GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
From the week ending 9/05/04
The Doctrine of Spiritual Metabolism. Part 2.
2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Point 2: The first step begins with the believer’s free will.
1. The believer must make a decision to not forsake assembling together, as HEB 10:25 teaches, “Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus in EPH 3:18, “That you may be able to comprehend in the presence of all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth.” Gathering together is very important in the Church-age because it unites God’s people and enables them to serve the Body of Christ.
2. Gathering together must be done under the filling of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit must control your life because He is the real teacher of doctrine and the one who metabolizes it for you.
3. Once the human spirit receives the teaching, the believer automatically understands it as knowledge (gnosis). Once we receive gnosis, our volition must make a decision. Rejection of doctrine is rejection of the food we need for spiritual energy and to be spiritually strengthened. The believer who fails to metabolize doctrine will be a victim of Satan’s cosmic systems. Metabolized doctrine will change your life now and give you advantages you never dreamed of in eternity.
4. It is only when gnosis is transformed into epignosis that the believer can receive the momentum to keep going,2CO 4:7.
The power comes from the Bible doctrine and God the Holy Spirit EPH 1:15-23, HEB 4:12, Acts 1:8. When you make positive faith decisions toward doctrine, the Holy Spirit transfers gnosis into epignosis. If you reject the doctrine, you will only have gnosis. Metabolism is the process between gnosis and epignosis. A pastor can only take you as far as your volition. He cannot give you wisdom; he can only give you knowledge, JER 3:15. You must take the personal responsibility for your own personal life. When gnosis doctrine is at the entrance of your soul, the mind, it is up to you whether you will let it in or not. God the Holy Spirit has made it clear to you; the question is, are you going to resist it? Food on the table is not energy for the body until it is assimilated and taken in.
Metabolism converts food into energy just as spiritual metabolism converts spiritual food into spiritual energy. Doctrine is spiritual food, and it is at the point of metabolism that doctrine becomes spiritual energy. Christian production is a result of spirituality, not the means, and doctrine is the power and energy that the Christian uses to produce divine good. Evil and legalism are the human power that negative believers use to produce human good. Once doctrine is metabolized it becomes momentum in the Christian life.
Point 3: God’s grace provisions for the metabolization of Bible doctrine. Grace guarantees that God has provided everything necessary for the believer to assimilate Bible doctrine. In logistical grace, God provides:
1. Life, JOB 33:4. You are alive right now courtesy of the grace of God.
2. A local assembly, HEB 10:25. This means a classroom, even if you are not under face-to-face teaching.
3. Your right pastor-teacher, EPH 4:11-12. Not the one that is closest to you or gives you the most attention, but one who feeds you the Word of God.
4. Volition, GAL 6:7. Everything necessary for you to make your own daily decisions for doctrine.
5. Time, EPH 5:16. If you do not have enough time during the day to study Bible doctrine, you are deceived by Satan and the kingdom of darkness.
6. A plan, EPH 2:10.
7. Human spirit, TIT 3:5. The grace provision of the human spirit makes possible the understanding of doctrine and gives us the capacity for an unlimited spiritual I.Q.
8. The Holy Spirit as your Mentor, JOH 14:26.
Point 4: The mentorship of the Holy Spirit related to spiritual metabolism. In JOH 14:26 we read, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” In JOH 14:16-17, the Lord gave His disciples a prophecy: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper [parakleton], that He may be with you forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world is not able to receive, because they neither see Him nor do they know Him, but you know Him because He lives with you, and will be in you.” This Greek word parakleton means a helper or counselor, someone who can instill wisdom into your soul-a perfect illustration of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit during the metabolization of Bible doctrine.
The phrase “because He lives with you” describes the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the disciples during the dispensation of the hypostatic union. This was the most intimate ministry of God the Holy Spirit to human beings prior to the Church-age. Then we have the phrase “and He will be in you,” which describes the ministry of the Holy Spirit to Church-age believers. Every member of the Trinity indwells every believer during the Church-age.
The mentorship of the Holy Spirit is part of the three spiritual skills. The filling of the Holy Spirit is the first power option and the first spiritual skill in the spiritual life. Without the filling of the Spirit you do not have the power to live the Christian way of life. It is the filling of the Spirit that converts human I.Q. into spiritual I.Q., so that we have equality to learn spiritual phenomena. The spiritual I.Q., provided by our Mentor, is the equal opportunity under divine control of the spiritual birth and the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit. This God-given equality is based on at least forty benefits we receive at salvation, including the two power options, the three spiritual skills, and our portfolio of invisible assets.
