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Dynamics of the Spiritual Life, Part 5


Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if
there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139.23, 24

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Define, depend, demonstrate
Having defined the life of faith, and now beginning to depend on the Lord by denying the world and determining a proper course for the time of our lives, we will begin to demonstrate the reality of the spiritual life in all our words and deeds.

The goal of all Christian instruction is love for God and neighbors (1 Tim. 1.5). In all our time, through all our activities we want to demonstrate that Jesus really is alive, really lives in us, and really rules the world unto the glory of God. Everything about us – how we relate to others, do our work, participate in culture, and so forth – will show the hope we have in Jesus by honoring and glorifying God (1 Pet. 3.15; 1 Cor. 10.31).

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Determine

Dynamics of the Spiritual Life, Part 4


...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus... Hebrews 12.1, 2

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Number our days
The spiritual life is life in Jesus Christ, our risen and reigning Savior and King. We are in Him and He is in us, and we are learning to desire Him and deny whatever keeps us from depending solely on Him for full and abundant life.

The next dynamic of the spiritual life, which also falls under the heading of depending on the Lord, looks from the far horizon of the exalted Christ to the day-to-day details of our own unique callings. Here we determine the best course of action we need to take, in every area of our lives, if we are to gain the thing we most desire, a fuller and more fruitful life in the Lord.

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Deny

Dynamics of the Spiritual Life, Part 3


But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord... Philippians 3.7, 8

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The spiritual life
We are grouping the various dynamics of the spiritual life under three general and overlapping headings: define, depend, and demonstrate.

The first two headings of the spiritual life are easy enough. First, we must be clear about the life to which we are called; we must define spiritual life as God does – a life focusing on, sustained by, and expressive of the risen and exalted Lord Jesus Christ. We must say as Paul did, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2.20).

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Desire

Dynamics of the Spiritual Life, Part 2


One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
Psalm 27.4

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The Christian’s calling
The Christian’s calling is to a life oriented to, focused on, sustained by, and expressive of Jesus Christ, the risen and exalted Son of God, King of kings, and Lord of lords.

True spirituality begins in this definition; anything less than this is something other than Christian discipleship. Christian discipleship means practicing the Kingship of Jesus in every area of our lives, seeking and advancing His Kingdom, growing in His grace, and living as His disciples and witnesses.

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Define

Dynamics of the Spiritual Life, Part 1


The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 1 Corinthians 15.47, 48

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A spiritual life
Of course, every Christian will assent to the idea that the Christian life is, in the first instance, a spiritual life.

That is, believing in Jesus engages human beings, beginning in their spirits, in a new and lively way with God, Who is a most pure Spirit.

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The Apostles: The Kingdom Beyond and Within

Kingdom Visionaries 3, Part 7


And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1.22, 23

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From beyond
For the Apostles, the Kingdom was centered “above,” where Christ is seated in the heavenly places in glory. But it also exists beyond our present and within us at the same time.

The “beyondness” of the Kingdom of God consists of two aspects, according to the Apostles.

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