Being more spiritual than the Spirit

Kevin DeYoung has a helpful post on the problems arising from ‘free-spirit theology’ here.

In the fourth problem he mentions how the Spirit given means of grace – Scripture, sermons, prayer, the sacraments and the organised church, are often rejected or downgraded in free-spirit theology, making ourselves “more spiritual than the Spirit Himself.”


Immanuel’s Land

The sands of time are sinking
The dawn of heaven breaks
The summer morn I’ve sighed for
The fair sweet morn awakes
So dark has been the midnight
But dayspring is at hand
And glory, glory dwells within Immanuel’s land

Oh Christ he is the fountain
The deep sweet well of love
The streams on earth I’ve tasted
More deep I’ll drink above
There to an ocean fulness
His mercy will expand
And glory, glory dwells within Immanuel’s land

The bride eyes not her garment
But her dear bridegroom’s face
I will not gaze at glory
but on my King of grace
Not at the crown he gives us
But on his nail-pierced hand
The lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land

Oh I am my beloved’s
And my beloved is mine
He brings a poor vile sinner
Into his house of wine
I stand upon his merit
I know no other stand
To him be all the glory in Immanuel’s land

Words by Anne Ross Cousin (1824-1906)

Available for download from Matt Searles, here

Being somewhat under-equipped

Struggle in relationships is everyone’s story. None of us has ever had a relationship completely free of struggle. All of us have had moments when we were discouraged by the effort a good relationship requires. Each of us has dreamed that those relationships would magically become easier. We’ve all wished for the power to change another person – and
many of us have actually tried to remake someone in our own image. All of us have allowed inconsequential actions and habits to get under our skin and argued for a personal preference as if it were a moral absolute. And each of us has tried to be the Holy Spirit in another person’s life, trying to work spiritual changes that only God can accomplish.

[Relationships – a mess worth making, Lane & Tripp, 55]

Trinitarian unity

Paul grounds our unity in the unity of the Trinity, not in our ability to get along. We get along because Father, Son, and Spirit have allowed us to do so. We can give grace because we have been given grace. Jesus humbled himself. The Father gently and patiently works out our salvation. The Holy Spirit forbears and abides with us even in the face of our sin, convicting and correcting us, but never condemning. Father, Son, and Spirit were torn apart so that we might be united with them and with each other.

[Relationships – a mess worth making, Lane & Tripp, 46]

Godly dissatisfaction

“If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.” – St. Augustine

(Quoted in Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support, B. House)