ON LOVE; PART MCCCLVII
FIRST IS THE GREAT COMMANDMENTS: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
WHAT THEN IS LOVE? In a general sense love is benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men. While this IS from an older definition of Charity, which IS rendered in the King James Bible from the same Greek word agape which IS generally rendered as Love, we should amend our own definition here to include the idea that in the reality of Love a man will accord to ALL men ALL things that he would accord to himself and to say that Love IS our thoughts and attitude of the equality of ALL men regardless of their outward nature or appearance…that ALL ARE equally children of Our One God.
PLUS THE EVER IMPORTANT AND HIGH IDEAL TAUGHT TO US BY THE CHRIST: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
We ended the last essay with some thoughts on the reality of the Way to Truth and agape which ARE in effect the reality of that salvation for which men search. There IS a radical misunderstanding of the idea of being saved and of salvation that IS based in the erroneous ideas propagated by the churches, a misunderstanding left over from the Jew’s doctrinal ideas which ARE NOT Truly a part of their scripture, nor are they a part of the Christian’s scriptures. The ideas of heaven and hell ARE NOT defined in scripture in any way close to the common understanding of these ideas and we should understand here that there ARE several different views of both in the churches yet today. It IS against the promise of heaven that the churches ARE able to attract and keep many participants and this theme colors many a sermon. Hell, the opposite pole, IS generally described as an eternity of constant suffering for the man who DOES NOT ascribe to the doctrinal ideas of being ‘saved‘ with some aligning this idea of hell to that “lake of fire” (Revelation 2:15) to which the Apostle John introduces us in his Book of Revelation. While this Book of Revelation should be seen as incomprehensible save for the allegorical ideas of good versus evil, it IS, as ARE the similar writings of some of the prophets, taken quite literally by far too many men; such works have become an integral part of the doctrinal ideas of many denominations and sects. Far too many ARE fixated upon the idea of the ‘end times’ and this has been the case throughout Christian history which begins with the words of Jesus telling His own disciples that they would see that end. There ARE many interpretations to Jesus’ words such as “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34) but little understanding of what IS His intent in using a word, the Greek genea, which has been rendered as generation, age, time and nation 2a. Perhaps the uncertainty IS purposely built into the ideas behind genea or perhaps there IS NOT a singular idea in English that could suit ALL of its uses in scripture. This uncertainty can be seen in Strong’s defining of genea which begins with the idea that this word IS: from (a presumed derivative of) G1085 9a which IS the Greek word genos. This word IS rendered as kind, kindred, offspring, nation, stock, born, diversity and miscellaneous 2a by the King James translators. While the idea IS of genea IS rendered as generation in most translations, the idea given by some is more specific saying such things as “before the people now living have all died“. Despite this understanding of genea, there ARE yet some who work the Master’s preceding words saying “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Matthew 24:29) and apply them to their current ‘end times’ philosophies. Our point here IS to show the relative uncertainty that encumbers ALL such philosophies of doom and of the ‘end times’ which extend then into the doctrinal ideas of heaven and hell.
