Lesson 2 - Spiritual Metabolism

Lesson 2 - Spiritual Metabolism

Lesson for November 3, 2013

Spiritual Dynamics

Three Spiritual Skills

Spiritual Metabolism

The Greek word for metabolism is “metaboleus” meaning change or transition. Medicine has translated this word into the English language as the medical term “metabolism.” Metabolism refers to the intake and the absorption of food, plus the process of respiration by which oxygen is made available to the tissues for chemical transformations involving: 1) anabolism, the building up and 2) catabolism, the tearing down. Therefore metabolism, as a medical term, includes all the body processes by which matter, either organic or inorganic, is utilized for growth, repair, and maintenance. The metabolic process by which oxygen is supplied to the brain is how you think. This makes a perfect analogy to the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Physical metabolism is analogous to the various stages of the spiritual life. Anabolism is analogous to the doctrine which provides momentum in our spiritual lives. Catabolism is analogous to the doctrine which provides the destruction of human viewpoint in our lives.

Just as the Holy Spirit metabolized the Gospel for us, He metabolizes the doctrine we learn. Physical metabolism involves both eating and breathing, which is once again a perfect analogy of the intake and exhale of Bible doctrine. Like a good doctrinal lesson, food on the table can be prepared magnificently. But the food on the table must be eaten and metabolized to sustain life and create energy. Food on the table in itself is not energy. The key to your physical energy is metabolism. Any malfunction in metabolism produces disease. So also, an accurate doctrinal lesson from a pastor-teacher is not spiritual growth; it does you no good until it’s metabolized. We have believers who have been exposed to doctrine and simply look at the spiritual food and leave.

The greatest doctrinal message in the world from any pastor-teacher is no guarantee of spiritual growth; it is merely the first phase in bringing the believer up to the point of metabolized doctrine. Metabolized doctrine is a matter between you and the Holy Spirit. You provide the positive volition; the Holy Spirit then metabolizes the doctrine. God provides in logistical grace everything you need to assimilate doctrine: life, a local church, a pastor-teacher, the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, the divine power system, and the protocol plan of God. God’s grace provision of the human spirit makes possible the understanding of doctrine and sets up a spiritual I.Q. to prepare you for spiritual metabolism.

Spiritual metabolism is the Holy Spirit converting academic knowledge (gnosis) of Bible doctrine into spiritual knowledge (epignosis) of Bible doctrine. But the Holy Spirit cannot do so without your consent. Therefore, you must have positive faith perception; the Holy Spirit metabolizes only what you accept on a non-meritorious basis. Spiritual metabolism is the function of positive faith perception, whereby the believer inside God’s divine power system acknowledges in his own soul the truth of academic doctrine. He understands it through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit in his human spirit. Only after the believer acknowledges the truth of it does the Holy Spirit metabolize it. The pattern is, “I understand what you are saying, and I believe it.” If you are negative, you do not believe it and you reject it.

The pastor-teacher through accurate teaching is the source of metabolized doctrine. (Titus 1:1. 3) The loser believer fails to metabolize doctrine. (II Timothy 3:2-7) II Timothy 3:7 says those caught up in Satan’s cosmic system are always learning but are never able to come to the truth (epignosis doctrine). Therefore, their condition is described in II Timothy 3:2-6. Many believers are in Satan’s cosmic system and doing his will.

Only metabolized doctrine can be useful for problem solving. (Ephesians 1:17) The “spirit of wisdom” in this verse refers to the application of metabolized doctrine under the enabling power of the Spirit. This is God the Holy Spirit taking epignosis doctrine and giving you the ability to handle your problems. Whether in adversity or prosperity, you must solve your problems from the base of inner happiness from epignosis doctrine.

Philemon 6 says that all genuine fellowship with believers is based on metabolized doctrine and virtue. Therefore, only metabolized doctrine can fulfill the mandate of virtue in the protocol plan of God. (Philippians 1:9, “Pray that your [virtue] love may abound more and more through epignosis doctrine and all discernment.”) (II Peter 1:8) Consequently, only metabolized doctrine can fulfill the protocol plan of God. (Colossians 1:9-10) Only metabolized doctrine can provide greater blessing under the protocol plan of God. If you have only gnosis doctrine, there is no basis for greater blessing. (II Peter 1:2-3-8) II Peter 3:17-18 is the challenge to spiritual metabolism. James 1:19-25 is the principle of spiritual metabolism. Colossians 1:9-12 is the prayer for spiritual metabolism.

Principle of Spiritual Metabolism as a Problem Solver

Only metabolized doctrine causes spiritual growth and momentum. Only metabolized doctrine forms a red alert system in your soul for discernment regarding people, circumstances and problem solving. The job of the pastor is to communicate doctrine so that you can solve your own problems. To the extent that you go to others for counseling, you are using a crutch. God’s plan for the Church Age is not designed for you to seek counseling. The only reason you go to others for counseling is because you have failed in the field of spiritual metabolism! You would not last long if you did not metabolize food and air. A believer who dies the sin unto death is one who has gone as long as he can without metabolized doctrine; then he dies.

Only metabolized doctrine produces the three categories of virtue: humility, motivational virtue, and functional virtue. You cannot get these three virtues without metabolized doctrine. It is obvious that people cannot understand impersonal love academically; they’ll never get it until they metabolize it. The spiritual energy for impersonal love is from metabolized doctrine. You can’t learn virtue academically. For the unbeliever, virtue can be learned from divine establishment, but for the believer, virtue can come only from metabolized doctrine. Only metabolized doctrine provides spiritual energy for the execution of the Christian way of life.

