sermon: The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part 4)
The Heart, Spirit, and Wisdom
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 08-Aug-98; Sermon #353; 70 minutes
Continuing with the definition of spirit, John Ritenbaugh explains that the preposition 'in'—as in the expressions 'in Christ,' 'in the church,' 'in you," or 'in the spirit'—refer not to literal physical dimensions, but instead our 'concern with' or 'involvement with' something. As being 'in love' or 'in the mood' require no physical location, or having family characteristics requires no family members dwelling literally in us, so Christ in us (Romans 8:10), His Spirit dwelling in us (Romans 8:11), or dwelling in the the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:27) does not require a third person of the trinity but instead refers to absorbing God's characteristics through His Spirit, transmitted chiefly through life-giving words (John 6:63).
Ability, Aholiab, Bezaleel, Christ in us, Christ's words, Circumstances, Communication, Demons, Fruits of spirit, In Christ, In the church, In love, In the mood, In you, Mind, Negative attitude, Positive attitude, Power of words, Samson, Skill, Spirit, Supernatural element, Thought, Tongue, Wisdom, Words
We are going to continue in the series of sermons that I have been giving on the Holy Spirit. In the previous sermon in this series I continued to emphasize the broad usage the Bible makes of the word spirit. But regardless of the context in which it is used, with the one exception of when a being is clearly indicated, spirit is always an invisible, immaterial, and internally activating dimension of mind. Toward the end of that sermon we were seeing that mind, thought, heart, and spirit are used in apposition to one another in the Bible. That is, they are in parallel with each other. They are used to reinforce each other. Please understand that if one wants to be technically specific, they are not exactly the same. It is their usage which is generally more important to us than their technical meaning, and they are so close in common usage that they can be placed in apposition to each other in order to clarify the intent or the sense of a single Scripture or its context.
My Reader's Digest Complete Word Finder defines mind as the seat, i.e., the location of thought, volition, and feeling. Heart is defined as the center of one's thought, feelings, and emotions, the central in most part of something, the vital part or essence of something. Spirit is defined as the vital animating essence of a person, the intelligent non-physical part of a person, a prevailing mental or moral condition or attitude, and thoughts are the process or power of thinking, the faculty of reason. Under think it means to judge or to consider, to be of an opinion, to form a conception.
I want to give you the sense. Did you notice how many of those words have the same word appearing in their definition? That is why they are used interchangeably. Though they are not technically the same thing, they are so close to one another in the way that they are used, that they are put parallel to each other, and the one explains and reinforces what is intended by the use of the other.
Let us go to the book of Psalms to David's psalm of repentance. Notice the way that the Bible uses these words.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Heart and spirit are put together so that we understand clearly that David is asking God to clean him up from the inside.
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
There we have it again. Spirit. A broken spirit, and a contrite heart. Broken spirit means to be overwhelmed with sorrow. Contrite heart means to be completely penitent, feeling remorse and penitence affected by guilt, deeply regretful and wishing to atone for sin. Broken spirit, broken heart are virtually the same thing. What we are seeing here is more confirmation that spirit is used as an aspect of mind that generates a wide diversity of activity, including but not restricted to, conduct, and of necessity it must be clean and right if the conduct that is produced is going to be beneficial. We are talking about motivations here. What is in our heart? What is in our spirit? If the heart and the spirit are not right, the motivations are not right, and the conduct is very likely going to be used to take advantage of, to control, to manipulate to one's own end, self-centeredly rather than selflessly.
We will continue the Bible's use of these words, especially heart and spirit.
Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Here again heart and spirit are directly joined in showing an effect produced. Merry and cheerful are both positive attitudes, and they are contrasted to broken and sorrow, and the effect of both is shown. This verse then shows that heart and spirit produce an outward effect, and they affect each other. We are getting into a very interesting area here. They can be used in parallel, the one for the other, but they can also be used to show that they will affect each other.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good like a medicine; but a broken spirit dries the bones.
