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God is Light (7) The Fruit of the Light
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쏤or you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth(Ephesians 5:8-9). ...
       
 
  
 

Series on "The Message of the Cross" – (21)

Manmin News   No. 94
12869
April 30, 2007


This Mystery is Great

"FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church" (Ephesians 5:31-32).

The ultimate purpose for which we believe in Jesus Christ and come to church is to receive salvation and gain eternal life. Yet, many Christians think that salvation is theirs as long as they attend church even as they do not live by the Word.
Remembering that God does not give us salvation on account of our confession of the lips but when we walk in the light and in the truth (1 John 1:5-7), we must possess true faith that is accompanied by deeds. How, then, can we have true faith?

The Spiritual Significance of "This Mystery is Great"

Ephesians 5:31-32 tells us, "FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church."
Everyone in the world knows that "A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH." Yet, the Bible tells us that "This mystery is great" because the verses above refer not to marriage but to the relationship of Christians and the Lord their groom.
How great and marvelous a mystery is that we are to leave the world behind and become one with Jesus Christ just as a man and a woman leave their parents and form one flesh? Now, how can we actually become one with the Lord?

1.Receiving the Holy Spirit when Accepting Jesus Christ by Faith

As Adam, the first man created had committed the sin of disobedience against God, every one of his descendants had been a slave to sin subject to the authority of the enemy devil before accepting Jesus Christ (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8).
Yet, people who accept Jesus Christ become God's children and when they become one with Jesus Christ by faith, they receive the Holy Spirit.
As John 3:6 reminds us, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," when the Holy Spirit comes into our heart, our previously dead spirit is revived and He allows us to give birth to spirit. Here, the expression "that which is born of the Spirit" refers to our taking after of the Lord as we fill our heart with the knowledge of the truth. As people who thus give birth to spirit become the children of God who Himself is spirit, they can call Him, "Father" (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).
Let us delve a little deeper into the heart of man so that we may better understand the process in which God's children, after receiving the Holy Spirit, give birth to spirit by the Holy Spirit.
First, the heart of man can be divided into the obviously truthful heart and the obviously untruthful heart; we will call the former "a white heart" and the latter "a black heart."
As God breathed into the nostrils of the first man created His breath of life, the man was now in possession of the seed of life. As God planted truth in his heart, the truth that covered Adam's seed of life became his spirit and his heart.
After the passing of time, Adam sinned and his communication with God was severed and, taking advantage of this, the enemy devil and Satan did their work in Adam and planted in him such untruths as sin, evil, wrongdoing, and lawlessness.
Then another kind of heart, conscience, was formed. Conscience is created with the nature an individual inherits as the basis along with a wide variety of information he has seen and heard from birth is built on that basis. Each individual has created and possesses his or her own standards of values and judgments that are mixed with both truths and untruths, and this is conscience. Therefore, conscience of one person varies from that of another person and from still another person from a different time period.
Among the three types of heart discussed – the truthful heart, the untruthful heart, and conscience – the truthful heart which God had planted in man has become nearly depleted and people's conscience is growing increasingly evil in our own time.

2.When the Holy Spirit Becomes One with the Seed of Life in Our Heart

The seed of life God had first given man could operate as the man communicated with God and was supplied with the truth by God. On account of Adam's sin, however, mankind's communication with God was severed, the untruths entered man's heart and gradually covered the seed of life.
Now that the seed of life, after being covered by the untruth, became inactive, the scope of its activity increasingly shrank, rendered completely helpless, and became as though it had died. The state in which the communication with God became severed and the seed of life became defunct and inactive is referred to as "the death of the spirit of man." This is the same as how a plant, even if seemingly appears to be dead, can bud and grow eventually as long as there is life remaining in it.
When does the dead spirit of man revive? It comes back to life when we receive the Holy Spirit. When an individual is preached the Gospel, the light of God and the light of life and truth will shine upon his heart. At that time, the truthful and good heart still remaining in him accept the light and receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. Then God sends to his heart the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit becomes one with the seed of life in the person's heart.
When the seed of life unites with the Holy Spirit, it wriggles and becomes active. The communication with God that had been severed since Adam's sinning commences and he is again supplied with the knowledge of the truth. His heart that had been filled with such untruths as hatred, arrogance, quarreling, temper, and adultery becomes filled with such truths as love, serving of others, and making peace.

3.Transforming into a Man of Spirit Who Can Now Even Discard the Untruths in His Heart

This is the process in which an individual gives birth to spirit by the Holy Spirit and the most essential element in this process is prayer. As much as he prays in earnest and with diligence, he will receive from above God's grace and strength, and discard the untruths from his heart.
No matter how fervently he may pray, however, the person's prayer will be in vain unless he destroys his own life of thoughts and speculations. The Holy Spirit will govern the truthful heart and cause the person to live in pursuit of the desires of the Holy Spirit but Satan, by working through the person's soul – his thoughts – will govern the person's untruthful heart. When there is much untruth, the person will be influenced in his thoughts by Satan before becoming influenced in his heart by the Holy Spirit, and this will cause him to live in accordance with the desires of the flesh and place him on the path to destruction.
No matter how much truth the individual may hear and how fervently he may pray, without discarding of fleshly thoughts and speculations, he will not be able to live by the desires of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 10:5). His heart will feel empty and be in conflict, and the person will not be able to have clear and obvious experiences of God's works.
Even if he has discarded the untruthful heart from within, that will not be the end of his trials; he will have to work to discover and remove the evil – the sinful attributes hidden deep in his nature – from in his conscience. Conscience (which had been elaborated earlier) will now form the person's nature and this is the heart of great depths of which the person himself is not aware.
Untruths in a person's nature are not in agreement with God's righteousness but appear correct and proper in his sight, and for this reason it is not easy to discover and discard them on his own. By allowing each person to discover untruths in his nature through trials, God molds him into His holy vessels. Job, "a man of integrity," was subject to trials in order for him to become aware of his own righteousness in his nature and discard them.
When you discover yourself with diligence as you hear His Word in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to discard untruths from your nature all the more quickly. If you think God's Word applies only to others and is unable to compare and measure yourself against it, the development of your faith will be slow. However, if you discover from within even the untruths in your nature and discard them, you will be transformed into a man of spirit who has become wholly sanctified.

4.Enjoying Blessings without Restraint Upon Becoming One with the Lord

When we give birth to spirit by the Holy Spirit, discard all untruths that are in conflict with the truth, shatter our own righteousness, and become the truthful heart itself, we will be one with the Lord.
1 John 2:12 onward has likened the levels of the maturity of faith (Romans 12:3) – the process in which an individual becomes one with the Lord – to the growth of a human being.
The level of faith at which the person has accepted Jesus Christ, received the Holy Spirit, and gained salvation is referred to as "the faith of little children." The level of faith at which one strives to walk by the truth is referred to as "the faith of children" while the level of faith at which he lives by God's Word is referred to as "the faith of young men." When the faith grows even further and attains the full measure of faith, it will be "the faith of fathers."
When we enter the level of faith of fathers and wholly become one with the Lord, we will receive anything we ask Him in prayer as "our heart does not condemn us" and thus "have confidence before God" (1 John 3:21-22).

Brothers and sisters in Christ, with today's message, may each of you diligently give birth to spirit by the Holy Spirit and wholly become one with the Lord so that you will lead a blessed life in this world as well as in New Jerusalem, the most glorious in all of heaven, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!


 

 

 
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