Unpublished study notes titled: The Divine Principles
Governing the Life and Worship of the church.
Principles (1) and
(3) The Principle
of Life in the Spirit
By the Cross the
principle of self which the scripture calls "the flesh" is ruled
out in order
to make way for the Lordship of Christ, made effective by the
powerful control of the Holy Spirit. In this world, where
Christ's Lordship is
denied, the church is the sphere of His authority, which is
always marked by
the activity of the Holy Spirit and a spiritual order of things.
prophetic promise of the New Covenant
31:31-34 God promises a new covenant with His people, in which
He will "put His law into
their inward parts", so
that all should know Him.
This is further
explained in Ezekiel 36:25-38 in these words: "I will cleanse you
I will give you a new heart
will put My
Spirit within you". The famous passage in Joel 2:28-29
confirms it in a
promise "to pour out My
Spirit on all
promise a new dispensation or dispensation, the age of the
in-dwelling Spirit of God. The New Covenant came in with Christ,
and the new
dispensation began with the outpouring of the Spirit at
teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ
With the incarnation
we begin to move towards the age of the Spirit. John the Baptist
says "He shall baptise
with the Holy Spirit and
In the preparatory
days of His incarnation our Lord showed:
(a) The spiritual nature of the kingdom of God
It is a spiritual
kingdom requiring a spiritual birth in its members (John 3).
(b) The spiritual character of the new
Christ is to go
away. The Spirit is to come to take charge until Christ comes
Note "I go
away", "I will come again", "The
Father will give you another comforter".
(c) His Ministry
(1) To indwell,
guide and teach believers (John 14:17,26; 16:13).
(2) To glorify,
testify of and reveal Christ (John 15:26; 16:13-14).
(3) To convict the
world (John 16:8).
3. The historical record in Acts
dispensation began at Pentecost. Henceforth the church is to be
living in the Spirit. Everything is to be "in the Holy Spirit"
and under His
So the Holy Spirit:-
Creates the church (Acts
Fills the church (Acts
2;4; 4:31; 6:3; 7:55; 9:17).
Unites the church (Acts
the church (Acts 5:32).
Empowers the church
(Acts 1:8; 4:29-33).
Works through the
church (Acts 2:41-47; 4:10; 5:1-11; 10:44).
Extends the church (Acts
8-11 and further).
Directs the church (Acts
8:29; 10:19; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 20:28).
4. The teaching of the epistles
Full development of
truth comes in the Epistles. Main passages are -
(a) Romans 8:1-16 LIFE
in the Spirit
(b) Romans 8:26-28 PRAYER
in the Spirit
(c) 1 Corinthians 2:1-16 KNOWLEDGE
in the Spirit
(d) 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 FELLOWSHIP
in the Spirit
(e) 2 Corinthians 3:1-18 MINISTRY
in the Spirit
(f) Galatians 5:16-26 PRACTICAL
CONDUCT in the Spirit
(g) Ephesians 6:10-18 CONFLICT
in the Spirit
(h) 1 Peter 2:1-9; Heb. 13:15; Philippians 3:3 WORSHIP in the
All is governed by
Galatians 5:25: "If we live in the Spirit". "Life in the
Spirit" is to
be the character of the church.
principle of separation
Our study of the
truth of separation begins with consideration of two words
"sanctify". "Separate" has the idea of division between two
things. Used in Genesis 1. e.g. 4,7,14,18. God divides between
Sanctify has the
idea of "withdrawal" or "apartness", and is used to describe the
God as One who is utterly apart from sinfulness or defilement of
any kind, e.g.
Isaiah 6:3; Exodus 3:5.
These two ideas
blend in the truth of the separation of God's people. God makes
which must result in "apartness".
Separation in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament
God is always seeking a separated people.
(a) Illustrations of it
(1) The Sons of
God, i.e. godly line of Seth (Gen .5-6).
(2) Abraham (Gen. 12,13,14,17).
(3) Moses (Heb. 11:24-27).
(4) Israel (Ex. 19:5-6;
33:16; Lev. 20:22-26; Deut. 7:6; 1 Kings 8:53.
Note: "Separate from among all peoples,
to thyself for an
(5) The Levites (Deut.
(6) The Nazarite (Num.
(b) Meaning of it
(1) People for the
Lord. The Lord's portion (Deut. 32:9; 14:2).
(2) Testimony in
the World (Lev. 11:44; Deut. 28:9-14).
(c) Result of the denial of it
people forsook their separate position, Judgment inevitably
Flood, Baal-Peor (Num. 25) and the events of Judges.
consequence was the utter
the purposes of God, e.g. history of Israel.
