Rubel Shelly - Holy Spirit - #8-Spirit: His Works
Paul says, you must learn to live under the influence of divine intoxication. If short of one fruit your Christianity is invalidated
"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
Our comments are in blue and others in red.
Rubel Shelly: Some of you have read Dallas Willard's book The Divine Conspiracy at my suggestion. All the shepherds and ministry staff have a copy of it. I think it is one of the most significant books by a Christian writer in the past several years. It is a straightforward challenge to what he refers to as "consumer Christianity" or "bumper-sticker faith." Yet it is not negative either in its content or in its tone. It is a mature theological plea for Christians to take discipleship seriously. If you decide to read it, please understand in advance that it isn't devotional reading. It takes concentration. You'll probably need to reread some pages or occasional whole sections. But it will be time well spent.
Dr. Shelly reviews The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard who is a professional philosopher and therefore we might expect to see "Bible" bending to human methods. In a following sermon Dr. Shelly will discuss discipleship from the book:
'The Spirit of the Disciplines'. "This book seeks to lay the foundation for understanding how God changes the inward personality bringing us to a deeper conformity to the way of Christ."
Dallas Willard will teach the false dogma of "discipleship" over "Christian" by a word count. Perhaps this is why it is so easy to switch from "church of Christ" to "Family of God." Willard notes that:
The first goal Jesus set forth for the early church was
to use his all encompassing power and authority to make disciples....
Having made disciples,
these alone were to be baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Dallas Willard and Rubel Shelly equate "made disciples" to being saved. However, the Holy Spirit showed that making disciples is simply teaching them. The end-product of the discipling process is baptizing those who believe, repent and want to be saved.
This is the pure and not so simple Baptist dogma. Look at the Seeker-Friendly version:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in (or into) the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19NIV
However, none of the versions we have access to say: "Having made disciples" implying that they are already Christians, therefore you may baptize them because they are already saved.
If that was the idea, the Spirit of Christ was smart enough to have said:
Therefore go and make Christians of all nations and then baptize them in (or into) the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19NIV
No! "baptizing them" is part of the making disciple process. Disciple does not mean "salvation" but to simply become a student of Christ. The KJV says:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:19KJV
Disciple in the Greek is:
Matheteuo (g3100) math-ayt-yoo'-o; from 3101; intrans. to become a pupil; trans. to disciple, i.e. enrol as scholar: - be disciple, instruct, teach.
Now, the NIV stretches things a bit to replace teaching with disciple clearly understanding the discipling dilemna meaning of the word in today's cultic churches. However, enrolling one as a student does not make one a believer.
Joseph of Arimathea could not have been a baptized believer. Nevertheless, he was a student or learner:
When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: Mt.27:57
Mark makes it clear that making disciples is to preach the gospel; only those who believe and are baptized become Christians:
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16
Therefore, full discipling occurs only with Baptism when in keeping with many early traditions, one "signed on" with a master teacher by baptism.
With the idea of a direct indwelling of a person named the Holy Spirit Who selects the "good, the great, the few" capable of being Marines we are prepared to examine the next part of the Holy Spirit.
Rubel Shelly continues:
Understanding Two Key Concepts
Anyone who is a Christian has access now to the life we are sometimes only too eager to relegate to the hereafter. This life with a new orientation shows itself in a set of new behaviors and
is our participation today
in what the Bible calls the "kingdom of God" or "eternal life." The personal impact of this new life is "discipleship" -- an experience of paying attention to, learning the teaching of, and imitating the lifestyle of Jesus. Christ is the teacher,
- and those he saves
- are pupils who learn his thoughts and behaviors.
- [Shouldn't they follow the thoughts and behaviors of Jesus?]
This is the authentic gospel message as opposed to what Bonhoeffer called "cheap grace." The gospel so preached and received creates a faithful witness to Christ in the world.
It initiates those who receive it into an experience in which the
kingdom of heaven breaks into human history again
through one who has taken the gospel seriously.