There ARE some that DO understand many of the ideas of scripture in a more current and realistic way and apply their interpretation of these ideas to the here and now but this IS NOT done in the way that IS intended. Such teachings ARE based in a carnal ability to gain carnal things through the interpreted ‘promises’ of the Old Testament combined with interpretations of out of context ideas from the Master and His apostles. These teachings have perhaps the largest share of new Christian proselytes; through a combination of promised material gain plus the older ideas of gaining heaven and averting hell through the affirmations and confessions of faith based in the misunderstood, misapplied and out of context words of the apostles. A common idea of the church IS that a man CAN NOT save himself but needs Jesus; needs to accept Jesus as savior and needs to have faith that the promises of the various doctrines regarding ‘salvation‘ ARE True. These doctrines however ARE but the various denominational interpretations of the Truth and NOT the singular Truth that IS shown us by the Master and then amplified and clarified by His apostles. Without reliance upon the Master’s words the idea of amplification and clarification ARE lost and this unfortunately has become the way of much of the church that relies instead upon the doctrinal ideas of atonement which ARE also gleaned from the misunderstood, misapplied and out of context words of the apostles. We should understand that it IS virtually impossible to change the minds of most Christians. Their indoctrination IS supported by their nebulous ideas of faith and the presumed authority of the pastors, priests and televangelists whose teachings surely fall under the words of the Apostle James who says “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). It IS against the fear of hell and the promise of heaven that many Christians maintain their faith and believing. For others there IS NO True conviction of such things; their sense of religion allows for the ‘comfort’ of presumed salvation while remaining as a man in this world DOING as men DO. But it IS precisely against this latter charge the ALL True scripture IS focused; it IS against the ideas of remaining as a man in this world that the Great Commandments ARE given. It IS in understanding this that we can come to the reality that we must save ourselves, not by the force of will however but by our following of the prompting of our own Souls. This idea of following our inner spiritual man, our True self, IS the reality of Repentance and Transformation and we should understand here that both ARE a process and NOT a magical formula. Save for some few that have True mental or emotional issues that prevent any sort of clear vision, most ALL men DO KNOW right from wrong. While this KNOWING may be altered by our nurturing, indoctrination and experiences of Life, it still lurks in the background and can be heard over the din of daily living as the conscience. While this sense of conscience IS rather easy to turn off or to ignore, it IS there nonetheless and when conscience IS allowed to speak and be heard, choices ARE then made. Looking into our own psyches we can ALL understand how that the carnal mind and emotions easily overrule the conscience or, for many, prevent the conscience from being allowed to speak to the heart. This IS the whole point of Paul’s request to men saying “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2). This IS the fundamental reality of saving one’s self which should be seen as contrary to that common idea of the church that tells its followers that they CAN NOT DO so. Such doctrinal dictates ARE based in isolated ideas from the letters of Paul, ideas that ARE misconstrued based in a lack of understanding of the Greek words used. Perhaps the greatest source for this idea of salvation IS found in Paul’s words saying “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). While this IS a True statement, it has a far deeper meaning than doctrinally allowed. This Truth however IS bound to a clearer understanding the nature of men; that a man IS NOT this body with its attendant personality but IS rather the Soul, the Christ Within, that feeds the conscience.
In this understanding everyman IS divine; everyman IS a spiritual being that we call from the human perspective the Soul. The Soul IS the link between the carnal man yet bound by his vanity and the Oneness that IS God; it IS the Soul that links the spiritual being to the carnal world. We should understand here that the carnal man IS trapped if you will in the vanity of Life in form and that he realizes neither the Soul nor his True identity as a spiritual being, a Spirit who IS ever part and parcel of the Lord. More importantly the carnal man DOES NOT see past those things that have enhanced his sense of vanity, his nurturing, his indoctrination into the ways of the world including his sense of religion, and his experiences in Life both good and bad. It IS in this blindness toward one’s True identity that much of the doctrines of men ARE formulated and should one come to realize his own divinity, as DOES the Apostle Paul, the Greek words used in the New Testament DO take on a very different meaning. We have studied the role of the common ideas and renderings of many Greek words over the course of our posts and we should remember here that among the most misunderstood are pistis and pisteuo which ARE rendered as faith and believing. To these we should add the idea of grace from the Greek word charis and the very nature of the ideas of