Building up believers and the New Testament church

To Live Is Christ

Scripture vs. Relationshipe

II Corinthians 3:3, "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." Paul tells us in II Corinthians 3:6 that God has made us "able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

The scriptures are the written account of God's dealing with man. The scriptures were not given to give us life. Jesus Christ came that we might have life. But man has focused on the scriptures rather than God. The scriptures have become man's god, and he is missing God's purpose. The scriptures were not given for us to know God. It is the Spirit that has been given to lead us into truth, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Anything which is not of and by the Spirit is dead letter. The Spirit is the one who gives us life. The Spirit has been given so that God could come to abide within man, and that man might have a new life. That new life is the life of God, a "new and living way," where the Spirit is our ability, our power, to fulfill in us what has been in God's heart from the beginning of time.

Paul tells us in Colossians 3:4 that Christ is our life. The promise and gift of God were given when the church began on the day of Pentecost. It is a promise to all who will receive Him by faith. We do not receive the Holy Spirit automatically when we believe facts of the scriptures. But when we believe what God has promised us, we take His promise by faith and experience the person of the Holy Spirit coming to live within that we might live in union with God.

In John 5:39 we see Jesus telling the religious leaders of that day, "You search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life." He said, "They testify of me, and you will not come to me, that I might give you life." This is the secret of what we are saying pertaining to the scriptures. Jesus recognized the scriptures, the account of God's working in the past, and the New Testament is the account of God's working through men in this new time of the Spirit. But these were never given to give us life.

We need to understand what the scriptures are given for, and we need to use them accordingly. We are told in II Timothy 3:16-17, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

If we want to follow after man's teaching, we will be eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But God has not called us to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but to live in His life, to be partakers of Him. It doesn't matter how good the teaching is; in fact, you can find man's teaching that is perfectly according to the letter of the Word. But teaching and doctrine can never bring us into the oneness that God has designed. Only the Spirit of God, God Himself, can do the work that He has designed, in and through us. God has given us the Spirit to lead us in truth. Our lives move either according to a doctrine which governs our walk, or in union with God.

Many today have a mind religion. Some call it "mind over matter." But there are many so-called Christian fundamentalists who also have nothing more than a mind religion--because it is devoid of the Spirit of God. They talk about the Spirit of God, they speak about the Spirit being the One that leads them, but the reality is not there. The indwelling of the Spirit in individual believers is not there. Thus, they have a form of godliness, denying the power of God.