All spiritual benefit comes from metabolized doctrine. This means that rejected doctrine becomes an academic subject, rather than spiritual nourishment. Rejected doctrine is only food on the table. And you don’t store food on the table; you have to eat it to store it! Academic subjects have no spiritual value. They can illustrate, but they cannot motivate nor provide momentum. Just as metabolism has mechanisms to neutralize the poisonous materials which enter the body through contaminated food, so metabolized doctrine neutralizes the false doctrine of the cosmic evangelist.

Contentment is based on metabolized doctrine in the soul, which results in happiness in every circumstance in life, whether prosperity or adversity. Contentment or happiness is not based on prosperity, success, or any of the things you associate with happiness. If you are not content with what you have right now, you will never be content with any form of future prosperity. Your only chance for happiness is metabolized doctrine.

Testing in life can be passed only through having metabolized doctrine. The potential distraction of disaster testing requires consistent living inside the divine power system, and the consistent use of metabolized doctrine. It is only the doctrine you have metabolized that provides you with the dynamics for living the Christian life. The test of prosperity, which is the last test before reaching maturity, is potentially very distracting, and only maximum metabolized doctrine can pass the test.

Just as metabolism provides anabolism (build-up), so certain doctrines build you up until eventually you build an edification complex in your soul. And just as metabolism provides catabolism (tearing down), Bible doctrine tears down your human viewpoints, your erroneous ideas and your incorrect discernment. Just as metabolism provides the chemical changes in living cells by which energy is provided for vital processes and activities and new material is assimilated for repair, so spiritual metabolism provides everything necessary to fulfill the protocol plan of God. However, God the Holy Spirit metabolizes only what is acceptable to you. The degree of metabolized doctrine in your soul determines the degree of effectiveness in being spiritually self-sustaining. Therefore, a believer must be doctrinally oriented to execute God’s plan, purpose and will.

Doctrinal Orientation

The word “doctrinal” means pertaining to a teaching, a body of principles or a branch of knowledge. “Orientation” means familiarization with a particular person, thing or field of knowledge. Doctrinal orientation, therefore, means to familiarize oneself with the teachings and principles of the Word of God.

We believe that the Bible is inerrant and infallible in its original form. We believe that God so directed the writers of Scripture that His complete and coherent word was transferred to the pages of Scriptures in its original form without altering the literary style or personality of the author. “ …Thou hast magnified thy Word above all thy name.” (Psalm 138:2) Bible doctrine is the word of God the Father. (Hebrews 4:12) It is the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16) and the voice of God the Holy Spirit. (Hebrews 3:7) The Word of God is profitable for doctrine (the body ofteaching that we believe), for reproof (the Word of God is a mirror into our souls so that we can evaluate ourselves before God), for correction (once we evaluate ourselves and find there needs to be corrective action, the Word of God gives the correct course of action), and for instruction in righteousness (once we discover the right course of action, the Word of God gives us a blueprint of how to accomplish our goal). (II Timothy 3:16)

The provision of physical and spiritual needs is one of God’s grace blessings to all believers regardless of their spiritual status. Another of these grace blessings that God has provided for us is the freedom and the opportunity to be taught Bible doctrine. We learn Bible doctrine under the filling (control and guidance) ministry of God the Holy Spirit. (John 16:12-13) God has given to the local church certain men with the gift of pastor/teacher for the communication of doctrine, systematically. (Ephesians 4:11-16) We are also commanded to spend time in personal study of God’s Word. (II Timothy 2:15, Isaiah 28:9-10) It is important to remember that no one passage of Scripture stands alone. We must always study by comparing Scripture with Scripture. (II Peter 1:20-21)

Christ’s Reliance on Bible Doctrine

Jesus Christ is the unique person of the universe. He is different from God in that He is man, and different from man in that He is God. In His deity, He possesses all the attributes of God, being co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. (John 1:1-14; Romans 1:2-5; Philippians 2:5-11; I Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14) Christ, as deity, is omniscient. He never needs to learn anything because He has always known all things. Bible doctrine is the very mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:16) But in His humanity, He was born a baby who needed to learn doctrine in the same manner as we do. Jesus was also a perfect child and subjected Himself to his parents and teachers. (Luke 2:46-52)

Jesus continually used the doctrine that He had learned to sustain Himself throughout the trials and tribulations of life. When attacked by others, He used the doctrine and principles of the Word of God to endure the adversity. He also used the doctrine He had learned to combat the tests from Satan. And He used the doctrine in His soul to teach others. (Matthew 4:1-11; John 5:16-39; 6:59-60; 7:16-24)

Even during the six illegal trials of Christ and while He was on the Cross, He quoted Scripture. (Matthew 26:64; 27:46; Mark 14:62; Luke 23:46; John 19:28-30) The very last thing recorded that Jesus said was a quote from Psalms 31:5. Since Jesus used Bible doctrine throughout His life, His ministry and even His death, shouldn’t we follow His example? To follow the example of Christ, you must study and metabolize the Word of God and apply it to every facet of your life. God’s Word has the potential to sustain you, strengthen you and stabilize you, if you choose to allow it to do so. (Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 33:6)

Bible doctrine will set you free. “And you shall know the truth (doctrine) and the truth (doctrine) shall make you free.” (John 8:32) “I will walk in freedom: for I seek thy doctrine.” (Psalms 119:45)