Heart and spirit - those words could be changed, either one used in either place. I am going to quote here from the Kiel-Delitch Commentary on this verse.
The heart is the center of individual life, and the condition and the tone of the heart communicates itself to this life, even to its outermost circumference. [In other words, what is inside comes out.] The spirit is the power of self-consciousness which according as it is lifted up or broken, also lifts up or breaks them to condition of the body.
If you are in a good attitude, the chances of good health are increased immeasurably. If you are in a bad attitude, the health plummets. It is almost like a cancer that eats away at one's health. Heart and spirit affect the health. So what we are seeing are effects of what the Bible calls spirit. Spirit builds up, or spirit breaks down. Spirit excites, or spirit calms. Spirit communicates beyond its point of origin. The point of origin in you may have been outside of you, but what happened outside of you affected your spirit, and because it affected your spirit it can deteriorate your health, or build it up, depending on the effect that it has had on you.
We will go back again to Proverbs 15. Please keep in mind that always I am heading toward the spirit of God.
Proverbs 15:30 The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and a good report makes the bones fat.
"It makes them healthy," is what my margin says.
"The light of the eyes." You may think that it is the light in your own eyes. In this case it is not. It is the light that is in somebody else's eyes. What do we consider to be the light in another person's eyes, let us say, within the context of this verse? It has to be something that the person is joyous about, happy, enthused, encouraged. They love it, whatever it is they heard, and they bring this news to you, and you see the light in their eyes. What does it do to you? It begins to pick you up, and it is good for you to be around that kind of situation. This verse is saying how an environment can produce positive effects.
You know from your own life's experience that this is so. If you stepped into a room that is charged with anger, depression, bitterness, envy, jealousy, prideful gossip, suspicion, what happens to you? I will tell you brethren, your antenna goes up. You sense it. You discern it. Immediately you become defensive, and it is very likely you want to get out of there just as fast as you can. Flip the switch, and instead of entering a room where it is charged with a negative attitude, that positive attitude pulls you right toward it and makes you want to enjoy it, and join with it. Is that not right? You want to enjoy the benefits of a positive, uplifting and good spirit.
We are now going to introduce another word here: word.
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
Spirit is communicated and it has what we might call a magnetic power, and our spirit is able to read it, to discern it, and almost immediately it begins to react. Remember that Jesus said in John 6:63 that His words are spirit and they are life. What these proverbs are adding is that anybody's words are what the Bible would call spirit. There is nothing material, there is nothing visible, but words and attitudes generate emotional attitudinal and behavioral reactions, and they can induce and impel and compel powerful reactions, such as murder, if we want to go on the bad side, or joy unspeakable—we just do not have the words to communicate that we are so happy. And nothing happens but spirit passes from one person to another - not a thing at all that we would call physical, material. Nothing touches you but the meaning of a word or a disposition, an attitude that is communicated.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer [words] turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
A quiet answer and a calm disposition has a powerful tendency to generate a diffusing of anger. It is one aspect of spirit that we are speaking of here. This really gets serious because:
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue...
The tongue issues forth words, and out of the abundance of the heart (where the spirit is) the mouth speaks, and spirit comes forth to do its magnetic power.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
That verse is a little bit vague in the last phrase. What do you love? Death? Or life? The one that we love we are going to eat the fruit of. Are we going to eat the fruit of death? Are we going to eat the fruit of life? As I said just a few minutes ago, anybody's words are spirit. Jesus is not the only one whose words are spirit. The difference between us and Him is that His words are always life. Our words are not always life. His words are always abundant life, eternal life, or everlasting life. That is the direction of their magnetism. They surcharge the air to move us, to move our heart, to move our mind, to move our spirit in the direction that they are going in. And if we would yield to them, we can be carried along by it all the way into the Kingdom of God, and that is why there is life within them.