being saved and salvation which have naught to DO with heaven or hell in the New Testament. Many of these ideas ARE in the quote from Ephesians above where the context should be seen as the journey of men from being “dead in trespasses and sins” to becoming “his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:1, 10). While this last statement IS outwardly contrary to the doctrinal views on faith and works, the reality of works IS missed by most doctrinal thinkers. This Greek word, ergon, IS rightly defined as: (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication, an act:—deed, doing, labour, work 9a by Strong’s and this IS expanded upon by Thayer’s which adds the result saying that ergon IS: any product whatever, anything accomplished by hand, art, industry, mind 9. In the complexity of this idea of DOING we should be able to modify the doctrinal ideas on works that ARE based in such ideas as Paul’s saying “by grace are ye saved through faith….Not of works, lest any man should boast“. We should try to see that for men in this world there IS NO alternative to works, to DOING whatsoever men DO, and that the qualifier, the spiritual qualifier, IS “good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them“. What Paul IS against IS the way of the Jews, a way that IS replicated by most ALL men throughout history. Perhaps this idea can be summed up in Jesus’ words saying “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward” (Matthew 6:1-2). In this idea of almsgiving we should be able to see most ALL things that men may DO that make one to appear righteous. Here, whether we ARE building a church, feeding the poor, DOING missionary work or any such thing, it IS spiritually demeaned if the DOER makes any of this about himself; and we should note that we DO NOT need to “sound a trumpet” for this to be so. Jesus’ reference here should be seen as DOING for the sake of DOING what IS right and prudent without any fanfare whatsoever. Jesus also takes this prohibition to our thinking through His words on prayer; the Master says “when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:5-6). The idea here IS similar to that regarding almsgiving and it IS this same theme that IS continued in the next instruction to the man of the new religion that IS to follow Judaism were the idea IS men’s outward appearance in fasting. In ALL of these the most basic intent IS to show us that ALL things that we DO, we should DO ALL without boasting and here we should see boasting in the broadest understanding of this word idea. We see this in the Master’s words saying that we should “anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast” (Matthew 6:17,18) and while the specifics here ARE intended for the understanding of the times, the reality, the simple reality, IS that we should “appear not unto men to fast“, nor in our giving, nor in our praying, in ALL this we should again see the broadest understanding of these ideas. And this IS Paul’s point as well: that we DO NOT DO things for the approval of men or to appear to men as spiritual or religious but that whatsoever works one DOES, spiritual works to be sure, ARE DONE with the singular objective of our expression of agape. This IS undoubtedly a difficult undertaking but should we see this through the deeper reality of forsaking, we can then strive to forsake ideas that feed the ego and allow for us to “be seen of men“.
What we should see here IS Paul’s aversion to works and to the law. Paul IS NOT telling us that these things ARE wrong but that the way of the Jews in this time IS wrong; it this way IS that which IS painted for us by Jesus in saying like those above. A missed hint to Paul’s intent IS found in such sayings as “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31). In this we should see the deeper reality of faith as KNOWING some measure of the Truth by which “we establish the law” in our hearts which IS the idea we get from the Lord through the prophets who tell us such things as “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33). When we tie this to Jesus’ words saying “whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother” (Mark 3:35), perhaps we can understand the reality of who “shall be my people“. The church however has NOT understood these things in this way; the church has taken Paul’s words and made them to say whatsoever they chose for their doctrinal approach to be. Here we should see the use of faith, nebulous as this idea IS, as their substitute for the Truth of works DONE solely in Love, and the law understood ONLY in terms of agape. Why? Simply because the alternatives of Truly keeping His words IS seen as beyond the ability of men. While this may be True for some men, such philosophy has restricted to progress of those who ARE or were ready for True Repentance but who saw and yet see the church as the authoritative messenger of God and to be followed. Perhaps this IS because there ARE few who DO Truly become seekers after the Truth. Few who find discontent in the vanity in which they live. Few who understand the reality that Paul presents in our selection, and here specifically such ideas as that we should “mortify the deeds of the body” which deeds DO include our individual leaning toward wanting to “be seen of men“, our peers to be sure, in a most favorable way. Repeating our selection from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, we read:
“they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in
hope, Becauseexpectation that the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:5-23).