Separation in the New Testament
The church is a
separated company. Our position is plainly stated by the Lord in
John 17. "They are not of
the world, even as I am not
of the world". We are to be sanctified and yet are sent
into the world as
witnesses for Christ. We are "in the world" (v. 11) but "not of
the world" (v.
The New Testament
gives us five governing factors which determine our separation.
(a) We are separated by the cross
As the cross
separated the Incarnate from the resurrection life of Christ, so
separates the Christian from sin and the world. (Rom. 6. Gal.
2:20; 2 Cor. 5
and Gal. 6:14). We are dead to sin, and crucified to the world.
(b) We are separated by our life in Christ
In Christ we live
unto God and are to yield ourselves to Him as those alive from
the dead (Rom. 6:10-14).
In Christ we are
"hidden in God" and are therefore to "seek the things that are
above", i.e. in
the spiritual world (Col. 3:1-4).
(c) We are separated by the light
God is Light.
Christians are "children of Light" and they should "walk in the
world is in darkness (Eph. 6:12. 1 Thes. 5:4-8). Light cannot
have fellowship with
darkness, it can only witness against it (Eph. 5:7-14).
(d) We are separated by the indwelling of the
We are a sanctuary,
a temple of God, in whom God dwells and walks (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).
cannot have fellowship with idolatry of any kind. (1 Cor.
(e) We are separated by our love to God
Love for God, and
love for "the world" are inconsistent (1 John
The world is ridden with lust, i.e.
selfish desire. God is
full of love, i.e.
selfless desire, and these two do not cohere. At Calvary the
world's lust and the
Father's love were fully revealed,
nor is the situation any different now. Therefore "love not the
baptism of the Holy Spirit
live under the governing fact of their "baptism in the Holy
Spirit". Yet this
term needs to be rightly understood so as to avoid error both in
The word 'baptise'
means to 'immerse into', and has a reference both to a literal
act and a
spiritual experience. Literal baptism or immersion in water is
the symbol of or
testimony to spiritual baptism or immersion in the Holy Spirit.
As a single
drop may be submerged in the ocean by means of contact, so every
union with Christ is baptised into Him. We, however, do not lose
1. The prophecy of John the Baptist
John stated "I
baptise you in water
He shall baptise
you in the Holy Spirit and fire" (Matt. 3:11). Baptism at
the hands of John
was a sign of repentance, a washing away of sin, and a desire to
begin a new
life. But Christ would begin a new era in which Israel would be
the Holy Spirit who would burn up unrighteousness and purge sin
fire. So would be fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 4:4 and Joel
2. The Fulfilment at Pentecost
statement in Acts 1:5 refers to the baptism of John and
contrasts it with the baptism
of the Holy Spirit, which is distinctly applied to. Pentecost.
The term "baptism" in or by the Holy Spirit is never used again
except in 1 Corinthians
12:3. Note the following facts about the Pentecostal baptism.
(a) A distinct
event fulfilling the promise of Christ.
(b) A sending of
the Holy Spirit to abide for ever (John 14:16,26).
(c) A filling of
believers, i.e. a controlling of them.
(d) A showing of
His presence by supernatural actions.
(e) A commencement
of a new dispensation. Other supernatural evidences (e.g. Acts
8, 10 and 19)
were given at distinct points where the transition from the one
age to the
other was to be markedly shown.
3. The Teaching of Paul in 1 Corinthians
The only use in the
Pauline Epistles of the term "baptism in the Spirit" is in 1
"For in (or by) one Spirit
have we all
been baptised into one body
and have all been made to drink
into one Spirit".
phrases describe one experience, under two figures "baptism"
into". What is this experience?
(a) It is a past
completed act not a constant experience.
This is shown by the aorist tense of the verbs.
(b) it is an
experience shared by all believers.
"We all have been".
The baptism of the Spirit is not an experience enjoyed by
and not by others,
(c) It is
equivalent to the act of receiving the Spirit.
"We have been
and made to drink
into". Now faith in Christ, and confession of Christ is
the one condition
for receiving the Holy Spirit. That is clear from Acts 2:38 and
verses: 1 John 5; 1 John 1:13; John 3:6; Romans 8:9,15,16; John
(d) It is baptism
into the Body of Christ.
If it is a select
experience, then only those who know it are in the church, the
Body of Christ.
