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The Tree of Life
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Week ending 072912
The New Testament analogy of the Fish Gate and the Fruit of the Spirit. Part 2.
In our conclusion of the analogy of the spiritual life as taught by means of the Fish Gate in the book of Nehemiah and the New Testament double manifestation of the Spirit, found in the filling of the Spirit resulting in the fruit of the Spirit, we are now looking at the Temple of the believer’s body. The letters found written to the church at Corinth, First and Second Corinthians, give us probably our best information concerning this particular subject.
For example, in 1CO 3:16, the apostle Paul says, Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
You, as a believer, are a temple of God. In the Church-age there is no sanctuary or sacred building. A sanctuary today is the human body of the believer. And so the Church-age is different, no sacred buildings. All the sacred buildings are made of flesh and the thing that makes the building sacred is the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, who is also the basis of production.
1CO 3:17, If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
Now, in verses 17-21, we have the principle of hindrances to divine good production.
In verses 16-17, false teaching and false doctrine is the first reason why these Corinthians have failed. They do not know that the Holy Spirit indwells them. They do not realize the impact of this, that there is no reason for the Holy Spirit to indwell a believer unless the power of the Holy Spirit is going to be used in the life. These Corinthians are indwelt and their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit but they are controlled by their old sin natures therefore the purpose of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is neutralized. We know that they were controlled by their old sin nature because of what the apostle Paul said to them in 1CO 3:1-9,
1CO 3:1-9, And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to babes in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
So, in 1CO 3:16-17, false teaching and false doctrine is the first reason why these Corinthians have failed. They do not know that the Holy Spirit indwells them, verse 16. Tha second reason is that the believer is side-tracked and easily led astray. In 1CO 3:17we read If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.  The word for destroy means to corrupt someone mentally, to lead someone astray mentally, to change their viewpoint and give them a wrong view of life. So the word has to do with what you think and thinking the wrong thing because someone you admire or someone who is persuasive makes you think that. It actually means to corrupt the mental attitude.
In this particular passage we have the fact that the Corinthians were living under systems of pseudo spirituality because they had accepted the teaching of the Judaizers. In other words, to destroy the temple of God means that because of some false viewpoint in your frontal lobe you adopt a system of pseudo spirituality.
The word if here is in the first class condition, which means this was actually going on. There were Judaizers in Corinth and they were leading people away with false systems of spirituality. All of this defiling is having a false concept of spirituality, and getting it, of course, from false teaching. When it says in1CO 3:17 If any man destroys the temple of God,
The phrase if any man refers literally to anyone who is a false teacher.
1CO 3:17, If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him,
The word destroy here is used in two ways: for discipline in time and for judgment in eternity. Both concepts are in view here. The unbeliever who is a false teacher is obviously judged in eternity, 2PE 2:3,9; the believer who leads astray obviously can only be disciplined in time.
2PE 2:1-3, But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
2PE 2:9, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
But regardless of whether it is an unbeliever or a believer who is doing the corrupting God handles the situation through discipline or judgment.

 

Why?
1CO 3:17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
The reason that the temple of God is holy is because Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He is said to be holy because He is seated at the right hand of the Father, holy means separated unto God. The moment we accept Christ as Savior we enter into union with Christ, and entering into union with Christ we share His holiness. This is positional sanctification or the principle that we are holy because we are in union with Christ. False teaching is the basis of this difficult situation where the temple of God is corrupted. The corruption, or the destroying here is false doctrine in the frontal lobe.
There is a third hindrance from presenting your body as a temple for TLJC to use and to dwell in, in verses 18-20: human viewpoint.
1CO 3:18-20, Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness; The Lord knows the reasoning of the wise, that they are useless.”
As we realize that our human body is a temple for TLJC as the Shekinah glory to dwell in as He did in Solomon’s Temple, and Zerubbabel’s Temple, then we understand the way to glorify God. We see why and how we are to fulfill and obey passages like:
ROM 6:13 Do not go on presenting the members of your body to the sin nature as instruments of unrighteousness; but present your body to God as those body’s alive from the dead, and the members of your body as instruments of righteousness to God.
ROM 12:1 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, {which is} your spiritual service of worship.
1CO 3:18   Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise.
In the previous verse false teachers were deceiving believers, in this verse the believer is deceiving himself. It is understandable how a false teacher could deceive a believer who is ignorant of doctrine but for a believer to deceive himself is the epitome of stupidity. “If,” is in the first class condition, so it a true condition. The word “thinks” means to assume something or a fact not in evidence; let him become foolish that he may become wise. This is addressed to believers who are egotistical. The one who assumes that he is wise is the one who is really blinded by his ego.
There are two hindrances at this point to good fruit or production;
1. First of all, being led astray by a false teacher, following some system of pseudo spirituality.
2. The second is self-deception.
This is a logical progression because first of all you have to be led astray into a false system and then you must derive some pride of achievement in that false system. This pride of achievement comes from operation energy of the flesh. The point is that these people are in a system of self-deception whereby they think they have arrived and have achieved something in the Christian life when they are actually fools. A fool is simply someone who has rejected and ignored their divine calling and privilege of presenting their body a temple for TLJC to use, guide, and direct. They believe and receive EPH 2:8-9 but reject EPH 2:10. They believe and receive the fact For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God not as a result of works, that no one should boast. But they reject that they are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of divine good works, which God prepared beforehand, that they should walk in them.
1CO 3:19, For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”;
The phrase for the wisdom of this world refers to the human viewpoint, and specifically some system of spirituality by works, or some system of legalism. The wise in this world means to live the Christian life in the energy of the flesh and the power of the old sin nature. Now, notice the phrase for it is written, which is now our first quotation.