What we ARE left with here IS Paul’s words that we began with above, that we ARE to become “his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them“. This DOES NOT tell us to DO NO works but rather to DO works in such a way as that we forsake our own ego and operate in ALL things from our own closet with the door closed to ALL. ALL this however has been lost to the doctrinal ideas that ARE against works and against the law which has been reduced for us by the Master to the reality of the Great Commandment. Paul also shows us in saying that “all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14). And we can bring this home to the epistle that we ARE currently discussing and which provides much doctrinal fodder. The apostle tells us in Romans that “Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:9-10). In ALL of this we should try to see and to understand that Paul’s words ARE NOT as church doctrine portrays them but he IS rather speaking against the way that such ideas as the law and works were used by the Jews in their common practice; it IS against this that he IS speaking. We should also see that he Way to Truth and agape ARE in effect the reality of that salvation for which men search. Behind ALL of the doctrinal wrangling regarding salvation IS the great reality set forth in the Great Commandment and shown us by the apostles as the True Way to ALL things spiritual. Agape however has been lost in the doctrinal teachings of most ALL of the church which, while saying that men should Love their neighbor, fail to show what this Truly means. Many fail at understanding just who IS one’s neighbor despite Jesus’ Parable of the Good Samaritan which clearly shows us the Truth. Many fail at teaching the deeper reality of agape as Love as they use the common ideas of that emotional and mental attraction and attachment to others as their defining ideas for Love leaving ALL other ideas of Love to the individual’s own interpretation. And most ALL fail at realizing that this expression of agape IS the One True Way to our True salvation which IS our realization of the Truth that IS agape, that IS God. Paul’s words above equate the expression of agape with keeping the commandments and here we should understand that the these commandments, these laws as expanded upon by the Master, ARE the same from the time of Moses until now. The church however CAN NOT discern the difference between the True law, the True commandments which ARE the Ten Commandments as expanded upon by Moses in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and those ancillary edicts regarding ALL that DOES NOT pertain to the reality of Right Human Relations. It IS these commandments that ARE missed by the Jews as they concentrated their religious efforts on the rites and rituals described in the law, on the role of the atoning sacrifice, the dietary rules and regulations and the many edicts regarding the sabbath, holy days and, of course, circumcision. It IS this that Paul rails against in his words that ARE against the law and “the works of the law” (Galatians 2:16) as he highlights the Jews’ error.
ALL this IS misconstrued by the church which DOES NOT see the reality of agape, the Truth of the Great Commandment which James calls for us “the royal law” (James 2:8). Doctrinal thinkers fail to see the way that one’s expression of agape IS the Way par excellence to the Truth of salvation which IS here and now and NOT in some distant future heaven that IS unseen. A heaven that IS as nebulous as the doctrinal ideas applied to those misunderstood Greek words pistis and pisteuo when they ARE rendered as doctrinal faith and believing. Too much of the New Testament IS understood in the same carnal terms as the Old Testament while neither were intended to be seen in that Light. These carnal terms reflect the ideas of men rather than the clear Truths that the Master and His apostles offer us. While we DO say that the reason for this lack of seeing the clearly written ideas literally IS steeped in the aversion that men have towards any scriptural words that detract from men’s ability to be and act as men, we should understand the role that vanity plays in this equation. It IS vanity that keeps men’s focus upon the self and the self in this world; it IS vanity that creates the illusion that man IS his carnal self born in sin, it IS vanity and the glamour that IS attached to it that keeps men seeing themselves in the promises of scripture without ever seeing the covenant costs of those promises. It IS this reality of vanity which Vincent shows us as: a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4 that IS our “bondage of corruption“. It IS the reality of this vanity that we must escape to Truly have the promises which the Apostle Peter describes for us saying “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature“. We should understand here that there IS NO carnal value to the promises of God and we should see as well that ALL ideas to the contrary ARE wholly misunderstood, often in the rendering of the words but mostly in those carnal ideas that come to ALL in vanity. Peter goes on to tell us that we must escape “the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4) and here we should be careful to understand the reality of this idea of lust as ALL carnal desires, plans and attitudes. Jesus shows us the value of the idea of lust as He defines the man whose spiritual potential IS choked out by this same vanity; the Master tells us that “these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19). While the footnote to this verse shows lust as inordinate desires 2a, we should see this in Vincent’s terms saying: Lusts, not in the limited sense of mere sexual desire, but in the general sense of longing. The word is also used of desire for good and lawful things 4. Luke and Matthew offer us different ideas on this man of thorns. Luke tells us Jesus’ words as “that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14); here we should see these pleasures as ALL things, ALL thoughts, attitudes and possessions that offer carnal comfort. Matthew tells us “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22). In the combination of these versions of the Master’s words we should the value of the idea of lust as it IS used in most ALL of the New Testament. We should note also that the idea of riches IS found in each of these versions of Jesus’ words. We should try to see how that while the church has ever made doctrinal allowances for riches, that in DOING so they have missed the point and this IS especially True in the newer prosperity doctrines that ARE perhaps the largest growing segment of Christianity. We should note as well that this idea of riches IS perhaps the chiefest among the idea of lusts; it IS the desire for wealth that overwhelms many creating if you will a plethora of those types of men that we call the thorny ground.