4. Baptism in the Spirit in the Spirit and
baptism into Christ
Romans 6.3-11 show
that baptism into Christ is spiritual union with Christ as of a
into a living stem. Union in death and in resurrection. "Alive
unto God in Christ".
shows that baptism into Christ is a receiving of His life and
nature, so that
we are "One Man" in Him. Old distinctions and divisions do not
pertain in the
fellowship of a corporate life in Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13
shows that baptism in the Spirit is the same as baptism into
Christ and baptism
into the Body.
5. Baptism in the Spirit and the Filling
with the Spirit
"Pentecost is the
one great effusion of the Holy Spirit which ever after touches
every individual conversion" (Calvin).
(a) At regeneration
we are baptised by the Spirit into Christ and into the Body.
In one divine act
we receive the Spirit, are joined to Christ as living members of
Him, in His
Body the church.
(b) By continual
yielding of ourselves to God, we are filled with the Spirit,
i.e. controlled by
This may be by
successive crises, or by a gradual process. Involves an inward
fellowship, a change of character, an outflow of power, and a
evidence of spiritual fruit.
Principle of the Body of Christ
studies lead up to this important subject of 'the Body of
Christ'. The cross
leads to the Lordship of Christ which is the key to Life in the
which we are separated from the world. All is comprised in the
fact of our
being baptised in the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ.
passages dealing with this truth are:
(1) Romans 12.
(2) 1 Corinthians
12 (also 1 Cor. 10:16,17).
(3) Ephesians 1:22,23;
(4) Colossians 1:18,24;
(1) What is the meaning of the Body of
The term is
figurative, and is the most important of the nine similes for
the church: body,
building, bride, family, flock, household, husbandry, temple,
A body is two or
more cells united by the same life. A single Christian, like a
cell, is indwelt
by divine life. But in Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came, we
read "It sat upon each of
them, and they were all
filled with the Holy Spirit". The result was "they all
continued in the fellowship" (2:42). The
means 'common life'.
1 Corinthians 10:17
says "we being many
(i.e. cells) are one
body, for we all are partakers of that
one bread (i.e. life)".
So the body is the relationship
of Christians, by their common sharing of the life of Christ
indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
(2) What are the characteristics of the
Body of Christ?
concerning the church as the Body shows that the features of the
analogous to those of the human body. There are 8 characteristic
A body lives. However it may
grow, it is always instinct with the same life. The Holy Spirit
is the life of
the church (1 Cor. 3:16). So the church should be characterised
by divine or spiritual
Unity. "As the Body is One" (1 Cor. 12:12).
many are one body" (1 Cor. 10:17).
The secret of this organic unity is seen in John 17: 21-23. It
is the divine
life or element in us that makes us one.
"He is the Head of the
Body, who is the
Beginning that in all things He might have pre-eminence"
(Col. 1:18). See
Ephesians 1:22,23. As Lord of each life, as the Giver of the
Holy Spirit, and
as the first to rise from the dead, Christ is the Head of the
involves two things:
(1) He gives life to the church.
(2) He controls the church.
"We are members one of another" (Eph. 4:25). See 1
Each member is "set in the Body" by God in relationship to each
We are necessary to one another, and cannot grow unless we are
joined together. N.B. Eph. 4:16: "fitly
joined and compacted". Col. 2:19 "knit
The body must not only be
vital with LIFE, but warm with LOVE. The Holy Spirit, like the
relates the parts of the body to the Head, and communicates
throughout, e.g. "the
fellowship of the
members should have the same care
one for another" (1 Cor. 12:25-27). In honour or in
suffering we should
feel for one another in Christ. The warmth of Christ's Body is
the warmth of
LOVE (1 Thess. 4:9-10).
The body should express the
personality, in every part. Each part expresses something of the
Which Person should the church express? Surely Christ.
"As the Body
so is Christ" (1 Cor. 12:12).
divided?" (1 Cor. 1:13).
the fulness of Him" (Eph. 1:23).
"The new man,
created in righteousness and
holiness of truth" (Eph. 4:24),
The body is the sphere of
living activity, the activity of the one life which pervades "All
these work the same
spirit" (1 Cor.
There is a function for every member (1 Cor. 12:7; Eph.
4:7; Rom. 12:6)
There is a variety of gifts
(Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4). Apostolic, prophetic (i.e.
message) teaching, evangelistic, pastoral, faith, healing,
discernment, tongues, exhortation, giving, ruling, showing
mercy. Above all
The Body should grow. First - in itself. It should
build itself up,
each member supplying nourishment to the other. (Col. 2:19. Eph.
it is love that builds up the church. Second out from
itself. This is seen
in Acts 2:47; 3:14; 11:24.
added to the Lord".