It is a believer's intentional surrender to the Holy Spirit that makes the difference between bumper-sticker faith and life-transforming faith, a cheap-grace confession and an everything-to-Christ confession.
Because the Kingdom is the church in its earthly form and is within the human heart in the spiritual sense; and since Jesus is the head of the church and king of the kingdom, the kingdom does not and cannot break through into human history through one person however serious they might be.
The reverse is true: the gospel involves whatever it takes to bring the believer into the kingdom. See the difference?
And furthermore, we believe that especially Peter shows that the fruit of the Spirit is not through an intentional surrender to the Holy Spirit -- letting go and letting God -- but the deliberate effort to learn (become disciples) from the revealed Spiri,t and the additive process of changing our lives to conform to the pattern. An impatient person can "intentionally surrender" all of their lives and they will never gain patience. Would that patience could ooze through automatically but Paul contradicted the "surrender = fruit" dogma when he said:
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; Ro.5:3
And patience, (worketh) experience; and experience, (worketh) hope: Romans 5:4
What and How: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:5
When: For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6
The automatic shedding of all Christ means to us happened long before we were born when Christ died for us. If we want patience we, like him, must take up our cross and follow Him which will never lead into cheap patience.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Ro.15:4
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Ro.15:5
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 1Ti.6:11
Sorry, but equating the kingdom of heaven with eternal life is too much to consider at this time.
Rubel Shelly: The Work of the Holy Spirit
It is the Spirit's work to transform sinners into saints. His power enables one to "put off" an old man or woman and "put on" a new personality and character. His primary task in Christian experience is to make those who follow Jesus "fruitful" in holy things.
The word "saint" does not stand in opposition to "sinner." Rather, everyone who has been baptized into Christ has been added to the church, set aside for holy purposes and is a saint -- but still susceptible to sin.
There simply is no charisma or power of grace in a person's life if it takes a direct operation of the Holy Spirit to force us to "put off" sin and put on a new personality. Paul clearly understood that when he demanded:
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; Ep.4:22
And Paul again said:
(You) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: Colossians 3:5
For which things sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: Colossians 3:6
In the which ye also walked sometime, when ye lived in them. Colossians 3:7
Furthermore, rather than beeing legalistically bound to have all of the "nine" gifts of the Spirit or we are not a Christian, Paul noted that the Colossians had put off some things:
But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Colossians 3:8
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; Colossians 3:9
And (ye) have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Colossians 3:10
It is an extremely dangerous thing to teach people that if they have the "person" of the Holy Spirit living inside of their literal body that this within itself gives one the power to put off the old and put on the new. And, quite legalistic to teach that one must be perfect in all things or they are sinners.
Contrary to this, Paul still identifies the "Spirit" Christ and His Word shows that renewal is by listening to the Spirit through His Word.
The scheme of looking for a person living inside of the body Who will direct the will of mankind misses the fundamental point that the Spirit came in the name of "Jesus" and He identified Himself to Paul as "Jesus of Nazareth." That is, the mental disposition of the Spirit God is made known to the limited mind of mankind through the man Jesus Christ. The fruit of the Spirit is the fruit of Christ:
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; Philippians 1:9
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Philippians 1:10
Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:11
The fruit is the fruit of righteousness and knowledge which is defined as the fruit of light:
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: Ephesians 5:8
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Ephesians 5:9KJV
(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) Ephesians 5:9NIV
It is not some disembodied "spirit" or "guest" or "ghost" Who gives light but it is the Lord Jesus Christ as the only enlightener of the world.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Ephesians 5:14
This light is the understanding which was the nature of the "spirit" which would rest upon Messiah (Isaiah 11:1f):
- Wherefore be ye not unwise,
- but understanding what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:17
- And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;
- but be filled with the Spirit; Ephesians 5:18
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16
Paul did not say: "Don't drink intoxicating wine short of excessive intoxication."
Paul really said: "Don't get intoxicated with wine which is unsaved."
