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Preliminary Personal Perspective
for You, for Me and for All
Matters of Being Based before 'Progress', Founded to Avoid Foundering
Life ? There has
been attention to WHAT IT IS, and
WHAT IT IS FOR, earlier, and it is
part of this Chapter to direct you to these chapters.
However, now the point is spiritual life, how it goes!
Spiritual life is not a matter of
autonomy, but independence,
and that not from God, but from creation, and this not wilfully but in terms of reliance.
Independent of creation, dependent on God: this is the way. Proverbs 3:4-6 tells you to trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and not to lean even to your OWN understanding; and as for trusting in man, Jeremiah 17 makes it a curse, which of course it is. In the end, you end if you do not start with the Lord, your Creator.
Spiritual life is not supplemented by God, but founded by Him (I Corinthians 3:10-11).
It is not a comfortable convenience, but a painful crucifixion.
It is not a tense trouble, but a restful release.
It is not a junking of responsibility, but finding its source, cause and course.
It is not self-fulfilment but Christ-fulfilment (Isaiah 53:11-12, Hebrews 5:7-9, 12:2, Colossians 1:9-10).
It is not self-centred, but trinity-centred, through Christ the Son of God.
It does not ignore the body of Christ or the kingdom of heaven, but sets the CHRIST part above the member part, being heavenly-minded.
It does not obey the body of Christ, but the head.
It does not derogate the truth, but in truth lives in the body of Christ under the direction of the Head.
It is not possessive, but liberal (Proverbs 11:25, Psalm 37:26, 112:5, Luke 6:34-36, Acts 20:35).
It is not grasping but godly.
It is seeks not self-satisfaction but divine approval.
It has no self-assertion but flows from holiness.
It is not holier-than-thou perspective but is dynamised by divine direction.
It does not collapse in pain, but perseveres in struggle (Philippians 2:13-14, II Timothy 1:6-7).
It is not sedated, but acute, not sequestrated but correlated with the will of Christ (Matthew 7:21ff.).
It does not wait on opportunity to obey God, but seeks ways to serve Him (Romans 12:1ff).
It does not squelch texts for revisionist unruliness, but abides in the word of God written (Matthew 5:17ff.).
It does not bow to belligerence from man or devil, world or culture, but dying daily, lifts up Christ crucified, yes rather risen, and in Him lives aloft (John 12:32, Ephesians 2:6).
It is not lofty, but glories in the cross of Christ, not woodenly as wood, but as the way and work of free and eternal redemption by Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14, Hebrews 9:12-28, 10:10-14, 3:23-27).
It does not pester God for good things simply for itself, but seeks Him for good things for Him.
It is not satisfied with process, but presses purpose, craves complete sanctification (I Thessalonians 5:23, II Corinthians 7:1ff.).
It does not imagine itself perfect, but grows in grace and in knowledge of the Lord (Philippians 3, II Peter 3).
It does not abase itself to superior force, but to God only.
It does not fear creation, but rests in the Almighty (Isaiah 2:22).
It does not rest in Him as fate or hope, but as operative, revealed and available in Christ (Matthew 11:27ff., Isaiah 26:1ff., Colossians 1:17).
It is not incapable: though slender in means (Matthew 5:1-12), it is sourced without limit (Matthew 6:33, Ephesians 1:19).
It is not paralysed, but empowered with the grace of God (Isaiah 56:10, II Corinthians 12:9).
It is not sourced in sin, but outsourced to salvation (Romans 6, 8).
It is not blithe, as if self-made, but free as liberated (II Corinthians 5:17, John 8:34-36).
It does not fail to give attention to the call, conditions, commands and quiet of spiritual life in Christ, but seeks to do what He says (Luke 6:46, John 15).
It is not prettified, for the Cross is never pretty, but purified.
It does not fear damnation, but God (IThessalonians 5:9-10, I Peter 2:17).
It is not craven, but wholesome in wisdom, clear in wit, founded in love (I John 4:7-8,18).
It is not domineering, but directed by deity (I Peter 5:11, 4:14, 5:6).
It is not secretly seeking eminence (Matthew 20:21-28), but unsedated seeking Christ's pre-eminence, loving what is worthy (Revelation 5), and detesting molestation of truth (John 18:36-37).
It does not pander to popularity, but is bold for the truth (John 5:44ff., 12:46-50, I Corinthians 13:6).
It is slender in means, but grandly sustained (Matthew 5:3,5).
Its is not a truant to truth; for if its epic is poetical in divine romance, yet its topic is truth (Song of Solomon, John 8:40, Matthew 5:17-20).