Everything in the
Christian life should be on the basis of the Body, i.e. in the
the Head, and in true relatedness to others.
Priesthood of All Believers
Every Christian is
a priest unto God. This is a fundamental truth of the New
Testament, yet sadly
misunderstood and neglected. Even in the free churches, where it
claimed it is little expressed.
1. Priesthood in the Old Testament
The word "priest"
derives from the idea of "one who stands before God" and "one
who guards the
sanctuary". So the priest stands in special relation to God,
original thought i.e. that man should worship Him and live in
communion with Him. This was the purpose and calling of Israel.
They were "a kingdom of
priests, a holy nation" (Ex.
19:5,6) and their priesthood was symbolised in the Aaronic
on behalf of the nation.
The failure of this
is seen in Hosea 4:6 and in the utter failure of the priests to
2. Priesthood in the greater and more
The tabernacle was
the centre of a system of worship by which men approached God
and learned of
Him. It passed away, giving place to "the
greater and more perfect tabernacle" (Heb. 8.2; 9:11).
This is a new order
of things, a new creation, a heavenly fellowship in Christ, a
way of approach
to God in and through His Son.
In this heavenly tabernacle,
Christ is the High Priest, fulfilling all other priesthoods. He
alone can stand
before God with perfect right, and can satisfy the Father (Heb.
By virtue of our
oneness with Him, we are made priests, as Aaron's family were,
relationship to him. Sonship and priesthood go together. "A
(Eph. 2:18-21; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6). "In
Him we have access, by the Spirit to the Father".
3. Priesthood what it involves
to God. Priests are men who draw
near to stand before God. Hebrews 10:19-22 is the classic
portion of Scripture
showing this. We draw near as those who are sanctified in Christ
reconciled and cleansed by His blood, justified by faith in Him
alone (Rom. 5:2;
Eph. 2:17; 1 Peter 3:18).
We draw near
covered in the righteousness of Christ, and sanctified by the
separation from sin and unto God must be the character of our
Romans 12:1,2 shows
us the nature of our priestly separation (1 Peter 1:16; 2:5)
The ministry of the priests
was to offer sacrifice, incense and offerings to the Lord, to
constant ritual worship. This was the highest ministry possible.
Our offering is
seen in Romans 12:1 and Hebrews 13:15-16, 1 Peter 2:5;
"Spiritual sacrifices", "the sacrifice of praise", "living
"prayers of saints". These are well pleasing to God in Christ.
for others. The offering
of incense was part of the priests' ministry. It speaks of
prayer. Example of
intercession is seen in Numbers 16:46: "He
stood between the dead and the living".
intercessions be made for all
men" (1 Tim. 2:1; Rev. 8:3).
4. Priesthood how it should be practised
Our priesthood must
be real and practical. Melchizidek was "priest
of the Most High God" and "he brought
forth bread and wine and blessed Abram" (Gen. 14:18). How
wonderful to be "priests
of the Most High
be expressed in:
(1) True separation
of life to God (Isa. 52:11; Heb. 10:22).
Occupation with Divine Things (Col. 3:1).
(3) A deep spirit
of worship (John 4:20).
(4) A flow of
spoken praise (Heb. 13:15; Col. 3:16).
(5) A constant ministry
of intercession (1 Thes. 5:17).
Conclusion. To be
a Son, is to be a priest. A Son of God, a priest of God. What
privilege and responsibility. How far do we "minister unto the
Lord in the
(8) Nature and
practice of authority
The root idea of
the word 'authority' is 'that which is allowed or permissible'.
Power is inward
force; authority is the right or ability to use that force.
There is all the
difference between a very strong man assaulting you in a street
and a policeman
arresting you. The first has power only, the second has
authority is power acting in the name of some supreme power, by
or as its agency.
This Supreme Power
is God Himself. All other authority (even that of evil) is
within His sovereign
power, or by His direct appointment or inspiration. Satan's
allowed by God (Luke 14:6; Col. 1:13). Christ's 'authority' was
given Him by
God, (John 17:2), Moses, Samuel, Elijah and the prophets (see
Jer. 1:10) were
all men invested with divine authority.
1. The authority of God Himself
God's authority is absolute.
Simple illustration seen in Acts 5:4: "After
it was sold, was it not in thine authority?" i.e. in Your
right to do with
it as it pleased You.
God's authority over mankind is shown in Rom. 9:9-24. "Has
the potter authority over the clay?" God as creator has
absolute right and
ability to do as He pleases with man.