Methusko (g3182) meth-oos'-ko; a prol. (trans.) form of 3184; to intoxicate: - be drunk (-en).
Jesus used that word:
But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink (pino) and get drunk. Lu.12:45
With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries." Re.17:2
Therefore, Paul did not say "don't get too drunk" because any intoxicating wine makes one a LITTLE BIT INTOXICATED. No. Paul did not endorse moderate intoxication.
What, then, is the nature of the wine Paul prohibits when he uses the word "excessive."
Asotia (g810) as-o-tee'-ah; from a comp. of 1 (as a neg. particle) and a presumed der. of 4982; prop. unsavedness, i.e. (by impl.) profligacy: - excess, riot
Sozo (g4982) sode'-zo; from a prim. sos , (contr. for obsol. saos , "safe"); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (lit. or fig.): - heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole
In the New Wineskins parable, preserving the wine means:
Simtereo (g4933) soon-tay-reh'-o; from 4862 and 5083; to keep closely together, i.e. (by impl.) to conserve (from ruin); ment. to remember (and obey): - keep, observe, preserve.
In Colossians 3:16 getting drunk on intoxicants would be like "wasting" the Word. However, preserving the "wine" is equivalent to remembering the Words of Christ and obeying it. Again:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16
Rubel Shelly: Do you remember these words from Jesus? "I am the vine; you are the branches," he said. "If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). At the end of his Allegory of the Vine and Branches,
he added this: "You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit fruit that will last" (John 15:16).
The whole verse reads:
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you,
that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:
that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16
We noted in an earlier review that Dr. Shelly advised that we should be as much like the world as possible so that we might attract the world. However, in the context of this proof-text Jesus said:
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world,
but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:19
The Apostles were chosen to "go preach" and to establish the church. Jesus promised to guide them into all truth as Spirit. This does not apply to those who do not go out. The fruit of these vines would not be intoxicating wine.
And, this is not predestination; Jesus choose these men because they were not of the world. And a sure-fire test of meeting the qualifications for being "attached to the vine" is that the world will hate you:
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord.
If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. John 15:20
But all these things will they do unto you for my names sake, because they know not him that sent me. John 15:21
The "fruit" which comes from preaching to those who have not received it is believers and not some supernatural power.
Rubel Shelly: Instead of being prayerfully possessed of a desire for the fruit of the Spirit, God's people across the ages seem to have been preoccupied instead with the gifts of the Spirit.
And, yes, I believe that both supernatural spiritual gifts and
discovering one's own spiritual gift in ministry today are important biblical subjects.
Even so, I would argue that even the gifts of the Spirit are ultimately aimed at the goal of transformation and holy living.
It seems to me that Paul is saying that the fruit of the Spirit is not the power but the results. And, yes, Paul insisted that if we keep ourselves renewed with the knowledge of Christ then we will know about the need for patience and attempt to acquire it.
Peter shows that the Holy Spirit will not suddenly move in and give spiritual gifts. Rather, using the same idea as the fruit of the "spirit" in Galatians 5:19, Peter conditions the gifts upon our patient addition of this fruit through the application of "spirit" which Jesus said was in and through His Word (John 6:63)
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 2 Peter 1:2
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 2 Peter 1:3
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and (add) to virtue, (add) knowledge; 2 Peter 1:5
And to knowledge, (add) temperance; and to temperance, (add) patience; and to patience, (add) godliness; 2 Peter 1:6
And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. 2 Peter 1:7
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:8
So there you have Peter agreeing with Paul: the gifts of Christ or the Spirit are added by our own purpose. Then, when we have these qualities we will then be fruitful.
After treating a number of doctrinal matters in Ephesians -- including the gifts of the Holy Spirit at 4:11ff Paul expounds on the practical difference sound doctrine should have on Christian character.
