Excerpt From God’s Gift of Perfection Series
Chapter 12 – Part 2
And who are the spiritual? Those in whom not only the gifts, but the graces of the Spirit have obtained supremacy and are made manifest. God’s love is His perfection (Matthew 5: 40-46); Christ’s humility is His perfection. The self-sacrificing love of Christ, His humility, meekness, and gentleness, manifested in daily life, are the most perfect fruit of the Spirit. They are the true proof that a man is spiritual. A man may have great zeal in God’s service – he may be used to influence many for good – and yet, when weighed in the balance of love, be found sadly wanting. It is in the heat of controversy, or under unjust criticism, that haste of temper, slowness to forgive and forget, or quick words and sharp judgments, often reveal an easily wounded sensitiveness, which proves how little the Spirit of Christ has full possession or real mastery.
The spiritual man is the man who is clothed with the spirit of the suffering, crucified Jesus.
And, it is only the spiritual man who can understand "the wisdom among the perfect,"
"even the mystery which now has been manifested to the holy ones, to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery, …which is Christ in you." Colossians 1:26, 27
A Christian teacher may be a man of wonderful perception and insight, may have the power of opening the truth, of mightily stimulating and helping others, and may yet have so much of the carnal that the deeper mystery of Christ in us remains hidden. It is only as we yield ourselves completely to the power of God’s Holy Spirit that the Christian, whether scholar or teacher, can fully enter into the wisdom of the perfect. This yielding includes being made free from all that is carnal, attaining the utmost possible likeness to Jesus in His humiliation, and being filled with the Spirit who rules our hearts and lives.
To know the mind of God we must have the mind of Christ. And the mind of Christ is this: He emptied and humbled Himself, and became obedient to death. His humility was His capacity – His fitness – for rising to the throne of God. This mind must be in us if the hidden wisdom of God is to be revealed to us in its power. It is this that is the mark of the spiritual, the perfect man.
May God increase the number of the perfect. And to that end the number of those who know to speak wisdom among the perfect, even God’s wisdom. As the distinction between the carnal and the spiritual, the babes and the perfect, comes to recognition in the Church, the connection between a spiritual life and spiritual insight will become clearer. The call to perfection will gain new force and meaning. And, it will once again be a just cause of reproof and of shame not to be among the perfect.
Previously The Perfect Man – Part 1