Rom. 12:1-2, “I beseech [to call aside, appeal to by way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort or instruction] you therefore [read Rom. 8:39], by [proceeding and passing out] the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable [well pleasing] unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed [read 1 Peter 1:13-14] to this world: but be ye transformed [transfigured – read Matt. 17;2] by the renewing [read Titus 3:5] of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect [that which has reached its end – mature], will of God”. “Renewing” as used above suggest a renovation, restoration, transformation, and a change of heart and life. It indicates a complete change for the better, an adjustment of one’s moral and spiritual vision. It stresses the work of the Holy Spirit in transforming the life.
In being a people living in today’s world, it puts this people in a world of increasing change. The mental mind-sets affecting every arena of life, for the most part, bring this change as they promote what the world calls “a better way of life”. But, is this a true statement? Even as the media of our day shouts out its particular agenda, their deceptiveness robs, steals and kills the people concerning living a true God given “way of life”. Meanwhile, it seems that in some circles, even those promoting their own agendas, they are finding themselves growing more and more dissatisfied. This dissatisfaction causes these to search even harder for that so-called “better way of life”. In this continual search the seemingly answers become more deceptive and evil, even criminal in some of their actions. Where then is this “better way of life”, could it be found again in the place where humankind left it? That is, back in the arms of the God humanity left behind in all their searching.
While humankind in general spends much of their time looking for answers through the ability of the natural, intellectual carnal mind, note as we consider the Apostle Paul. A revelation exposes the fact that Saul and as well as others were chosen to be in Christ before the foundation of the world, chosen for God’s use. Eph. 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all [every] spiritual [things applying to the divine sphere] blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:” These verses confirm that God has chosen a people for each purposed Godly order, to come forth according to that purpose. That is a people to become the expression of Christ in the earth that God might be glorified.
Therefore, Saul, like much of the Christian community today had a natural birthing with God’s call placed upon him. This call, even before his natural birth, was to become the driving influence of his life from that birth. However, Saul misappropriated it by going in another self-appointed direction. Birthed as Saul, he was motivated to fulfill this call while misunderstanding and misdirecting God’s true purpose. Like Saul, the Christian community of today, which they call the church, has after its glorious beginning, likewise fallen into an order of misappropriating God’s true purpose. Like Saul, they have become the enemy of God in that they zealously war against God’s true purpose. The church has followed a path much like the former Saul as they follow fleshly laws in trying to please God according to their faulty understanding of the call God placed upon them. Phil. 3:4-7, “Though I [Paul] might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eight day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church [called out ones]; Touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me [things of the law being promoted by and for fleshly gain], these I counted loss for Christ.”
Saul, striving to fulfill God’s call and purpose, like the Christian community of today that spends a great amount of their energy striving to fulfill and do only what Holy Spirit can do. That is, by trying to be righteous in their own strength they are becoming an enemy of God’s true church. God’s church is His purposed spiritual womb to receive the Christ-seed within as well as become the visible manifestation of Christ in the earth. The Christian community like Saul needs to know the experience of a Damascus road to have their eyes open to the truth of Jesus Christ and who He really is. Gal. 1:11-16a, “But I [Paul] certify [make known or declare to] you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after [according to] man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation [unveiling, manifestation] of Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my conversation [manner of life] in time past in the Jews religion, how that beyond measure [excess] I persecuted the church [the called out and separated ones] of God, and wasted it. And profited in the Jews religion [carnal church] above many my equals in mine own nation [denomination or religious group] being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal [to unveil so as to be visible to the eye] His Son to me…”
Therefore, Saul, now becoming the Apostle Paul finally came to the time of his awakening, a knowing of God’s true call from before the foundation of the world. Liken unto Saul, the modern day church needs an awakening concerning understandings and revelations given only by and through the Holy Spirit. These awakenings come not through man’s natural intellect promoted by much study. However, by revelation, given from God and received as the Holy Spirit awakens the vessel to see by the life of the Son of God, which becomes alive and real within them. What today’s modern church needs is a Damascus road experience. That is, though blinded by the law of sin and death to experience an awakening, a renewing of sight unto the spiritual realms of God and seeing His true purpose.