These gifts of Christ are NOT said to be "gifts of the Holy Spirit." By insisting that the gifts of the Spirit are given to chosen people even today, and by connecting these gifts by adding to what Paul wrote, we can see how the "new hermeneutic" lusts for the restoration of apostles and prophets and men with "assignments" as great or greater than that of Moses or Jesus.
However, Ephesiahs 4:11ff has its beginning earlier in context. That context is that the gifts are gifts of knowledge or ability and they are the gifts of Christ. Therefore, the statement above is the truth only if Christ is the Spirit or "full Deity" (Col. 2:9).
You need to understand the difference between the we or us and the you.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Ephesians 4:7
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Ephesians 4:8 (In this passage, the giving is past tense)
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? Ephesians 4:9
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) Ephesians 4:10
Or: He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) Ephesians 4:10NIV
This does not apply to you unless you are a supernaturally gifted and chosen person by Christ. And it is pretty hard to think of "three persons" each filling the whole universe!
In keeping with John 14:16-18 Jesus returned as the "another Comforter" and as Spirit fills the whole universe and cannot be literally contained in our literal body of flesh which, if we believe Paul, must be dead.
As opposed to the gifts of the Spirit which come by our conforming our habits to the Mind of Christ, these are not gifts of the Holy Spirit as a separated "person" but they are carefully chosen men all of whom were witnesses of the Resurrected Christ:
It was he (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, Ephesians 4:11
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:12
Rubel Shelly: The fact of religious sectarianism always created by adding to "that which is written" in order to be as much like the world as possible does not mean that there still must be apostles and prophets. This is not "ecumenical union" but the unity of THE FAITH (objective) which was completed by supernaturally gifted men.
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: Ephesians 4:13
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Ephesians 4:14
Rubel Shelly: He conspicuously links the following things with the prospect of grieving the Holy Spirit: sensuality, indulging in impure behaviors, lying, anger, stealing, unwholesome talk (4:17-29). In the light of Dr. Willard's point about discipleship and the kingdom of God, pay particular attention to his words:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. . . . Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love . . . But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. . . . Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 4:30-31; 5:1-2a,3,18).
In the kJV Ephesians 4:30 reads:
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed (preserved) unto the day of redemption. (not "by whom" but whereby) Ephesians 4:30
The belief in what the Spirit of Christ reveals is our seal that we believe in God:
And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. John 3:32
He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. John 3:33
In 2 Corinthians the seal in in the human heart:
Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest (pawn) of the Spirit in our hearts. 2 Corinthians 1:22
This seal is in the mind or heart because it is something believed:
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Ephesians 1:13
When we believe what the Spirit says then the words or knowledge is sealed up in our heart. Speaking to Daniel, God shows how words are sealed or guaranteed by His power:
And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Da.12:9
And Isaiah wrote:
And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: Is.29:11
We grieve the Spirit by not following the instructions of the Spirit which is the Word of Christ (Eph 5//Col 3)
And grieving the Holy Spirit is always associated with the revelation of the Holy Spirit or Christ in the past tense:
How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert Psalm 78:40
What: Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. Psalm 78:41
How: They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. Psalm 78:42
Paul explains the same facts that grieving the Spirit is not resisting some latter-day revelation:
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Hebrews 3:7
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:11
First Corinthians 2 Paul explains the "Holy Ghost" as the Mind of Christ.
Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: Hebrews 3:8
When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Hebrews 3:9
Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. Hebrews 3:10
Rubel Shelly: Sound doctrine reveals itself in renewed character. Not only in Ephesians but also in Romans, Paul traces out this same foundational truth. After eleven chapters of doctrinal instruction about the grace and mercy of God, he makes this turn at chapter twelve and begins exploring moral and spiritual transformation:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer yourselves as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God which is your spiritual worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is his good, pleasing and perfect will (Rom. 12:1-2).
Well, I couldn't find this version of Paul's statement. Rather, Paul said:
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. Romans 12:1
We offer our bodies or soma as living sacrifices. This means that this part of us is burned up on the altar. However, "yourselves" are not consumed but you have to "reckon" yourself dead to external acts.