God's authority over history. "Times and seasons", i.e.
the ages, the
movements of history are set
within God's own authority.
All other authority exists
within or under this supreme authority of God the Almighty (a
term used 9
times in Revelation).
2. The authority of the Lord Jesus
God has given all
authority to His Son.
Authority over all
to give eternal life (John 17:2).
All authority in
heaven and earth go ye therefore (Matt. 28:18).
execute judgment (John 5:27).
Complete and final
authority (Rev. 12:10).
Yet the amazing
thing about the authority of Christ is that it is the authority
of the Lamb,
the meek and lowly, broken, willing, self-sacrificing one. This
is seen in Revelation
5 and 6.
3. The authority of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit
exercises the authority of Christ in the church.
Christ risen and
exalted is given to the church to be "Head
over all things", i.e. to be Lord, Controller, Life-giver
This Lordship is
made real by the inward control of the Holy Spirit. This is
clear from 1 Corinthians
12:4-11 and by our Lord's words in John 14:15,16. The filling of
the Spirit is
the Lordship of Christ.
This authority is exercised by means of
Christ's word is a
word of authority (John 12:47-50). It demands obedience. It
judges. The Spirit
teaches the Word of Christ. He is the Spirit of Truth, demanding
This authority is exercised through
spiritually constituted overseers
by the Spirit is shown in the church by a pastoral body, raised
appointed by the Lord (Acts 20:28). It is ordained by the church
Such a body is said to rule (Heb. 13:7,17; 1 Tim. 5:17).
(a) The nature of this authority
It is spiritual (2
It is the authority
of men broken before God, e.g. such were Paul and Peter (see 2
It is the authority of love
(2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10; 1 Pet. 5:2).
(b) The exercise of this authority
Here is the authority
of Christ in the fellowship binding on earth what is bound in
heaven (Matt. 18:18-20).
(c) The divine care for this authority
Not he that commends
himself, but whom the Lord commends (2 Cor. 10:18).
Great example of
this is Moses (Numbers 12). This solemn event shows the divine
His appointed authority.
Divine authority in the church is most important. It is the
wisdom, spiritual understanding, example, meekness, love,
exercised by the
Spirit through those whom He appoints to "take
care of the church of God" (1 Tim. 3:5).
principle of dependence
Independence is the
essence of sin. "We have
turned every one
to his own way". Therefore it is plain that salvation must
be the bringing
back into the life of dependence upon God.
1. Dependence is the quality of sonship
are we the sons of God". To
be a child, a son, involves many things but within all
man had two sons" (Luke 15:11).
They were in dependence on their father and the sin of the
younger son was the
sin of wanting to be independent.
son of God" (Luke 3:38), i.e.
he was made to live in dependence physically and spiritually.
"As a man his
son so the Lord thee"
(Deut. 8:5). Deuteronomy 8 is a chapter which brings out the
dependence which Israel had to learn in the wilderness (e.g.
Throughout its history Israel was to be a testimony of a nation
dependence upon God. Hence no king, and no horses and chariots.
2. Dependence was the character of Christ
In His incarnation
the Lord Jesus lived the perfect life of dependence. John's
together Christ's sonship and His dependence on the Father.
His own Testimony, e.g.
John 5:19,30; 6:57; 8:28,54; 14:10.
His prayer life. Our
Lord's dependence on the Father is shown in His life of constant
especially how He prayed at critical points in life, in addition
to His regular
practice of prayer, e.g. Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12;
3. Dependence should be a great feature of
the Christian life
(a) Dependence is the outcome of the cross
in our life
crucified Christ lives I live by
faith" (Gal. 2:20).
"That we trust not in
ourselves, but in
God that raises the dead" (2 Cor. 1:9).
(b) Dependence is the essence of faith
"The life I
live I live by the faith of the
Son of God" (Gal. 2.20).
(c) Dependence allows the Holy Spirit to
e.g. Romans 8:10-14.
Spirit indwells, Spirit quickens, Spirit leads, Spirit helps
infirmities (Rom. 9:11,14,26).
(d) Dependence is expressed by a life of
E.g. Acts 1,4,12,13.
The church of the Acts was a church that did everything in
on the Holy Spirit.
4. Dependence on the living God should be
the hallmark of the church
Evangelism (Acts 2:47).
Maintenance of the church (Acts 20:32).
walk by faith, and faith is dependence, the drawing upon God for
all needs, the
confident trusting on Him at all times. Dependence is "living
out from God".
not have the restless will, that hurries to and fro
for some great thing to do, a secret thing to know;
be treated as a child, and guided where I go.