Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our Source of Life

John 5:21 "For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes…. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself.”

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

2 Corinthians 3:1-18 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? (2) You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; (3) being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (4) Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. (5) Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, (6) who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (7) But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, (8) how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? (9) For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. (10) For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. (11) For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. (12) Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, (13) and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. (14) But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. (15) But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; (16) but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (17) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (18) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Paul herein speaks to the Judaizers, the tares among the good grain, they who seek to uphold the letter of the Law while purporting to follow Christ. They intended to add law to the pure & holy grace of God, manifested through Jesus Christ, which alone is the cause of our salvation. Understand this basic tenet concerning the Gospel of Christ- when anything is added to the work of Christ it is in fact subtraction by means of addition. It is akin to trying to add something to pure gold to increase its value when in fact nothing has greater worth. Paul angrily confronted all such people (even Peter, when he fell under their spell, Gal. 2:11ff), for they intended to rob Christ of His splendid majesty, supposing to replace it, bit by bit, with manmade glory.

F.B. Meyer aptly summarizes…

Paul passes from the idea of the fleshly tablets of the heart, where God writes His new name, to the Law graven on the ancient tables of stone, and to the Lawgiver, stern and veiled. He argues that if the glory which shone on the face of Moses was so beautiful, surely that of the gospel must be transcendently so. The one is transient, the other abiding; the one is reflected, the other direct.
Not only was Moses veiled, but the hearts of the Jews were covered with a thick covering of prejudice. They did not understand the inner significance of the Levitical Code; and when the Law was read, they listened to it without spiritual insight. Directly men turn to Christ, they see the inner meaning of Scripture. What liberty becomes ours when we live in Christ! We are free to love, to serve, to know, and to be. Note 2Co 3:18! We may gaze on the unveiled face of God in Christ. The more we look the more we resemble. The more we endeavor to reflect Him, in doing what He desires, the more certainly and inevitably we become like Him. Only remember that in all things we are deeply indebted to the gracious influence of the Spirit. He produces the Christ-life in us.


Christ’s glory is evidenced to us by the Spirit He places in our hearts, & He so dwells within each of us by means of His supernatural bond with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit draws us to Christ even as He Himself is wholly united with Christ. So one clear test of the spirit within (1John 4:1) is that He will always give glory to Jesus Christ as the one source of all life (John 5:21). Know this- any spirit, whether tangible or intangible, that, directly or indirectly, does not exalt Christ alone to the pinnacle of holiness & righteousness is a deceiving spirit.

Indeed, Christ Himself spelled out what manner of ministration His Spirit would perform unto the believer…

John 16:7-15 "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. (8) And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; (9) concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; (10) and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; (11) and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. (12) I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. (13) But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (14) He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. (15) All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

When Jesus spoke about the Spirit preaching “righteousness” to our soul, He is in fact referencing the fact that God’s Spirit will always preach of Christ’s glorious righteousness & contrast it with our so-called “righteousness”, which is in fact like filthy rags (Is. 64:6) Christ Himself goes to the Father, & so no longer glorifies Himself to us directly (meaning physically- as He was presently doing towards this audience), but through His Spirit.

John 17:1-3 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, (2) even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. (3) This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

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