Unfortunately brethren, the same cannot be said for any of us, because often times our words carry death with them, because they do not go forth in the best kind of attitude, with a not very clear understanding of what is going on, and all too often we speak far too rapidly and emotionally. We must be aware of what the Bible calls spirit can be communicated. It is almost as if it surcharges the environment. Words and the disposition or the environment in which they are delivered and received are important to its communication. Very important to what is communicated. How many times have you said something to somebody who became confused, upset, angry, or whatever at what you said, and you had to apologize, or explain further by saying, "Well, that's not what I meant"? You see, that is the way the receiver heard it. There were things that were communicated, and that there were things within the receiver that colored what was sent. Communication is one difficult aspect of life.
We are going to add another very important factor to this. I do not think that we will be spending a lot of time on this particular section at least today, but I want to introduce it, get the thought into your mind, because it is another aspect of spirit. Just get the thought, and then I am going to come back to what we were just talking about, and then somewhere down the road I will get back to the subject that we are going to be talking about here for the next few minutes.
Exodus 35:30-31 And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD has called by name Bezaleel the son of Ori, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he [God] has filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.
Perhaps it would be helpful to understand that the basic usage or meaning of the Hebrew word that is translated wisdom is the equivalent of our English word skill. The book of Proverbs tells us, "Above all things, get wisdom." What he is saying is, "Above all things, get skill." Skill in what? Skill in living. God wants us to be skilled in living. In this case God has filled Bezaleel with wisdom, and this wisdom basically had to do with the responsibility that He had given to him.
Exodus 35:32-35 And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. And he has put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. Them has he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroidered, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.
Exodus 36:1-2 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it.
The principle that is here becomes very important to us in regard to our place in the church of God, and understanding about the Spirit of God, and understanding about God Himself and what He does in this conversion of ours. Here is a very interesting example. These verses show that God Himself was personally and directly involved by means of His Spirit enhancing the natural and developed abilities of the humans. Bezaleel and Aholiab already had skill, but what God did in order to enable these people to perform a function directly for Him, is that He increased their natural ability to enable them to function at a level that is higher than would normally be, for someone who would be skilled just by human skill. A supernatural element was added to their life. Maybe you need to begin asking yourself a question. "If God will do this for Bazaleel and Aholiab, will He also do it for me? Will He give me powers greater than I have by nature?" Will He do this by His Spirit? Does He actually have to come inside of you in order to do it? The trinity concept. Now God was stirring up their spirit.
If we follow the usage for spirit and apply it here, this is what we come up with. Spirit, in this context, is an invisible and immaterial source of some sort of needed power, but in this case it is external to mankind - supernatural. In other words, we can communicate spirit from one person to another, but that spirit will only be that which any human might be capable of. As we become more skilled, our ability to project, communicate spirit to another person is also increased as well, but we reach a limit in our ability to do this. But God is showing that in order to do a work for Him, He will empower us to go above and beyond what is normally possible for a human being to do.
Does He have to crawl inside of us? Does the third person in a trinity have to crawl inside of us in order for this to be accomplished? Did God crawl inside of Bazaleel and Aholiab and all the others who were working on the tabernacle to enable them to do this? Did He chop Himself up into little pieces? I am trying to ask dumb questions so that we can come to a conclusion here that is right and true. God gave them supernatural power in order for them to operate in God's behalf, and it will produce good fruit and it will be within the purpose of God, and therefore it is of God. We have to be careful here because we may not know when we see something that seems to be beyond the ken of a normal human being, we may not know who the supernatural force or power is until we begin to see its fruit. "By their fruits you shall know them."
Let us go to the book of Judges. We are breaking into the midst of the story here about Samson.
Judges 14:19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he [Samson] went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.
I introduce this to show you that the Spirit of the Lord entered into Samson to enable him to do something that a human being could not normally have done. Now, if you were watching this going on, to whom or to what would you attribute what happened? If you were from Ashkelon, you would definitely think this could not possibly be of God. But God is reporting here in truth that it indeed was of Him that Samson killed thirty men.