The second power option and the second spiritual skill is the metabolized doctrine circulating in your stream of consciousness through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. The more you learn doctrine, the more doctrine will be circulating in your stream of consciousness, which has seven compartments, (1) the frame of reference, (2) the memory center, (3) vocabulary storage, (4) categorical storage, (5) the conscience, (6) the momentum department, and (7) the wisdom department.
The third spiritual skill is the problem-solving devices deployed on the FLOT line of the soul (military acronym for the forward line of troops). From the combination of the first two power options comes the execution of the predesigned plan of God, beginning with the deployment of problem-solving devices on the FLOT line of the soul. You can now meet any situation in life and solve your problems in the privacy of your own soul.
The deity of God the Holy Spirit is God is very clear in ACT 5:1, “But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God.'”
The titles of the Holy Spirit also prove that He is God-(1) Spirit of God, GEN 1:2, MAT 3:16, (2) Spirit of the Lord,LUK 4:18, (3) Spirit of Jehovah, JUD 3:10, (4) Spirit of the Lord God, ISA 61:1, (5) Spirit of the living God, 2CO 3:3, (6) “My Spirit,” Gen 6:3, (7) Spirit of our God, 1CO 6:11, (8) the Lord, the Spirit, 2Co 3:18, (9) eternal Spirit, HEB 9:14, (10) Spirit of glory, 1PE 4:14, and (11) Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, ROM 8:2. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit must be distinguished from the filling of the Holy Spirit, which is the function of the Holy Spirit empowering your spiritual life. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer’s body for a number of reasons:
1.To guarantee great blessings from the function of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3.To provide a permanent base for the Holy Spirit’s availability as your Mentor and the agent for metabolizing doctrine.
The indwelling of the Spirit is also permanent and is not effected by experiential status. The indwelling of the Spirit is never mandated because it is unchangeable and permanent, whether the believer is carnal or spiritual, winner or loser. At the moment of salvation, your soul is filled with the Holy Spirit (the Holy Spirit controlling the soul), but when personal sin takes place, the filling of the Spirit is replaced by sin nature control of your soul. Therefore, the filling of the Spirit is mandated in EPH 5:18. The command of GAL 5:16 to “keep walking by means of the Spirit” is the function of the spiritual life, which comes from metabolizing Bible doctrine. In the filling of the Spirit, He controls the soul. As our mentor, the filling of the Holy Spirit provides the power for the spiritual life and the basis for teaching us the Word of God.
In 1CO 2:9-11, we read, “But just as it is written, ‘Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But to us [for our benefit] God has revealed them through the agency of the Spirit; for the Spirit investigates all things, even the deep things [such as our portfolio of invisible assets, the mystery doctrine of the Church-age, the angelic conflict, etc.] from God. For who among mankind understands the thoughts of mankind except the spirit [the soul-pneuma] that is in him? Even so the message from God no one has known except the Holy Spirit from God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God.” Apart from the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit, the believer is helpless to understand and execute the predesigned plan of God. It is the soul of man that thinks and understands the thoughts within him; the real you is your soul.
It was only after God the Holy Spirit became their Mentor that the Lord’s disciples could truly understand the Word of God. This is why our Lord said in JOH 16:12, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” No one can understand the Word of God apart from the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit, 1Co 2:13-14. The unbeliever cannot understand the doctrines of the Spirit of God, because he does not have a human spirit. God the Holy Spirit must make the Gospel understandable as spiritual phenomena, and as our Mentor He teaches us Bible doctrine.
God the Holy Spirit, as our Mentor, is also the divine author of the infallible Word of God. In JOH 16:13-14, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak only what He hears; He shall glorify Me; because He shall receive from Me [My message], and He will report it back to you.” The Holy Spirit will communicate the unfinished message of our Lord Jesus Christ, found in the epistles of the New Testament, because at this time, the disciples could not yet understand it! After the resurrection, ascension, and session, God the Holy Spirit was sent as a personal Mentor to all believers.
