Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary.
Tree of Life 09/20/98
Tree of Life for 09-20-98
This week our passage, PHI 2:11, gave us a glance into the doctrine of glorifying God. How does the believer glorify God? The glorification of God occurs when the believer attains spiritual adulthood and continues to move into spiritual maturity. Your means of glorifying God is by going through all the pressures of life and still applying the problem solving devices of predestination. Satan hates when a believer remains faithful to God in spite of all the obstacles placed in his path. And that is just what spiritual growth requires in order to function... obstacles. Our faith must be proven. EPH 3:21 tells us that God is glorified in the church. That is to say that the believers in the church (body) of Jesus Christ fulfill their purpose in life, which is to glorify God (REV 4:11), by advancing through the three stages of spiritual adulthood in order to thereafter be entered into evidence testing. Those three stages of spiritual adulthood are:
Spiritual Self Esteem which is the first and the giant step in spiritual growth and is marked by knowledge of God's word resulting in self confidence in one's personal relationship with God. In this stage the believer is offered providential preventative suffering to keep him from becoming arrogant and to advance him into the second stage.
Spiritual Autonomy which is the point when the believer develops a strong independence, not from God but from dependence on man. In this stage impersonal love is greatly strengthened and the believer is able to solve his own problems through the spiritual muscle he has developed in his own soul. This stage is marked by momentum suffering causing the positive believer to rise to the challenge and continue into the last stage of spiritual growth.
Spiritual Maturity, at this stage the believer has cognitive invincibility and can be manufactured into an invisible hero. Only then can God enter the believer into evidence testing to glorify God as His witness in the angelic conflict.
Throughout all these stages, throughout all the years of growth, all the challenges and undeserved suffering one thing remains absolutely constant... the power of God the Holy Spirit is the key! All that is worked out to the glory of God is done so by God's plan and God's power, we are but privileged to be a part of it. The glorification of God must be accomplished through the power of God the Holy Spirit. It cannot and has never been rendered by man's power. What does not glorify God is our Christian service, sacrifices and works done apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit. The only Christian service and production that counts in God's eyes is the production that results from the perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine, i.e., the fruit of the Spirit. Christian service and Christian works are not the means of attaining spiritual maturity and glorifying God, they are the result. Spiritual growth is not measured by works, but by means of momentum which God alone can evaluate!
The pattern for glorifying God depends on three basic elements:
Reception of the word of God.
Retention of the word of God which is the basis for the believer's momentum.
Recall which is tantamount to application and is comparable to the concept of wisdom.
These three R's depend on your understanding of the ten unique factors of the church age which we have noted in the past but will briefly list below:
The baptism of the Holy Spirit which occurs at the moment of salvation and enters the believer into union with Christ.
The dispensation of predestination, i.e. the unique plan of God for the church age.
Equality of predestination.
The portfolio of invisible assets.
The two unique royal commissions, priesthood and ambassadorship.
The mystery doctrine unique to the church age found in the Pauline epistles.
The believer's body is indwelt by each member of the Trinity.
The 100% availability of divine power.
This is the age of no prophecy.
This is the dispensation of invisible heroship.
The fullness of God noted in EPH 3:19 points to the believer attaining spiritual adulthood. This means that the believer is right where he should be in the realm of spiritual growth. Hence the believer is able to parlay the life beyond gnosis into the life beyond dreams. God's plan for your life is divided into two categories:
Life beyond gnosis (mere knowledge to wisdom), EPH 3:19.
Life beyond dreams, i.e., receiving God's highest and best, EPH 3:20.
The only doctrine that will advance the believer to these stages is the mystery doctrine of the church age which contains all the mechanics for this dispensation. God has a plan for your life and it goes way beyond what you can even imagine. Most believers limit God by inserting their own efforts and trying to please God by what they do and don't do. ISA 26:15 informs us that what glorifies God is not what WE can do for Him but what he has done for us! And it is only in spiritual adulthood that we can receive that which He has done for us. Even when we are in trouble God can be glorified in rescuing us, PSA 50:15. That doesn't seem right to those who actually think they can play a part in God's perfect plan. But, in times of trouble when we appropriate His strength and call out for His help He is glorified by rescuing us out of the idiotic situations we get ourselves into. Watching God come to work on our behalf offers us momentum. Momentum comes when we learn how to handle the trials and sufferings in life - God's way. We really seem to appreciate the doctrine we have when we find ourselves in a jam and we don't know exactly what to do. In such a time, when the believer continues to trust in God and apply His word, he brings glory to God and testifies to God's power! This is especially true in the category of undeserved suffering which brings exceptional growth in the spiritual realm.
So, God's will for you is to glorify Him by drawing from your escrow account as much as you can. When the believer does not receive God's blessing he is fighting against God by buying a lie from Satan. Satan seeks to get believers involved in the cares of this world and cause confusion in their lives. Remember that God is not the author of confusion, 1CO 14:30. God's plan is simple and precise, we are the ones who complicate it. And again, God's will for your life is not to be sinless but to glorify Him by receiving that which He has worked out, REV 4:11. In such, the glorification of God is directly related to your escrow blessings for time, EPH 1:3-4. Ephesians chapter one teaches us that the first thing that God ever did for us in eternity past was to bless us, even before He elected us. This blessing is the very means for glorifying Him! Under the doctrine of election God wills His highest and best for the believer and only when the believer receives it is God glorified by that believer's life.
The kingdom of darkness will try and try to stop the advancing believer from having God's highest and best since he knows it is to God's glory. Hence, spiritual maturity requires positive volition toward doctrine and perserverence. The believer cannot remain positive if he is ruled by his emotions or if he is manipulated by someone's personality. The word of God must be the believer's final authority in life. Executing God's will, plan, and purpose must be the believers main objective in life! The high ground of spiritual maturity must be a vivid sight to the soul, that sight which drives the believer forward in face of all obstacles. And be sure that if you are going to reach spiritual maturity you need to be ready for confusion, challenges, heartache, difficulties and sufferings. But through it all you are to work out your own deliverance in the area of spiritual growth. So you had better learn how to handle your problems otherwise you will never even get close to spiritual maturity. Glorifying God requires understanding. God has a reason for everything He has allowed in your life. It is all working toward His glory, that is, if you don't get in your own way and mess things up. God is the One who is glorified and we are the beneficiaries of His blessings and provisions. What brings God glory is when His justice is free to bless us. And what frees His justice to bless us is our capacity developed in spiritual growth by that which He has supplied. So, what it really means to follow God is to become a beneficiary of His blessings. It does not entail you giving up things to show God you love Him and to try and please Him. That is creature credit and is no permitted in God's perfect plan. We please God when He is able to distribute blessings to the spiritually adult believer.
God is not glorified by our meager system of human works but rather by meeting our every need is His grace glorified. Note that His grace is extended not because we deserve it but because we don't deserve it! That's grace! Grace means God does all the work on behalf of undeserving man, ISA 26:15; 60:21; PSA 50:15; EXO 33:18-19. The secret to advancing spiritually is to always obey the accurate teachings put forth by your pastor-teacher. That is how the believer becomes a winner in the spiritual realm. But, obedience requires self discipline as well as academic discipline. REV 2:7,17,29 tells us what we should be obeying... the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. REV 3:6,13,22, Hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. Obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ has to do with Him controlling your life. Only then can you bring glory to God. Only then will you fulfill the purpose for which you were create... to bring glory to God.