Judges 15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
He just broke them as if they were nothing. In another case he picked up the gates of the city and singlehandedly carried them several miles away, because the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. He was doing something that no human being should have been able to do. God is pointing this out so that we will understand that it really was not Samson the man who was doing this, it was Samson being used by God that enabled him to do this, and it was done by the supernatural power of the Spirit of God.
What we have here in regard to Samson is simply a different form of supernatural power, or energized power - in this case Samson's muscular strength. We can look at that and we see a supernatural aspect much more clearly, because he did things that no human should be able to do.
Let us go all the way back into the New Testament to Luke 4:33. Here you are, standing there watching this.
Luke 4:33-35 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with you, you Jesus of Nazareth? Are you come to destroy us? I know you who you are; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold your peace, and come out of him.
Jesus rebuked him and told him to hold his peace, and told that demon to go forth, and the demon did.
Are you familiar with the time that Jesus said to the disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" Are you familiar with John 7 where the people were arguing at the Feast of Tabernacles about Jesus, and some of them were saying that He had a demon? If you were right on the spot and somebody did something that was obviously supernatural, would you know the source right then? You would not. Even as in the case of Samson, you would not know if you were watching Jesus.
Let us look at another place. The Pharisees told Jesus that He had a demon. This one is a little bit different. It is more from the other end, if I can put it that way. Again we have a demon in a man. In fact there are many demons there.
Luke 8:29 For he [Jesus] had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it [the demon] had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he [this demon-possessed man] broke the bands [those chains], and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.
Is it normal for a man to be able to break chains? Why, even if a man had a great deal of strength and he pulled on the chain, he would very likely do so much damage to his wrists and his feet. Even if he did get them off, his wrists and feet would be very badly damaged. This man was able to break chains, and in a sense go on in his abnormal way. Demons can do supernatural things too through human beings.
It is from circumstances like this which the Bible shows in the Old Testament, drawing upon those things which were obviously things that our Father in heaven was involved in, like the building of the tabernacle and the giving of skills to Bezaleel and Aholiab and all the other wise-hearted men and women who worked on that tabernacle, giving them the ability to do something that was over and above what a normal human being would be able to do. It was situations like that which led the apostle Paul to write what he did in Philippians 2:13, "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure."
Brethren, that is a most encouraging statement, because what Paul is saying is that God will work in us to enable us to produce things that are of and by themselves supernatural. We could not do it except God empowered and enabled us. Just as surely as He empowered and enabled Bezaleel and Aholiab and all those others who worked on the tabernacle, He is empowering you. You and I even would not even understand the truth except that He enabled us supernaturally. He communicated His Spirit to you and to me, opening up our minds, to choose correctly. We might even say manipulating our minds in such a way without taking away free moral agency so that we would be led supernaturally to make a right choice.
We are going to look at something that is essential to understanding this. We are going to understand how the Bible uses this "in you" phrase. "Christ in you." "God in you." "The holy spirit in you." The word "in" incidentally in the Greek is almost spelled exactly the way it is in English. Instead of being in as it is in English, in Greek it is en, and it expresses exactly the same thing: " inclusion or position within limits, within the confines of." So we will make a statement like, "The book is in the library," or "Harrisburg is in Pennsylvania," or "The heart is in the body." Inclusion within. Position within limits. That is its literal usage and it is easily understandable. The key to understanding its biblical usage does not lie primarily in the literal usage, but rather in understanding the difference between the physical and the spiritual. We normally use "in" with regard to some physical object literally in position within a prescribed limit. The physical book is within the limits of the library. The physical heart is within the limits of the body. Physical, material things are objects that can be seen, felt, measured, and weighed.
The things of the spirit are non-physical. They are immaterial, and immaterial things cannot be weighed or measured. Jesus said that His Words are spirit and they are life. Now words are merely symbols that communicate concepts, ideas, notions, truth, falsehood, attitudes, moods, feelings, inspiration, encouragement, wisdom, vision, history, both past and present. Words are the raw material of thought. Are they literally in you? Yes they are. But are they material? Are they physical? No they are not! They are spirit. Are spiritual things subject to scientific investigation, as in a laboratory where they can be weighed or measured and so forth? Can a concept, an attitude, or an idea be taken into a laboratory and put on a scale and weighed? Can a ruler be put beside it and measure it? No! They are spirit. They are not physical. This is the reason why the existence of God cannot be scientifically proved; that is, "science" so called, as Paul put it in his letter to Timothy.