And consistent with Peter's advice about the "fruit of the Spirit" we have to be transformed from self by "renewing our mind" which is identical to "renewing of the spirit."
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; Ep.4:23
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs,
that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; Ph.1:27
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 2Th.2:2
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2Ti.1:7
Rubel Shelly: Or, in our text for today from Galatians, Paul pleads for his readers to reject a lifestyle of license leading to "acts of the sinful nature" -- sexual immorality, hatred, fits of rage, drunkenness, etc. and to live instead by the power of God's indwelling Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-25).
Because Christ is now in Spirit Form He is the Spirit and His Mind or Spirit is available to us through His words which He said was Spirit and Life (John 6:63). Furthermore, in our teaching, Paul equated the Spirit to the Word of Christ.
Therefore, it is fatal to dissociate the fruit of the Spirit from the fruit of Christ.
We Are "Under Orders" from God
Rubel Shelly: In these biblical texts, Paul clearly affirms that a lack of this ninefold fruit of the Spirit negates one's claim to be a Christian and makes his or her service to the Lord empty and without profit.
What Jesus says is that "teaching for doctrine the commandments of men" is what makes worship empty and vain. There is never a hint that falling short of the mark in one of the nine "fruits" invalidates ones Christianity. This is clearly, rank legalism.
Along with the absolutism of discipleship to the "core" gospel of seven facts about Jesus we now have the absolutes of the fruit of the Spirit. However, we have shown that the fruit of the Spirit comes by following the Word as Spirit and life. Peter shows that fruit is not tested as we might test a pear tree:
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; 2 Peter 1:5
And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; 2 Peter 1:6
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Now, Dr. Shelly says that if we don't have all nine of them we are not a Christian.
I am often impatient: have I committed the unforgivable sin?
Rubel Shelly: Do you think it is possible for someone to make a false claim to be a Christian? Do you believe one can fake a spiritual gift by carnal efforts? I suspect most of us would say "Yes" to these questions. For example, a new book about John Lennon claims the ex-Beatle declared himself saved and a Christian back in 1977. He peppered his speech with "Praise the Lord!" and "Thank you, Jesus!" It lasted about two weeks, according to Robert Rosen. At the end of this brief stint of Christian vocabulary and perhaps even a song written during that time, Lennon went back to astrology, tarot-card readers, and psychics. And people from Marjoe to fallen televangelists have gotten away with preaching like prophets while living as backsliders.
What can't be faked is authentic Christian character over time. And genuine transformation of a person's heart and life is a work of the Spirit of God to which every saved person is commanded to submit.
Think about it: There is no command in the Bible to be indwelt by, baptized by, or gifted by the Spirit. These are gifts to receive, not commands to obey. But there is a command about being filled with the Spirit.
It was contained in a text read earlier: "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 4:18).
Is the first part of this verse a command? If so, why would anyone miss the fact that the second part is as well? C.H. Spurgeon commented on this text: "This is not a promise to claim. This is a command to obey."
Granted, Paul is writing to people who have already been baptized, who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and who have the Spirit indwelling them. So what is his point? What is he commanding?
We can't have "more of" the Holy Spirit because he is a person and enters us in totality. But he does want more of our minds, feelings, and behaviors under divine control. Paul wanted his readers -- then and now -- to stop resisting and grieving the Holy Spirit.
"This God is never called a person. The word person was never applied to God in the Middle ages. The reason for this is that the three members of the Godhead were called personae (faces or countenances): The Father is persona, the Son is persona, and the Spirit is persona. Persona here means a special characteristic of the divine ground, expressing itself in an independent hypostasis. Thus, we can say that it was the nineteenth century which made God into a person, with the result that the greatness of the classical idea of God was destroyed by this way of speaking... but to speak of God as a person would have been heretical for the Middle Ages; it would have been to them a Unitarian heresy, because it would have conflicted with the statement that God has three personae, three expressions of his being. (Tillich, Paul, A History of Christian Thought, p. 190)
Rubel Shelly: "Just as some people abandon themselves to the intoxicating powers of alcohol," Paul says, "you must learn to live under the influence of divine intoxication.