It does not avoid the truth, but is zealous for its release, realisation and application to the uttermost (Matthew loc. cit., Psalm 119).
It is not a cadaver, though crucified with Christ, but is a site of spiritual resurrection (II Corinthians 5:15, 6:6-11, 13:4, Colossians 3:1-4, Romans 6:4, 8, 8:10, I Peter 3:21, Ephesians 1:19).
It is not controllable by corruption, but vitalised by irruption from the Spirit of God in Christ (John 4:14ff., 7:37, Romans 8:9-10, I John 3:9, 1:7ff.).
It is not deceased from liberality of heart, nor diseased in confinement of spirit, but is transformed from glory to glory as by the Spirit of God (II Corinthians 3:18).
It is not impoverished in heart, but poor in spirit.
It is not sad in sin, but delivered in delight.
It is not unrealistic in self-assessment, but leaves all to the Lord (Romans 12).
It is not merely merry in spirit, but knows the meaning of mourning Matthew 5, Luke 6).
It is not blatant, but rejoices with trembling (Psalm 2).
It is unsubdued, but seemly (I Corinthians 13), valiant for the truth (Jeremiah 8:3, II Timothy 4:2ff., Ephesians 6).
It does not cower, but is empowered (Luke 21:16, Acts 4-5).
It does not leer, sneer or jeer, but confronts falsity with truth, the salacious with the wholesome and the deviating with rigour (Matthew 5:17ff., Luke 9:23-26).
It does not seek to gain what is to be lost (II Corinthians 7:29-31), but to lose every weight that sullies spirituality and every devotion which competes with Christ (Hebrews 12:1, Luke 18:25-30).
It does not love the systems of this world, the spirit of it or the sullyings it makes, but loves even worldlings, that they might find eternity in life, not doom in disgust (Daniel 12:2, Mark 9, Romans 2:1).
It does not devalue spiritual reality (Ecclesiastes 7:29), but seeks its fulfilment to glorify God (Romans 2:7, 3:19-27).
It does not phrase-monger glorifying God for points scoring in sanctimony, but praises God in sincerity of heart because if anyone ever deserves it, He does! (Revelation 5, John 12:32, Philippians 2 with Isaiah 45:22ff.).
It does not bear about its brightness, but the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ, being dyed with His colours, graced with His goodness, finding in Him its sufficiency (II Corinthians 2:16-17, Romans 6:5).
It does not seize with the heat of carnal desire, but seeks every good thing in the grace of God, because such is His liberality that He loves to give (Ephesians 4:7-11, Psalm 104, Isaiah 32:14-17, John 3:16, Colossians 1:19-23).
It is not based in belittlements of others, attainments of oneself, the praise of man or the possessions of talent or riches: but on the rock which is Christ, not on the works of creation, but of the Creator, not merely on His creation, but also on His redemption, not on hope, but by faith in certitude (I John 5:11-12, I Thessalonians 5:9-10, Luke 11:21, John 10:9,27-28, Job 19:23ff.).
Godliness is based in God, wrought by God in man, sought by His people, gained in grace through His moulding, founded in new spiritual life, the grant of peace through reconciliation in the Cross's ransoming gift (Matthew 20:29, Colossians 1:22), the result of movement by God in His children, the grace of love and the life of God released where it has place.
Manliness is found when godliness is gained. To be manly is towards God to be child-like. To gain macho is to lose sight of godliness. To become popular with man is to become unpopular with God (Luke 15:16). Popularity may come in part, but persecution is never missing with it (II Timothy 3:12). Even Christ was popular with some; but not with the milieu, the environment, the world of His day. The thrust of this world and of God are in utter clash (I John 2:15, James 4:4). Even its 'good works' in its own graces and places, are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).
Godliness is of God, and its omission is cursed: grace is given to make it avail for the thirsty, and give food to the hungry in spirit (John 4:14ff, John 6:47uff.); but of this there is no shortage, and what faced with light, that of Christ, prefers darkness, has no godliness in it at all. Christ as the light of life comes that men may not stumble, but have the light of life (John 8:12, 9:4-5, 11:7ff.).
Outside Him is darkness, whether enlightened with flash-lights that fail, their flickering illumination a passage of helpless hope in a turmoil of what is God-forsaken;
to Him is precisely one way,
in precisely one Person,
who precisely covered all the sins of all who ever come to Him,
and precisely provides eternal life,
to which there is no limit in time, nor subjection to creation, but one bows deeply to God only, from whom alone all godliness comes.