Series: The Kingdom of God; Soul & Spirit
Sun am 11 April 2010 – Kobus Swart
Rom. 14:17; Eph. 2:6; Gal. 5:25; Heb. 4:12; (Col. 1:13); (Matt. 5:20); (Matt. 23:25-26); (Rom. 8:14); 2 Peter 1:4-11 – Phillips version
We are accumulating a lot of good information, knowledge and principles. The question is how much of it are we walking in? God weighs the house and that weight is not determined by how much we have heard but by how much has become ours in daily life. We are positionally seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph.2:6). Does this manifest in your daily life when there is pressure, when things are not going well and when you have to make choices? We must move from positional reality to experiential reality.
For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom 14:17). These are three very important characteristics that should manifest in the life of every Kingdom citizen. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col 1:13). This statement alone should reflect some fundamental changes if we compare the life before to the life after your born again experience. The issue should not be reduced to going to hell or heaven; that is not the issue. The issue is what is happening to us in this life as we pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” The Kingdom is not eating and drinking, which talks about the outward things that daily life is made up of. It’s a deeper issue; its righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit administrates the government of God and the Kingdom of God. There’s a tremendous function that is in the hands of the Holy Spirit. We must make very sure that we do not jump from Passover to Tabernacles without stopping at Pentecost.
We are going to see the Holy Spirit play a fundamental role in taking of Christ and disclosing it to us, helping us to live the life of righteousness and peace and joy. The religious world has a counterfeit for all three of these; it has its own righteousness, peace and joy. We have to live a life in which these values are reflected daily.
For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20). We have grown up over the years with a legalism that birthed a self-righteous attitude (Matt. 23:25-26). Sometimes those who have been delivered from religious rituals and regulations may for a transitional season look worse on the outside than the self-righteous Pharisee. This is because we have to get used to walking in the freedom of the sons of God. The fruit must come from within, not from outside. We need to learn to live by the restraint of the Kingdom within, which means to be led by the Holy Spirit. Those who are being led by the Spirit are the sons of God (Rom 8:14). Ultimate maturity is reflected by being led by the Spirit of God. Children are led by something else, either religious leanings or the soul realm. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:25), if we live by our spirit we must also walk by our spirit.
This transition and the unfolding of this season will see people migrate from being dominated by the soul to being freed in the spirit and becoming a spiritual people. Unless the redeemed community; people that call themselves Christians, begin to live in the spirit, our choices and reactions will still be rooted largely in the soul realm. Jesus slept in the boat while the storm was raging, because He lived in the spirit, He had peace. This is the function the Church must walk in, in this day.
How do we know that we live in the domain of the Holy Spirit and that we walk as Kingdom citizens? Watch your reactions when somebody treats you the wrong way. Do you manifest true joy; do we live every minute of every day in joy? Do we manifest peace in the midst of bad news? Are we quick to forgive? How often do we transgress the boundaries of the Kingdom? Righteousness is one of the most powerful words that characterize a true Christian believer. Religion is using a version of righteousness, “thou shalt not” to regulate the behavior of Christians through what is called “sin consciousness”. The issue is not sin; it has been dealt with and has been nailed to the Cross. Sin consciousness makes you reactive instead of proactive.
How can you judge whether your reactions come from the soul or from the spirit? Allow the Holy Spirit to help you, He is the Helper. He is freely available for those who are on the move, He will not steer a parked car. We need to develop an ear to hear the Holy Spirit. The soul can imitate love, faith and peace. It can imitate righteousness. But when tested it will show up as being a counterfeit. Hebrews 4:12 remains a powerful truth. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Unless the Holy Spirit activates the truth in the Word to your heart, the Bible will mean nothing to you. The letter kills but the Spirit gives life. It is the living proceeding Word that highlights the difference between spirit and soul.
Test your reactions; test your relationships with one another; the Kingdom is relationships, so we will be tested in our relationships.
Righteousness can be imputed (to ascribe or assign). When Christ died He became our righteousness; that is imputed righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). But what we are talking about now is imparted righteousness. When you are born again you are made righteous in Christ. In order to live as a Kingdom citizen I must manifest the righteousness, the joy and the peace. We want the power of these things manifested in our lives. It is like money in the bank, this is like imputed righteousness. It is yours, but it still means nothing to you until you draw it from the bank. It must become experientially yours. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you (2 Pet. 1:5 –11-Phillips translation).
God has done His part, but we must learn to activate and draw on it so that we can experience His provision