The message here should be seen in terms of lusts versus agape and how that the desires of men for the things of this world outweighs the spiritual quality that IS the Master’s message regarding the man that IS the “good ground“. Jesus tells us “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). We should try to see and to understand that most ALL men ARE living on this thorny ground. This includes ALL those in and out of the churches that DO NOT keep His words. In this we can perhaps see that the “good ground” ARE those that ARE Truly Repented or Repenting. It IS in this process of Repentance that we ARE able to Transform as our focus changes from this sense of lust for the things of the self, thoughts, attitudes and actions included, onto the things of God. It IS here we begin to see the reality of the journey that ALL must face, a journey from being “dead in trespasses and sins” to becoming “his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them“. Can we see how that this process of being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” that Paul shows us IS the same reality as the idea of escaping that we read in Peter’s words above? And can we see how that this process of Transformation, this process of escape, IS the reality of that change that brings men to understand that the Master’s words from our trifecta ARE the Way, the Truth and the Life for which men seek. Jesus tells us:
- “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).
- “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” (Matthew 7:21).
- “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me” (John 14:21-24).
While it IS difficult to see Jesus’ words in the Light of doctrinal precepts, we should try to see that the doctrinal ideas ARE the ideas of men, the “commandments of men” which Jesus shows us saying “in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). We should note that this idea of men’s worship being “in vain” IS related to the idea of vanity from our selection; the latter, rendered from mataiotes, IS a once removed derivative of the former, rendered from maten. Each of these ARE sparsely used ideas which ARE tied together for us in Vincent’s words on mataiotes as a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends 4. Can we see how that the saying that “in vain they do worship me” IS the reality of men’s pursuing false ends? What then ARE the True ends if the following of “commandments of men” IS equated by the Master to this idea of false ends? The dividing line here should be clear; if the false ends ARE rooted in the doctrinal approach of men, to “the commandments of men” if you will, then the Truth must be in the commandments of the Lord. These ARE NOT hidden from view but ARE more burdensome to one’s individuality than the doctrinal alternatives; hence the tendency of men to create their own. Jesus’ words from our trifecta ARE but a small portion of Jesus’ message to us, a message that has been ignored for 2000 years in favor of the evolving religious ideas that come from the minds of men; and here we should be careful to understand that while intended to be spiritual, these ideas ARE indeed carnal in nature. They ARE the product of “the natural man” who will NOT admit to his own nature as he IS yet in this “bondage of corruption“, this vanity by which he IS pursuing false ends. We close here with the full saying from Paul’s words to the Corinthians “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Again we should remember that the doctrinal thinker believes that he IS moved past “the natural man” and IS, by the imputation of righteousness, among those that DO receive “the things of the Spirit of God“. It IS this sense of belief that prevents the doctrinal thinker from Truly moving past his own vanity by which he IS deluded.
We will continue with our thoughts in the next post.
- 2a New Testament Greek lexicon on biblestudytools.com
- 4 Word Studies in the New Testament; Marvin R Vincent D.D. 2nd edition
- 9 Thayer’s Greek Lexicon on blueletterbible.org
- 9a The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible on blueletterbible.org
Those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Voltaire, Writer and Philosopher