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Oh boy! Think about that one. Try that one on for size physically. "Put on Christ." Do you put Him on like a piece of clothing? Which part of Him is covering you, or me? Are you beginning to get the drift?
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
There are limits, described by this verse - "in Christ." But are we physically inside of Him? Now wait a minute! Christ is spirit, and we are physical. The answer to that is clearly and truthfully a resounding NO! We are spiritually in Him.
I Corinthians 12:13 For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
What about this being "in the church"? I think we all agree that the church is a spiritual organism. There is most definitely a physical and organized corporate body, and when viewed from that perspective, two people could be standing side by side, the one converted, the other unconverted; the one a wheat, and the other a tare. The tare would be in the physical corporate body, but not in the spiritual organism, and they might have great effect for evil on the spiritual organism. On the other hand, the wheat would be in both, but might have little effect for good to the spiritual organism because of doing little with what has been given. The spiritual organism is limited to those who are in the spirit. That is, they are Christians.
The important thing for this series of sermons is that this is yet another way in which the Bible uses spirit that is consistent with its general overall use within the Bible. The concept in both cases - us in the church and us in Christ - is of a spiritual relationship and location, not a physical location. It is like saying that one is in love. Where is in love? Another one is, what is in the mood? There is a popular song by that name - "In The Mood". Well, one can be in love anywhere! So can you be in the church anywhere. It does not matter where you live, where you are. You can be in the church. It is a circumstance. It is a relationship that the Bible is concerned about. It indicates that one is concerned with, or in regard to, rather than a physical location.
Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.
A Christian is one who has the Spirit of God. Look at that context: Father, Son, children. In other cases we see the term bridegroom and bride, all indicating a family relationship. It is a family that is a spiritual organism and we are in it in a spiritual relationship and location, gradually taking on the characteristics of that spirit family. We are scattered now because we were losing those characteristics and reverting to the characteristics of our former spirit father, Satan.
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Are you already spirit? Well, the old hat pin test would work very well here. Yet the Bible says, "You are in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." You can see that in is not being used to state physical position. It is not a physical location, because neither you nor I are in the spirit. "In" here in these two verses is being used in the sense of concerned with. It is being used in the same sense as we would say, "He is in politics." He is concerned with politics. He is involved with politics. Our concern is with things of the Spirit of God, the mind of God. It is a matter having to do with mind, attitude, thought, perspective, wisdom, and knowledge, with direction of life, and Jesus said, "Those who seek to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for My sake will find it." It is a matter of concern. That is what in the spirit is.
It is a matter of concern. It is a matter of direction of life. It is the concept of spiritual relationships that dominates the correct understanding, not physical location in regard to in Christ, or in the church, or any one of those things, because that relationship can and does contain people of all races, all nationalities, physically located in all positions and places on earth. But when one is in the spirit, it means that the great concern and involvement of that person's life lies in his relationship with God. If one is in the flesh, then the person's concern and involvement is his relationship with the world.
We are going to look at another aspect of this. It is actually the flip side of the "us being in Christ." Now what about Christ in us?
Romans 8:10-11 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you.
He uses Christ in us, spirit in us, and I will just paraphrase it - the Father in us - Him who raised up Christ from the dead. He is using them as though they were all one and the same thing. Again, even though they technically are not, in this sense they are parallel with each other, and he is using the three as if they were all one.
Jesus told the Jews that "I and the Father are one." Two distinct personalities, but they were one in heart, mind, purpose, perspective, attitude, and spirit. You saw one, you saw the other, in those areas. They share these things in perfect harmony and they want to share them with us so that we can be in perfect harmony with them and with others as they are. But that does not require them to be literally physically inside of us as in a supposed trinity, to somehow divide themselves in little pieces and physically inhabit each person anymore than it requires a father or mother, a grandparent, teacher, minister, or any other person significant to a growing child's life to literally physically live inside that child in order for the spirit, the characteristics of that significant person, to be manifested in the child.
