II Corinthians 3:17-18, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 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.”
The Lord is the Spirit means that God the Holy Spirit is deity. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty is a contrast between the Mosaic Law and the Law of Christ. In the Church Age we are permanently indwelt by God the Holy Spirit which brings with it spiritual freedom. In Romans 8:2 the Scripture says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” The law of sin and death is the Mosaic Law which could not save a person from the penalty of sin which is spiritual death. The purpose of the Mosaic Law was to lead a person to faith Christ (Messiah). But the Law of Christ, which is faith alone in Christ alone, saves and gives life.
The mystery doctrine of the Church Age is “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) and this doctrine was hidden in the Old Testament. Through the learning of the mystery doctrine of the Church, Jesus Christ becomes your best friend and you move into the status of occupation with Christ. Seeing the glory of the Lord in the mirror means understanding Bible doctrine. We look into the Bible to see the glory of the Lord, which is the mystery doctrine. We are transformed into the same image as Jesus Christ by studying the mystery doctrine. Then when we look into the mirror of the Word of God we see the reflection of the glory of Christ in us. From glory to glory refers to reflecting the glory of the humanity of Christ to the glory of the mature believer who executes the Protocol Plan of God inside of God’s power system.
Ephesians 3:16, “That He may give you on the basis of the riches of His glory to become strong by means of power through His Spirit in your inner being.”
The riches of Christ’s glory to Church Age believers includes things that were never given before to any believers in history: the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Protocol Plan of God, the Portfolio of Invisible Assets, a Royal Priesthood and a Royal Ambassadorship, the mystery doctrine of the Church Age, the indwelling of the Trinity, the unique availability of divine power and much, much more. To become strong means the filling of the Holy Spirit inside God’s power system. We acquire strength through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit as we learn and apply accurate Bible doctrine. (John 14:26; 16:12-14; 1 Corinthians 2:9- 16)
Galatians 5:1,13,18, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” We serve one another through the function of our spiritual gift for the benefit of the Body of Christ. The freedom we have is not any human power. We are not free to do what we want. We are free to learn Bible doctrine through the filling of the Holy Spirit. Never before in history has every believer had the freedom to execute a supernatural plan depending entirely on the divine power of the Godhead. We live in a very unique dispensation.
Galatians 5:22-25,But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
The fruit belongs to the Holy Spirit. This fruit was first produced in the humanity of Christ and can now be produced in us, but it is God’s fruit, therefore it is a “grace crop.”
The fruit of the Spirit is directed toward God, self and others in two ways: a) Personal love – the mental attitude of love for God on the basis of His virtue and integrity b) Impersonal love – the mental attitude that treats others on the basis of one’s own virtue and integrity
The fruit of the Spirit is directed toward self in two ways: a) Joy - stimulated mental attitude of inner happiness as a result of learning and applying the Word of God b) Peace - spiritual prosperity; a stable mental attitude knowing that you have peace with God (Romans 5:1) and that you have the peace of God (Philippians 4:6-7)
The fruit of the Spirit is directed toward others in three ways: a) Patience – a relaxed mental attitude toward the entire human race. Being patient with the things that would normally make you impatient or angry (Ephesians 4:1) b) Kindness - integrity; a mental attitude of kindness and grace toward others by letting them live their lives before God without interference and judging (II Timothy 2:24) c) Goodness - the overt act of grace and kindness toward others (Ephesians 4:32; I Thessalonians 5:15; Colossians 3:13)
The fruit of the Spirit is directed toward God in three ways: a) Faithfulness – steadfastness, a stable mental attitude based on the doctrine in your soul (I Corinthians 15:58) b) Gentleness – meekness, humility, teachability and the mental attitude of grace with regard to God’s divine provision; having spiritual self-esteem (knowing who we are in Christ) (Philippians 4:12-13,19) c) Self-control - self-discipline as a result of right thinking (I Corinthians 9:27; Colossians 3:5-10; II Corinthians 10:5)
The fruit of the Spirit is the character of Christ formed first in His humanity as our prototype and then in us when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and executing the Protocol Plan of God. Just as the Holy Spirit sustained the humanity of Christ during His earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit will sustain the advancing believer who is consistently filled with the Holy Spirit. In the same manner that the Holy Spirit sustained Christ in His humanity, He sustains the believer. “Sustain” is defined as supplying the needs of a person. For some believers, who are not advancing in their Christian lives, they are sustained with only the daily necessities of life, such as food, shelter and clothing. For the advancing believer whose needs are greater, God the Holy Spirit sees to it that all of that believer’s needs are met. The needs may be physical, spiritual, emotional or material. God in His wisdom knows our needs and has promised to meet them. This is a part of the sustaining ministry of God the Holy Spirit. (Psalm 55:22; John 14:16-18,26,27)
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. This is not something we do; this is something that was done for us by virtue of being in union with Christ when we believed. Romans 6:11 says, “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” You don’t try to crucify self because you can’t do it. You can only consider yourself to be dead to sin and consider means to apply the doctrine of positional truth to the situation. Since this is a fact for every believer, God’s desire for each of us is to make our experience with Christ align with our position in Christ.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit means to be filled with God the Holy Spirit and execute the Christian Way of Life. The Greek word for walk in Galatians 5:16 is “peripateo,” which is used to express the entirety of a believer’s spiritual life. Therefore, we can say that without the filling and power of God the Holy Spirit a believer does not have a spiritual life. This verse in Galatians also makes it clear that if a believer is not walking in the Spirit he is being controlled by his sin nature and in a state of carnality.