Remember, Saul, called of God before the foundation of the world but one who sought God through all the wrong avenues. He tried to please God through much learning and works of the flesh. That is, he followed the laws of carnal commandments. So needing a change, a change did come as he finally met the true Savoir, the true Messiah. Herein Saul became Paul to fulfill his God purposed ministry. What about the church of today, do they truly know the Savoir, the Messiah or like Saul do they pursue God after the law of carnal commandments, trying to please God through all the wrong methods?
Scripture makes it very plain in giving understanding to the human race. Two men spoken of in scripture can represent the human race. These representatives are the first Adam, made from the dust of the earth and called by God “the Son of God” but he never qualified. The last Adam, the “word made flesh” is “the Son of God”. The human race then can only qualify or be made “sons of God” by and through the last Adam, Jesus Christ. Herein, the newborn Christian becomes a true Christian as he becomes a new man in and only in Christ Jesus.
Now let us note God’s order of things as He progressively completes His eternal purpose when speaking creation into existence. 1 Cor. 15:44-45a, “It [the body] is sown a natural [sensual] body [fallen Adam]; it is raised a spiritual [applies to things in the Divine sphere, in contrast with that which is natural, that is becoming supernatural] body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul: …” With man made up of spirit, soul and body, understanding declares the soul as made up of mind, will, emotions and desires. The soul then becomes the expression of man’s spiritual condition rather alive in Christ or dead (separated) from God. That which is man’s spirit is the “me” of the man; in essence, the spirit from within the man expresses itself through the soul.
Herein God gives a necessary understanding that the immortal, indestructible part of man’s existence manifests the condition of man’s spirit unto and through the soul. The condition of the soul then expresses itself through the body while holding the body and spirit together. This triune makeup of the man is the manifesting character of that man. This also reveals that the man who looses his body of expression, it may disappear while the soul and spirit, the essential personality continues to live. This soul and spirit personality shall one day know a resurrection. This resurrection speaks of another body, a new body to manifest the spirit and soul of the man again. John 5:28-29, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto resurrection of life [the opposite of death, eternal life in activity, in all manifestations]; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [judgment]”. This is not a resurrection of the spirit and soul but of the body, for the personality of the spirit and soul never dies.
In considering the “living soul” spoken of in 1 Cor. 15:45 above, the “living soul” speaks of the man expressing from him the purpose for which God designed him. God’s design was for the manifestation of God’s likeness and image, being a moral creature created to rule the earth, the air, and the sea. However, in this rulership we should note that the man was not to rule of himself. This created man was to know rulership by God and Him alone. Fallen man is to allow himself to leave behind the natural life and become a spiritual life by maintaining obedience to God. This means that humanity is to develop in a progressive manner, increasing until transfigured by the presence of an indwelling God, which is to say, a life with no death. A life never separated from God as the first Adam who refused release from the natural life to gain a spiritual life, a Christ life living in dominion over self. Herein, Adam introduced unto the formed man humanity (a fallen condition – hued down man) and the heritage of sin. Rom. 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin [moral failure, failing to measure up to God’s purpose for the individual] entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned [in Adam]”.
At Adam’s fall, his nature, now transformed from loving God to loving the things of the world and self. Herein the man lost his right to have dominion over the earth, sea and air. With sin permeating his being, man’s connection with God was gone, his disposition, his self-realization and desire for self had taken God’s place. Now man’s connection with God is one of separation. His dwelling place was at one with a sin nature, the essential nature of sin being man’s claim to rule self. In ruling himself, man’s rights fell to carnal minded cravings that make man a prisoner to the flesh. In this as a natural man, the man will always remain natural, a fleshly state of being, unless he becomes one that is born again. John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born again [engender from above by Divine power] he cannot see [not the mere act of looking, but the actual perception of the object] the kingdom of God”.
Again, we must affirm that man, purposed and made from the earth, was to manifest the glory of God. 1 Cor. 15:47-49, “The first man is of the earth earthy [natural man]. The second man is the Lord from heaven [spiritual man]. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly [celestial, divine, perfect], such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly”. Take note that the body which so many despise and abuse is created to be the temple of God. Man’s greater sin is refusing to sacrifice the body’s natural carnal nature at the time of God’s call. Sin is the disposition that rules the body but man can know deliverance from it. Rom. 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man [Adam sin nature] is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin”. In this, God course of action was to instill His purpose within the fallen man to complete His creative purpose. A family of people made into God’s likeness and image. In this truth, let us look and see what God has done.
To Be Continued