps make in the noble effort to understand God’s Word is called “illegitimate totality transfer,” which is the assignment of a “meaning” to a word or phrase regardless of context.  Certain words, such as “save” and “life,” are often subject to this type of misapplication of meaning.

In brief, the salvation of the soul (soul-salvation) as seen in various passages throughout the New Testament.

  1. (Matthew 16:26, 27
  2.  Romans 8:13 + Galatians 5:19-21. emphasize “being saved” soul salvation
  3.  1 Corinthians 1:18
  4.  Hebrews 10:35-39
  5.  1 Peter 1:3-9
  6.  James 1:21; 5:20), is an aspect of salvation distinct from salvation of the spirit
  7.  spirit-salvation;John 3:5-7; 16-18
  8.  Acts 16:30, 31
  9.  Ephesians 2:8, 9 this includes the eventual salvation of the body
  10.  Romans 8:23
  11.  1 Corinthians 15:51-57. which distinctions are purposely and rigidly maintained by the Holy Spirit throughout the Word, embodies the following characteristics:

 (1) It involves only the soul-component of a person, as opposed to his spirit and body (1 Thessalonian’s 5:23; Hebrews 4:12); the soul being his life now (sanctification) and,specifically, its relevance (i.e., rewards or lack thereof [suffering]) to the Millennial Kingdom — the rule and reign over the earth by Christ for one thousand years to be established at His Second Advent.

 (2) Although soul-salvation, like spirit-salvation, is based on (made possible by) Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, it may be secured only after a person comes to the cross — placing one’s faith alone in Christ alone for one’s personal and eternal salvation, which is spirit-salvation.

 (3) Whereas spirit-salvation is a past, completed act (a one-time act of the will when a person places his faith in Christ) that results in a secured (guaranteed) eternal possession; where does the word of God state this:

  1. 2 Cor. 1:22
  2. 2 Cor. 5:5
  3. Eph.1:14

soul-salvation is a present,continuous process that, when and if completed successfully, results in a future, inherited possession.

(4) Whereas spirit-salvation is a free gift totally apart from any works by man, soul-salvation is obtained by the production of divine good-works — perseverance in faithfulness and bearing the fruit of the Spirit by (through)the person himself.

 (5) Whereas spirit-salvation is totally the work of the Holy Spirit, soul-salvation is a shared work between the Holy Spirit and the person who has passed from death to life through faith in Christ Jonah 2:9.

 (6) Whereas spirit-salvation involves only the judgment of sin in the person of  Christen the cross at Calvary, soul-salvation involves the judgment of the believer (his temporal life of faithfulness or lack thereof) at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Bema Seat Mat. 27:19; 2 Cor. 5:10.

 (7) Whereas spirit-salvation has eternal verities in view, soul-salvation has millennial verities in view.

What does verities mean? Verity designates the quality of a state or thing that is exactly what is purports to be or accords completely with facts <test the verity of his remarks> referrers to things felt to be of lasting, ultimate, or transcendent truth.

Summary.

Therefore, the term “salvation” in its full context means not only receiving God’s Life in our spirits, but also renewing every part of our soul and body as well.  This takes time and effort.

The first step in salvation (justification)gives us peace and satisfaction and joy.  The second step in the process of full salvation (the sanctification of our soul) gives us the power to overcome sin and self, receive personal deliverance from the enemy and the freedom to walk in God’s way.  Many Christians, however, take only the first step (justification).

 Like the Israelites, they only put the blood on the door posts of their house (Exodus 12:22), but they forget to purge the leaven from their lives (sanctification).  They trust God for the salvation of their spirits, but they fail to declare war on their flesh.  Consequently,they prevent the power of God from doing the work of sanctification in their lives.

Complete salvation is not only believing in the Lord, it also includes walking with the Lord, overcoming the world, the flesh, and the devil and enduring to the end.  Again, a lifelong process. First, we are saved (in our spirit) from the penalty of sin; next, we are saved (in our soul) from the power of sin, and finally, we are saved (in our body) from the presence of sin.

  Our spirit is saved by God at the time of our new birth; our body is redeemed by God at the time of the rapture and translation; but the salvation (or the transformation) of our soul by the Holy Spirit is dependent upon and determined by the individual himself.