No one gets drunk except as he imbibes and comes under the control of some strong drink,
and no one becomes spiritual until he drinks deeply at the fountain of the Spirit.
While Rubel Shelly "pulls his punches" we have noted elsewhere that in one short speech he identifies drinking wine as a second order fellowship issue ten times. And even though he will not personally judge you by your "leaps and bounds" he nevertheless uses the words of Toronto Blessings. However.
This Web Site notes: Of the toronto blessing and being "drunk in the spirit" "Pastor Randy Clark shares that it was hard for him to enter into this experience because of his non-drinking background, and then says "... but my worship leader's a recovering alcoholic. Man, he can get right in there." So being a recovering alcoholic enables you to enter more deeply into the power of the Holy Spirit?"
What an insult to a Holy God, to attribute drunken behavior to His Holy Spirit! While the Bible never refers to being 'drunk in the Spirit', it contains numerous condemnations of drunkenness, and it does refer to spiritual drunkenness as a judgment from God. Consider the following passages:
I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury... Isaiah 63:6 NKJ
"...Thus says the Lord: "Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land…with drunkenness! "And I will dash them one against another...(I) will destroy them" Jeremiah 13:13-14 NKJV
"And they will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword I will send among them." Jeremiah 25:16 NKJV
'Therefore you shall say to them, "Thus says the God of Israel: "Drink, be drunk, and vomit! Fall and rise no more..."' Jeremiah 25:27 NKJV
Paul absolutely never said any such thing. What Paul said was:
And be not drunk (intoxicate) with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Ephesians 5:18
On the other hand, filled is the Greek:
Pleroo (g4137) play-ro'-o; from 4134; to make replete i.e. (lit.) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (fig.) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: - accomplish, * after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfill, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.
This word is most often used of fulfilled:
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Mt.1:22 (which was the Spirit of Christ 1 Pet 1:11)
It is difficult to charge the Spirit with recommending that we be intoxicated with the Holy Spirit Person filling up our bodys as anything short of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit or Mind of Christ. Paul used the word:
Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Ph.1:11
How in the name of all that is holy can one be "drunk" or "intoxicated" with the fruits of righteousness?
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; Col.1:9
How could you be "drunk on the spirit" and obey Paul's command for "singing"?
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (fill you) in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Col 3:16
The same Paul used the idea of filling up with knowledge, filling up with the word of Christ and being filled with the Spirit:
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Ephesians 5:18
And Paul was instructed by the Spirit of Christ Who said:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63
Now about the "water of the Word"
In the Feast of Tabernacles the Jews had created a giant fertility ritual where all of the "men of note" showcased their talent in sermons, songs, instruments, dances, poems and sermons. Jesus refused to participate in this which included the "festival of drawing water."
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. John 7:37
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (heart) shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:39
Singing to the Gentiles and pouring out water is done solely through teaching the Words of Christ unto the Gentiles, the people or the nations:
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:3
And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Isaiah 12:4
Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Isaiah 12:5
Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. Isaiah 12:6
Alfred Edersheim notes, "they applied, in reference to Christ, what was regarded as one of the chief ceremonies of the Feast of Tabernacles,
praying that God would now from 'the highest' heavens manifest and send that salvation in connection with the Son of David, which was symbolized by the pouring out of water.
For though that ceremony was considered by the Rabbis as bearing a subordinate reference to the dispensation of the rain, the annual fall of which they imagined was determined by God at that feast, its main and real application was to the future outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as predicted--probably in allusion to this very rite--by Isaiah the prophet (Isa 12:3). Alfred Edersheim, Chapter 14
They were so drunk on ignorance, real wine and their Seeker Friendly services that while they were asking for salvation they were plotting the murder of their Messiah.