 

This is a quotation from JOB 5:13, He captures the wise by their own shrewdness and the advice of the cunning is quickly thwarted. In other words, any system of pseudo spirituality or legalism will be turned around and used against the believer who refuses their responsibility to present their body a temple for TLJC and now they are put under a system of discipline.
Verse 21, the conclusion.
1CO 3:21-22, So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you,
It doesn’t make any difference who the person is, doctrine belongs to all believers. Notice he mentions three things: world, life, death. These three factors mean: If you are going to understand the world, if you are going to understand death, or ‘things present, things to come,’ your understanding and your orientation must be based on doctrine. So he says again, “all are yours.”
Verse 23, goes back to the basic concept of grace.
1CO 3:23, and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.
Now, we will close our series on why God the Holy Spirit indwells our body.
a. The Holy Spirit indwells the body of the believer at the moment of salvation to provide the divine power to offset the continued presence of the old sin nature.
b. The Holy Spirit indwells the body of the believer also as a sign of the Royal family status, which is superior to being in the family of God, as believers in past dispensations were.
c. The primary objective of the indwelling of Holy Spirit is to provide divine energy or power to execute the Christian way of life.
2CO 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
This is a reference to the power of God the Holy Spirit empowering the believer to become transformed.
GAL 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self‑control; against such things there is no law.
We begin this passage by noting that these characteristics are not found in the majority of born again believers. These characteristics are only manifested in those believers who fulfill ROM 8:4, they do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. When walking by faith or in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, two results are secured:

 

1) The works of the flesh shall not be fulfilled. That is brought out by GAL 5:16, But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

2) And the second result is that the fruit of the Spirit shall have its manifestation. Both the negative and the positive aspects of the spiritual life are guaranteed to those who depend upon the ministry of the Spirit.
In this passage, the nine words which denote the fruit of the Spirit represent superhuman qualities of character. There is absolutely no way that they could ever be produced by human ability or any personal self-improvement program. They are divine characteristics. They are all considered to be one fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not produce a few of these or 5 in one believer and 6 in another. It’s all or nothing. If one is present, then all are present. In fact, these nine graces constitute the essential elements of Christian character.
Now, unfortunately, in our day and age, and with little apparent thought for the implications involved, Christian leaders have crammed upon believers the idea that Christian character is a thing to be built by strenuous self-effort and self discipline. And this leads to a path which is not only characterized by, but even ends with, dependence upon self and human works as the basis for acceptance with God. And they end up trusting in the flesh or in their ability to conform to what they think God desires them to conform to. And always remember that there is a curse placed upon man when he trusts in himself and his own ability. And that’s why I like the phrase, “the fruit of the Spirit” it’s not the fruit of the believer or the fruit of the ministry, it is the fruit of the Spirit! This supposed sequence in character-building is said to be simply that thoughts determine acts, acts determine character, and character determines destiny. Many times this type of message is taught with good intentions, however, there is little need for a Savior or the power of God in such a program of this improving self-development. Most believers think of TLJC as someone who has saved them from their sins and that’s all! They don’t realize that after salvation they still need to be saved from themselves.
Unfortunately today, cosmic or worldly Christianity has infiltrated the church and has subtly promoted certain ways in which man is suppose to live to please God. Many point to what a Christian should be and what kind of character they should have. However, Christian character is a divine production which is not to be achieved by self-effort but by the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
Summary:
1. Agape love is that problem solving device of Christianity which is defined as unconditional love toward all mankind.

2. Being impersonal, agape love emphasizes the virtue of the subject rather than attraction to an object or rapport with an object.

3. Agape love toward all mankind is the ultimate expression of virtue. It is also the ultimate expression of humility. Without enforced and genuine humility, people are disoriented to life. Lack of humility creates numerous and often tragic flaws in the life.

4. Agape love for all mankind is therefore the ultimate expression of virtue, humility, objectivity, and is the basis for being receptive to Bible doctrine, which is the basis for growing in grace and knowledge. So this standard of love which TLJC commands all believers to have is supernatural and totally divine in character.
JOH 13:34-35, He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
When we are called upon to exercise a divine characteristic like agape love and when the sufficient power is provided for us to so, it is not asking too much to expect the believer to manifest that characteristic.
1JO 3:14-18, John said, We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his fellow believer is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding or alive in him. We know agape love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
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