Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (The Father is training His sons through Contrast)
What is the primary role of the Holy Spirit? What is the impact of not fully knowing Christ as taught by the Holy Spirit? How is religious gospels defeating Christians today? How does the Holy Spirit use training contrast to bring additional discernment to us? What is the primary purpose of the Father's contrast training of His sons? Holy Spirit teach and reveal Christ in us as us and help us see that Father's divine purpose for His contrast teaching.
THE FATHER'S TRAINING THROUGH CONTRAST
"For the Word of God is ever living and energetic, and sharper than every two-edged sword, even ever penetrating through to the division of both soul and spirit, and of both joints and marrows, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebr. 4:12, author's translation).
First, The Father Sends the Holy Spirit to Draw, Birth, and Train His Sons
The Father initially draws us to Himself (John 6:44). The Father first sends the Holy Spirit to convict of sin (John 16:7). Then, the surgeon of the Father, the Holy Spirit performs the greatest miracle of Divine surgery and rebirths us into the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:13). From the time we are Spirit birthed by God, the Father begins to train His sons. The Father continues to send the Holy Spirit in a life-long role to teach us of Christ who lives within us and us in Him (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15). The primary role and purpose for which the Holy Spirit was sent – is to teach the Father's birthed sons of the Christ who lives within them. Christ lives in us and expresses Himself as us. The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father to train His sons. We are learning our union relationship with the Son and the Father.
Second, Serious Truth of Not Knowing Christ in Us as Taught by the Spirit
This brings us to an amazing, yet serious consideration to view in all honesty. How many birthed sons do you know, including yourself, who are anxiously and earnestly listening and hearing the Holy Spirit teach of Christ who lives within us and us in Him? How many birthed sons fully know with a living reality – the truth that "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). Paul doesn't say here we can live our life part of the time and Christ can live the other part of the time in us. Paul is talking about serious mind renewal that is performed by the Holy Spirit, to where we realize and recognize that Christ should be living in and through us all the time. The Father set up this stark contrast to train us. It is no longer I, contrasted with Christ who becomes our all in all. The Holy Spirit leads us to see that, "It is no longer I, but Christ" (Gal. 2:20).
Third, Teaching Another Religious Gospel is Defeating Christians Today
As you view the majority of Christianity, it is sad that you do not find much teaching or emphasis, or living reality of this message and truth of the gospel that the Apostle Paul preached. You see more teaching on how to be like Jesus, look like Jesus, and how to be a better self Christian by doing. . .doing. . .doing. That kind of teaching is riddled with law, self-efforts, and defeat. It is opposite to the true gospel. The Apostle Paul would boldly distinguish these teachings as "another Jesus" and "another gospel" and would tell those who preach these anti-Christ and anti-cross gospels to be accursed (Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 11:3,4). We are not birthed by the Spirit to become skilled Christian actors but to let the Holy Spirit renew our minds so Christ, Himself can fully flow through us. Christ was placed in us to use the renewed mind to be the doer or expresser through us as us. Christ is our life, our only life.
Fourth, The Father Uses His Word and Spirit for Training through Contrast
So the Father in His great love has provided us His Word and permitted the Holy Spirit to teach us through contrast. Often, we need this training through contrast to help us in our transition as we are learning to hear and be led of the Spirit. This primary tool of His spiritual discernment is used to form stepping stones that the Holy Spirit will use to lead us to where He can teach us the fullness of Christ.
Fifth, Discernment Comes from Rightly Dividing through Training Contrast
We need to first rightly divide the contrasts of the soul and the Spirit (Hebr. 4:12). There are things in similar categories contrasted and viewed as flesh and Spirit (Gal. 6:7-8, Rom. 8:6-9). These are ultimate contrasts that distinguish between the temporal and eternal realms (II Cor. 4:18). The Word and the Holy Spirit revealing or illuminating the Word to us, helps us to see the contrasts and develops spiritual discernment. We have to distinguish the difference between soul and spirit, between flesh and spirit, and between temporal and eternal. Religion has you do things and calls it spiritual. We must be able to discern from the soulish actions of man versus the leading of the Spirit of God. Until we are seasoned in these contrasts taught by His Word and Spirit, we will not have the discernment we need to distinguish the source behind the voices we hear in this world. We need confirmation in and by His Spirit.
Sixth, Areas of Contrast that Provide Additional Discernment and Training
Areas of contrast are taught throughout the New Testament – particularly the Book of John, John's epistles, and Paul's epistles. These provide insight to the church. Five (5) examples of contrasts used are: life and death (Rom. 6:23); light and darkness (John 1:5; II Cor. 4:6); wisdom and foolishness (I Cor. 1:21-25); love and fear (I John 4:18); strength and weakness (II Cor. 12:9,10). These are significant areas of contrast that you may want to search out. Do not be misled. All of the discernment and training through contrast that we are receiving from the Holy Spirit is not to build us up in our minds that we are becoming some giant discerners in the Spirit. It is really just the opposite. It is so we can have all our blinders removed in each of these areas, and so we can see in His Spirit through religion, flesh, sin, and all the temporal stuff in life with His eternal perspective.
Seventh, The Ultimate Purpose of Contrast Training is to See Christ in Us
When the Holy Spirit renews the mind through His contrast training, we have discernment between the temporal and the eternal realms. This provides insight we need to make ultimate decisions. Will I continue to live my temporal life in the flesh and just imitate Jesus, or will I let Christ live His life in the Spirit in and through me? The Holy Spirit's ultimate end purpose of our training through contrast, has been a crucial part of His primary role to be the teacher and revealer of Christ. "He must ever increase, and I must ever decrease" (John 3:30, author's translation). Ultimately, it is all about Christ. The training through contrast shows us Christ as our life, as our strength, as our wisdom, as our all in all. It is not about me improving or getting better. The gospel is seeing that everything about me and the old man died in Christ on that cross (Rom. 6:3,6). Everything about the new birthed me is found in the resurrected Christ, who now lives in me as me (Rom. 6:11). "It is no longer I, but Christ" (Gal. 2:20).