Rubel Shelly: So with mind, will, and passions, surrender your entire being. Just as you have been 'born from above,'
now you must offer yourself to God so that you can think 'from above,' speak 'from above,' and live 'from above.'
People can tell when someone has had too much wine;
they can also tell when someone is captivated by the Spirit.
Because the Mind of Christ is the Holy Spirit of God, don't we learn to act and speak from above by listening to the Word "as it has been delivered to you?" We noted in a previous sermon review that Dr. Shelly believes that God speaks explicitly to us. However, the Scriptures always call us back to that which we have heard:
They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry. Zec.7:12
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 1 Peter 1:11
To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. Isaiah 8:20
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2Pe.1:19
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10
No, she isn't perfect -- but she is growing. She is becoming more spiritual in attitudes and desires, in thinking and speaking. People around her are noticing that something has changed."
But Doctor Shelly has just said above:
In these biblical texts, Paul clearly affirms that a lack of this ninefold fruit of the Spirit negates one's claim to be a Christian and makes his or her service to the Lord empty and without profit.
A major theme in Paul's theology is the contrast and conflict between sarx ("flesh," KJV; "sinful nature," NIV) and pneuma ("Spirit").
Sarx is everything about a human being that is opposed to God and holiness;
it is everything I am apart from God and in rebellion against him. Sarx is the precise opposite to being a Christian.
Thus Paul wrote: "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sarx. . . . I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my sarx a slave to the law of sin. . . . Those who live according to their sarx have their minds set on what sarx desires . . . Those controlled by sarx cannot please God" (Rom. 7:18a,25b; 8:5,8).
Sarx -- though translated "flesh" in the King James Version -- isn't your bodily frame. Paul's point is not that your brain, tongue, and hands can't be used by God for holy purposes. They can be holy but will be used for evil so long as hostile-to-God sarx is making the decisions and pursuing its agenda.
Well, it is also translated flesh in the RSV, NAS and NKJV.
We believe that Paul is illustrating the battle between HIS physical body and HIS spirit. If Paul means that we should sacrifice or "burn up" our body so that we can live spiritually then we must no upset his "sermon":
In its primary sense: Sarc (g4561) sarx; prob. from the base of 4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food),
or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul [or spirit], or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred),
or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties [phys. or mor.] and passions), or (spec.) a human being (as such): - carnal (-ly, / -ly minded), flesh ([- ly]).
Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; Romans 1:3
This certainly is not the "carnal nature" of the Son of God!
For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: Romans 2:28
These same members can be yielded for good or evil and cannot therefore be our carnal nature:
I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. Romans 6:19
Paul also uses flesh for the external rituals of the Law:
For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. Ro.7:5
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. Ro.7:18
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Ro.7:25
Paul still says that nothing good lives in my flesh, bones and blood body. Therefore, the Holy Spirit because spirit means "mental disposition" does not indwell the body but the mind or our own spirit.
For instance, the musical worship which Dr. Shelly promotes so fondly is a way to physically stimulate (manipulate, facilitate) every nerve ending in the human body. Touch your fingers to your hand and you will see that the "music" which God identifies as noise is massaging every sensor of the flesh. As a result, we create morphine-like endorphins which literally heals the damage to our bodies with a little left over for the peddler of the Word to sell to you as the Spirit Person living in your human flesh.
Now, God is not going to save our "carnal natures" but our body, soul and spirit:
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elects sake those days shall be shortened. Mt.24:22
Even of Himself, Jesus said:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jn.6:63
But there is a power great enough to take mind, heart, and body away from its base control and give them to God's glory. Human willpower is not enough, but the powerful Holy Spirit is more than enough. When we were saved,
God sent the Holy Spirit into our hearts crying "Abba, Father" and to testify with our spirits that we are no longer Satan's pawns but are now God's children. In that gift of the Holy Spirit, a beachhead for righteousness was established. Now we must obey heaven's call to surrender completely and be filled with the Spirit.