You cannot glorify God unless the Holy Spirit is your Mentor. Also, you cannot fulfill the spiritual mechanics of God’s plan unless the Holy Spirit is your Mentor and the agent for metabolizing Bible doctrine. A perfect God can only create a perfect plan, and a perfect plan requires perfect power for its execution, since we are imperfect persons.
Point 6: Spiritual metabolism is also related to the mechanics of divine inspiration. We are told in 2TI 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed [theopneustos] and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness [virtue], that the man of God may be proficient [well-advanced, skilled, mature, an expert], equipped for every good production.” God the Holy Spirit provided certain information to the human authors of Scripture, and this information was “exhaled” into the canon of scripture. It is this information metabolized that gives the believer the spiritual energy and power to live the spiritual life. In the early Church-age (A.D. 33 to 96), the human authors inhaled the Holy Spirit’s message and exhaled that message into the New Testament scriptures.
Theopneustos means that God the Holy Spirit so supernaturally directed the human authors of the New Testament to put in writing our Lord’s complete and accurate message to the Church, that (1) this message was recorded with perfect accuracy in the original languages of the New Testament, and that (2) this was accomplished without waiving their intelligence, their individuality, their personal feelings, their literary style, or any other human factor of expression.
The exhale is the human writers of the New Testament writing down in the Greek the completed message of the Lord Jesus Christ and the plan of God the Father for all believers. This is the doctrine of verbal plenary inspiration. Verbal plenary inspiration applies only to the original languages of Scripture-Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The human writers wrote down in their own language the divine message to mankind under the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why the Word of God is called in HEB 3:7, “The voice of the Spirit.” Man is the instrument but not the author of the Word of God, 2Pe 1:20-21, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
The inhale is the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who communicates to the human author God’s complete and coherent message to all generations of history. While the writers of Scripture had other messages for their generations, only what God desired and what was pertinent to all generations was actually recorded and preserved. The exhale is what the human writer wrote down in his own language and within the framework of his own personality. God used each writer’s vocabulary, intelligence, personality, feeling, and individuality in communicating the divine message to man. This is a part of the ministry of God the Holy Spirit to the positive believer. It is available to all believers, but only those believers who give Bible doctrine top priority actually profit from the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
Point 7: Spiritual metabolism from the Holy Spirit is the divine power for the spiritual life. Since the divine plan for the Church-age is a perfect plan from a perfect God, it can only be fulfilled through the perfect power of God. As our Mentor and teacher of doctrine, God the Holy Spirit provides the power for the execution of the spiritual life. He does so, not through emotion or feeling, but through thought and through metabolizing Bible doctrine in the believer’s soul. As a part of your portfolio of invisible assets, you were given your very own spiritual life, and you alone are the only one who can live that life.
Because God is perfect, the plan He has for you is perfect; however, none of us are perfect, and therefore we need the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit. Perfect God provides everything we need to execute His perfect plan. The prophecy of the ministry of the Holy Spirit as the power of the spiritual life is taught in Acts 1:7-8, “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the dispensations which the Father has established by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.'” God the Holy Spirit as the Mentor would teach all believers about the dispensation of the Church.
EPH 5:18 says, “Stop being intoxicated with wine by which is dissipation [a lifestyle of pre-occupation with self, in an attempt to solve the problems of life], but keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.” “Dissipation” refers to a disorderly lifestyle, an excessive lifestyle of dependence on the wrong solutions to the problems of life. The phrase “be filled” is the present, passive, imperative form of the Greek verb pleroo, which has four meanings:
1. To fill up a deficiency. The filling of the Holy Spirit fills up our deficiency of power to execute the spiritual life.
2. To fully possess. The believer must be fully possessed by the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine before he can be fully possessed by the blessings of maturity.
3. To fully influence. The believer must be fully influenced by the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit so that he can have capacity for blessing.
4. To fill with a certain quality. The filling of the Holy Spirit along with doctrine is the highest quality with which the believer can be filled.
Through the metabolization of Bible doctrine, the Holy Spirit fills up the deficiency in your life, fully possesses you, fully influences you, if you allow Him to, and fills you with a certain quality of life. Spirituality is the filling of the Spirit, and spiritual maturity is the result of spiritual growth from learning doctrine under the filling of the Spirit.
For a more detailed study, order tapes 0190-1205 to 0190-1208.