I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The mechanics for recovery from carnality begin with the use of the Rebound Technique. Rebound accomplishes two things for the believer: recovery of fellowship with God and recovery of the filling of the Spirit. The first time a believer sins after salvation, he loses his fellowship with God and the filling of the Spirit. The filling of the Spirit is replaced by grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit.
Loss of the filling of the Spirit means the believer has stepped outside God’s power system and his soul is controlled by the sin nature. So the major issue for the Church Age believer is who will control your soul? The guard at the gate of our souls is volition. The sin nature presents constant temptations to our soul, and our volition chooses for or against those temptations. When we first believed in Christ, the Holy Spirit entered us into God’s power system by means of the filling of the Spirit, and He was in control of our soul. The first time we sinned the Holy Spirit no longer controlled our soul but the sin nature took control instead, so that we were in a state of carnality, even if we didn’t realize it yet.
The origin of all sin you commit is your volition. It is not sinful to be tempted. It is sinful when your volition succumbs to that temptation. So your volition decides at any given moment whether you are controlled by the Holy Spirit or by your sin nature. You must also use your volition to recover your status inside God’s power system so that the Holy Spirit again controls your soul. You recover your status by use of the Rebound Technique.
All the sins of human history were imputed to Jesus Christ on the Cross and judged by the justice of God the Father. Christ’s work provides two things: salvation and restored fellowship with God. The way of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. The way of spirituality (to be filled with the Holy Spirit) is to cite, acknowledge, admit or name the known sins in our life. This is the only way we can re-enter God’s power system. Since every believer is a priest, he represents himself before God. So in the privacy of his priesthood, a believer simply names, acknowledges, admits or cites the sins he has committed, and God is faithful and justified to forgive him his sins and to cleanse him from all wrongdoing (sins you have forgotten or did not know were sins). That’s the only way anyone can ever be spiritual.
There had to be a grace system for recovering fellowship. Yet just as there are so many false Gospels being declared, like adding human works or gimmicks to faith in Christ, so there are many erroneous ideas of what we must do to be spiritual. If you add anything to faith in Christ, that is no salvation at all. People want to help God, but God doesn’t need our help! Just as He provided everything necessary for our salvation, so He provides everything necessary for the recovery of fellowship after salvation.
Spirituality is a matter of using the Rebound Technique to recover the filling of the Holy Spirit. As long as we live on this earth, we will continue to commit sins. Of course, you must learn the doctrine of hamartiology to identify what are sins. We do not reach sinless perfection in this life. At salvation the Holy Spirit indwells your body and the Holy Spirit controls your soul. Indwelling is permanent regardless of your spiritual status, but the filling or control of the Holy Spirit is temporary depending on your volition to succumb to temptation and commit a sin. When a sin is committed, the believer is immediately out of fellowship with God and is said to be carnal or controlled by the flesh where the sin nature resides. (I Corinthians 3:1-3; Romans 8:5-8)
The misunderstanding of spirituality is the reason people do not advance to spiritual maturity. Apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit, which is often misunderstood, you cannot advance to spiritual maturity. A believer who is not controlled by the Holy Spirit cannot be distinguished from an unbeliever. When the sin nature controls the soul, a believer can do anything an unbeliever can do. There is always a great danger in not keeping short accounts regarding the Rebound Technique, when you sin. Failure to do this perpetuates carnality and places you in Satan’s world system and eventually leads to reversionism.
In the Christian life there are degrees of spiritual growth but never degrees of spirituality. The believer at any stage of spiritual growth can be either spiritual or carnal. A new believer can be carnal or spiritual, a spiritually adolescent believer can be carnal or spiritual and the same is true for a spiritually mature believer.