We have written a series on Romans 8. The term "the Holy Spirit" is not once mentioned in Romans chapter eight. Rather, Paul shows the conflict between our bodies and our Spirits. It is not the "Holy Spirit Person" living inside of the body but "the spirit of sonship." Now, the spirit of fear is not a person but a mental disposition. Click for Number One of the Series.
Paul pointed to the difference made by our capitulation to the Spirit's presence and wrote: "Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. . . . You, however, are controlled not by your sarx but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. . . . Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-- but it is not to our sarx, to live according to it. For if you live according to sarx, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God" (Rom. 8:5b,8a,12-14).
We have our minds set on what the Spirit desires when we understand what the Spirit revealed (past tense) to us. Again, the Holy Spirit is not once mentioned in Romans 8.
If you are going to get past the bumper-sticker excuses for your weaknesses into the fulness of life in God's strength, you must abandon yourself to the indwelling Spirit so he can do his work in you. Just as you recognize and have confessed that
Jesus Christ is Lord over heaven and earth, you must acknowledge it in your heart and life by holiness
that is empowered by his Holy Spirit who represents him.
But Paul said:
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily Col 2:9
No. The Holy Spirit is not the AGENt of Jesus!
To the Apostles Jesus said:
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14: 17
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14: 18
Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. John 14: 19
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. John 14: 20
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. John 14: 21
The Holy Spirit was not the third person as an agent of the second person. Rather, Jesus was "another" in that He was "more of the same thing" by existing in Spirit form. When the Lord appeared to Paul He did not say, "I am the agent" but "I am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest."
The Holy Guest has been present in you from the day of your conversion, but is he president?
Dr. Shelly teaches that the Holy Spirit is like a poltergeist because he translates the word "geist" into "guest." However, we noted that Ghost implies the "spirit" of a now-dead person and is usually a grand troublemaker even as the "friendly ghost."
41. We can, if it is thought proper, speak briefly of the Lares also, whom the mass think to be the gods of streets and ways, because the Greeks name streets laurae. In different parts of his writings,
Nigidius speaks of them now as the guardians of houses and dwellings; now as the Curetes,
who are said to have once concealed, by the clashing of cymbals, the infantile cries of Jupiter; now the five Digiti Samothracii, who, the Greeks tell us, were named Idoei Dactyli. Varro, with like hesitation, says at one time that they are the Manes,
and therefore the mother of the Lares was named Mania; at another time, again, he maintains that they are gods of the air, and are termed heroes; at another, following the opinion of the ancients, he says that the Lares are ghosts, as it were a kind of tutelary demon, spirits of dead men.
You possess him, but does he possess you? Is he dormant or dominant in you? The fruit test of Galatians 5:22-23 is your guide for answering these questions.
When Father as Spirit indwelled Jesus as Son He had no alternative but to speak what He heard from the Father Whom Jesus said was "with Him." If the Holy Spirit is a divine "person" and literally makes us a second incarnation there would be no contest--we would obey God within our bodies. However, since the Mind of Christ lives in our mind our bodies still kick against the pricks.
Are you filled with the Spirit of God? Don't tell me about an exhilarating moment in your life. Don't tell me about a worship time -- public or private -- in which you felt the movement of the Spirit. Don't tell me about a language you spoke or an insight you received. Tell me about the character defect God has refined, the addiction he has broken, or the evil desire he has lessened. Show me the fruit of the Spirit in your life.
Is Dr. Shelly climbing down from the earlier position that a Musical Worship Facilitator can help "lead the worshiper into the presence of God?" We hope so.
Don't tell me how high you've jumped; tell me instead of how much straighter you are walking in the Spirit's strength. Don't wave the leafy branches of your spiritual gifts, but show me instead the fruit of God's abiding presence. That is the work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian's life. It is the work he does for all who desire, submit to, and yield to the indwelling Spirit. Never resist, grieve, or quench that work in your life, for it is the only path to righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit.
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