Quote Title Quotation Source
In Heaven the Shadows of Earth are Gone The person who has made all the objects of his work divine and heavenly, and turns his back completely on all temporal things such a person s work becomes divine. That noble dear soul of our Lord Jesus Christ in its highest powers was directed unceasingly toward the Godhead as its object, and it was as blessed and enjoyable as it now is… Those who are now following him most closely in being turned toward divine objects, where work and enjoyment become one, shall in the hereafter be most like him in the essential enjoyment eternally. John Tauler – Sermon 39, circa 1340; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
A Doctor in Diapers What are the characteristics of the fleshly? Foremost among them is remaining long as babes. The duration of babyhood should not exceed a few years. When one is born anew by believing that the Son of God atoned for his sins on the cross, he simultaneously ought to believe that he has been crucified with Christ in order that the Holy Spirit may release him from the power of the flesh. Ignorance of this naturally will keep him in the flesh for many years.
The second characteristic of the fleshly is that they are unfit to absorb spiritual teaching.
I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready. The Corinthian’s grossly prided themselves of their knowledge and wisdom. Of all the churches in that period, that at Corinth was probably the most informed one. Paul early in his letter thanked God for their rich knowledge (1.5). Should Paul deliver spiritual sermons to them they could understand every word; however, all their understandings were in the mind. Although they knew everything, these Corinthians did not have the power to express in life that which they knew. Most likely there are many fleshly believers today who grasp so much so well that they can even preach to others but who are themselves yet unspiritual. Genuine spiritual knowledge lies not in wonderful and mysterious thoughts but in actual spiritual experience through union of the believer s life with truth. Cleverness is useless here, while eagerness for truth is insufficient too; the sine qua non is a path of perfect obedience to the Holy Spirit Who alone truly teaches us. All else is merely the transmission of knowledge from one mind to another. Such data will not render a fleshly person spiritual; on the contrary, his carnal walk actually will turn all his spiritual knowledge into that which is fleshly. What he needs is not increased spiritual teaching but an obedient heart which is willing to yield his life to the Holy Spirit and go the way of the cross according to the Spirit s command. Increased spiritual teaching will only strengthen his carnality and serve to deceive him into conceiving himself as spiritual.
Watchman Nee – The Spiritual Man, circa 1920, copyright 1968 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
Talk is Cheap, Life is Priceless It is not what we say that tells, but what we are. It is easy enough to say a great many beautiful things about God being the God of all comfort; but unless we know what it is to be really and truly comforted ourselves, we might as well talk to the winds. Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
He is the Power to Will and To Act The birth of Jesus throws a striking light on our regeneration. Our new birth is the birth of the Son of God into our human nature, and our human nature has to be transfigured by the indwelling life of the Son of God. We have the power now to sacrifice the life of nature to the will of God, keeping our minds dependent on Jesus Christ as He was dependent on God. To-day the characteristic is spiritual insubordination; we will not bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
Religion Has Done Away with the Law Whereas God had provided the Law to be a schoolmaster to teach us of our utter inability to keep the law and thus lead us to Christ. The church has now done away with the same Law by teaching us that anything we do for God, even our acts of obedience, are of works and therefore. we need not measure to any standard at all. In effect, Religion has nullified the Law. Even the coming of Christ could not do that. Even the passing of Time could not do that. But Religion has succeeded to do what Christ could not and would not do. Religious grace has provided nothing less than a means of increasing sin. God forbid! Tom Van Hoogen
Death (i.e Separation) By Neglect or Suicide Your natural life is derived from your parents; that does not mean it will stay there if you do nothing about it. You can lose it by neglect, or you can drive it away by committing suicide. You have to feed it and look after it: but always remember you are not making it, you are only keeping up a life you got from someone else. In the same way a Christian can lose the Christ-life which has been put into him, and he has to make efforts to keep it. But even the best Christian that ever lived is not acting on his own steam — he is only nourishing or protecting the life he could never have acquired by his own efforts. And that has practical consequences. As long as the natural life is in your body, it will do a lot towards repairing that body. Cut it, and up to a point it will heal, as a dead body would not. A live body is not one that never gets hurt, but one that can to some extent repair itself. In the same way a Christian is not a man who never goes wrong, but a man who is enabled to repent and pick himself up and begin over again after each stumble — because the Christ-life is inside him, repairing him all the time, enabling him to repeat (in some degree) the kind of voluntary death which Christ Himself carried out. C. S. Lewis – Mere Christianity, copyright 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.
Cleaning Up Your Act(s) There are many Christians who know of no other nourishment for their inward life than the moldy bread of long past experience. But no true peace results from this. Inward religion does not consist in a life of morbid security, arising from the recollection of having once received the forgiveness of sins. Where a real spiritual life exists, there is also constant activity, unceasing striving against sin, repeated humiliation before God, and renewed experience of His favor. Were it otherwise, why should the Lord put into His children’s lips the daily petition, “Forgive us our trespasses!” He that is washed need not be again entirely washed, but only his feet, and that continually. F. W. Krummacher – The Suffering Saviour, Meditations on the Last Days of Christ, Wipf and Stock Publishers
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