Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 2 Study # 7
Thesis: The leading of the Spirit has two major elements; His and ours.
Introduction: We said in our study last week that the leading of the Spirit has been twisted by the adversary of our souls because of its superior impact. Clearly, if the resurrection power of God is applied to our lives by this "leading", there is nothing more potent for the production of Life both for us and for those whose experience is affected by ours. Just as clearly, if the resurrection power of God is applied to our lives, the adversary of our souls will be the one who is most affected because of the defeat resurrection power hands to Death. Therefore, it is a small step to the realization that if the adversary wishes to defeat us, he must twist our perception of the "leading" of the Spirit so that we think we are being "led" when we are, in fact, not even close.
This evening I want to explore the "twisting".
September 11, 2007
- I. There Are Two Major Ways to Get Off Every Path.
- A. There is the digression to the "left".
- 1. For the purposes of this study, we are going to say that theologically, the "left" is "antinomianism", the "twisting" of grace into "licentiousness" (Jude 4).
- a. This manner of dealing with "grace" is focusing upon God's work to the exclusion of man's response so that there is either no human response involved or it is so minimal that it is presented as a "super-easy" thing that anyone can do.
- b. The result of this turn to the left is an immediate bondage in various lusts and appetites that has a significant lack of conscience in attendance.
- 2. Historically, the "left" has always been characterized by a casual-if-any conviction that Life arises from the words of God.
- a. "Life" has typically been defined methodologically as "the freedom to suit myself".
- b. Obviously one cannot "suit oneself" and be "bound" by specific divine revelation.
- B. There is the digression to the "right".
- 1. For the purposes of this study, we are going to say that theologically, the "right" is "legalism", the "twisting" of grace into the "bondage" of human performance issues.
- a. This manner of dealing with "grace" is focusing upon man's response to the exclusion of God's work so that, though God's work always gets "lip service", there is no real work by God involved.
- b. The result of this turn to the right is an immediate bondage to Sin that carries with it a significant level of blind hypocrisy.
- 2. Historically, the "right" has always been characterized by an obsessed pursuit of the "meaning" of the words of God as the way to Life.
- a. "Life" has typically been defined methodologically as "obtaining the approval of the men who have religious interests."
- b. Obtaining the approval of the religious grows by "degrees" and the ability to effectively argue one's case in the public forum.
- II. In Respect to the Leading of the Spirit These Departures Have Resulted in Two Major "Systems" Today.
- A. On the "left" are those who "hear the voice of God" outside the Scriptures and use the terminology of "being led" as a way to protect themselves from two dangers.
- 1. On the one hand, there is the danger of "being wrong" in the decision making process and getting into all kinds of trouble because of it.
- 2. On the other hand, there is the danger of "being accused of evil" and attempting to escape the accusation by being able to say "I was led by God".
- 3. Since both of these are attempts at self-protection, there is nothing "godly" about them and neither of them take the words of God's commitment to us seriously.
- a. God has made a serious commitment to us to "guide" us [Psalm 25:9; 31:3; 32:8; 48:14; 73:24; etc., etc.].
- b. God has made a strong promise to give us "wisdom" [James 1 et. al.].
- B. On the "right" are those who "study the Scriptures" (John 5:39) and think that "Life" (as the acquisition of approval) will come from their effort.
- 1. These twist Jesus' words in John 6:63 into a reduction of the "Spirit" to the "words" and dismiss His supernatural work from within.
- 2. In this system there is a very heavy-handed authoritarianism which is marked by the refusal to accept the "middle" issue that is involved in Life by the Spirit/Word.
- a. God gives His Word [Revelation].
- b. Man hears and gives thought and attempts to "understand" [Interpretation].
- c. If man actually understands, the Spirit empowers his life [Application].
- III. The Current Result.
- A. The "leading" of the Spirit is "internal revelation" that is typically divorced from the Bible.
- B. The "leading" of the Spirit is "intellectual authoritarianism" that is typically rooted in the words of the Bible.
- C. The "leading" of the Spirit is "deeds of the flesh unmasked and put to death" by the words and work of the Spirit of God through faith.
- IV. The Implications for Us.
- A. On the "left" is the issue of "my freedom to do as I want".
- B. On the "right" is the issue of "my use of God to exalt myself in the eyes of men".
- C. In the "midst of the Truth" is the issue of my voluntary servitude to the Servant God for the sake of His elect.