Too often we fail to recognize the fact that the early believes, the people recorded in the New Testament, were far better Christians than most people who name the name of Jesus are today. How did they do it? After two thousand years of practice, one would presume that by now Christianity would have attained to what the Apostle Paul called the “…riches of the full assurance of understanding.” Let’s look at what is written ~ “That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and [attaining] to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2.2,3). What type of devious weapon of darkness could have been powerful enough to hinder so many Christians from achieving spiritual maturity? To be fair, it should be noted that every now and then throughout history there have been men and women who have obtained to a stature of piety that was attested to by great manifestations of God through preaching, others raising the dead or procuring great spiritual revelation, wherein supernatural conviction of the Holy Spirit fell indiscriminately upon thousands of people in the Great Revivals, and in an instant masses in the streets were converted from darkness to light.
Spiritual Growth of the Pioneers
But even these have been few and short lived. Most of the early Christians of the New Testament didn’t even have a Bible, the New Testament not having been completed until the middle of the third century. This is exactly what propelled these pioneers of Christ to grow up in the Spirit — they had no other way than to learn to walk in the Spirit. There were no religious bookstores with shelves and shelves of contradictory human philosophy to confuse and complicate things. The only way early Christians could survive was to walk in the Spirit, to learn to hear the voice of God and to treasure and put into practice every fragment of scripture they could find. If believers today would learn to walk in the Spirit, they’d enjoy the same results. Let’s look at how two verses of scripture along with the Holy Spirit is enough to, when put into practice, project a true disciple of Christ into the very presence of God and keep him there. The Apostle John writes, ~ “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1John 1.6,7).
Walking in the Light
In verse 6, the Spirit clarifies the difference between those who are genuine children of God and those who are not. This important first step is something that has been completely omitted today. When unbelievers are treated the same as Christians in the church, it is easy for the weak and the young to adopt all kinds of deceitful and destructive worldly habits that with time destroy their faith. In the following verse, we read ~ “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1John 1.7). When the Apostle says “walk in the light,” he is saying to walk in the Spirit, the revelation knowledge that is imparted by the Holy Spirit — this is what the Bible means when it says to walk in the Spirit. As it is written ~ “Do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8.1). And how is this accomplished? How does one walk in the Spirit? — It is done through revelation knowledge, which the Holy Spirits supplies. The Holy Spirit reveals the knowledge; the individual ‘walks,’ or conducts himself, according the information he received from the Spirit. The Bible says ~ “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed [them] to us through His Spirit” (1Corinthians 2.9,10). Notice that John said ~ “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1John 1.7).
Revelation knowledge of the Holy Spirit ‘IS spiritual life.’ It only comes from communion with God. He said if one has light [revelation], this person has ‘communion with God,’ which is what the Bible calls ‘Eternal life.’ — When one has communion God, this individual has indeed eternal life, for God himself is eternal life. ~ “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5.24). What is light, but knowledge; and what is revelation knowledge, but knowledge that ‘reveals God,’ which produces communion or relationship with God. No one can have relationship with God until He is revealed, and when God is revealed by the Spirit that person is in intimate relationship with God and because of that relationship he ‘possesses’ eternal life. ~ “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17.3).
Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise [man] glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty [man] glory in his might, Nor let the rich [man] glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I [am] the LORD…For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
© L. Jonathan Blais 2021 All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.
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