It is exactly the same principle. You parents are in your children in the same way that our Father in heaven is in us, and your characteristics show up in your children. They show up in physically generated things that come by genetics - height, weight, color of eyes, shape of ears, color of hair, shape of nose. All of those things can be passed on, but also our characteristics are in our children. They pick up our gestures, our mannerisms, the way we talk, the inflections in our voice. Those things take up residence in us and they dwell there. If you ever heard or read language like that in the Bible, "The spirit is with you," "It shall dwell [take up residence] in you," that is exactly the same principle, and so we fully expect the family characteristics to turn up in our children - and they do! There is no way that it can be stopped.
I hope that you are with me, and I hope that you are thinking so that you understand how important what it was that Christ did for us. He gave us access to the Father so that we can spend time with Him, so that He can imprint on us, so that we can begin to share in His characteristics. If we are separated from Him, we cannot. So His Spirit can begin to dwell in us, and He will take up residence in us in the same way, the same manner, the same means by which our spirit takes up residence in our children. There is nothing hocus pocus about this. There is no third person involved in a trinity. It is God Himself, our Father and our elder Brother, and as long as we are separated from Him there is no transmission of what they are, no communication of what they are into us.
It is all done by spirit, being with Him in prayer, in Bible study, really letting Him be a part of your life, walking with Him, talking with Him, sharing your time with Him. That is how we become like Him. We let Him talk to us, and we do not resist it. We do not fight Him off. We spend our time with Him rather than the world. We let His Word flow into our mind, and we conduct our lives by it. We do everything in our power to imitate Him, to imitate His characteristics as we come to know and imitate His attitudes, His perspectives, His views on everything in life, whether it be sex, whether it be war, whether it be economics.
He is giving us instruction, and He will talk to us and say, "This is wise." "This is skillful." "This is good." "This is bad." We are going to learn that there are times that we run off to do evil things, things that will get us into danger, and He yanks us back just as surely as you would yank your child back who was going to run out into a street between parked automobiles and get hit by a car, and we learn. Sometimes it is awfully painful, because we do stupid things, that our spirit drives us away from Him and away from His ways.
II Corinthians 3:13-18 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished [or passing away]: But their minds were blinded [but ours are not brethren]; for until this day remains the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which veil is done away in Christ. [We can now see.] But even unto this day, when Moses is read [the Old Testament], the veil is upon their heart. [They are in ignorance. They have an excuse.] Nevertheless when it [anyone] shall turn to the Lord [that is you and me] the veil shall be taken away. [We will probably see that God was the One that enabled us to take the veil away. He enabled us to see.] Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. [Not enslavement. He does not manipulate the control. He does manipulate, but He does it in order to make us free, free like He is.] But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [a mirror] the glory of the Lord, [Because we can now see some of the glory of the Lord in His Word.] are changed [transformed] into the same image....
Image of what? Image of whom? The Father and the Son, the family of God. We begin to take on the characteristics of that family. How? By looking at it.
II Corinthians 3:18 ....are changed into the same image from glory [the glory of man] to glory [to the glory of God] even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Nothing passes between us but spirit. I will give you a hint. Words are spirit. Is there power to transform in words? Start thinking.
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I....
Pay attention to that word "I." What is God? God is Creator. What is He creating? Sons in His image. "Let us make man in our image."
Hebrews 8:10 I will put my laws [What are the laws? One part of law is words.] I will put my laws into their mind, [here comes those words], and write them in their hearts [heart]: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
How is this accomplished? We just read it in II Corinthians 3:18. By spirit. By His Spirit He is going to recreate His heart in us, His mind in us. Two things are necessary: His word, and Himself. "He sends forth His spirit, and they are created."