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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

Eagleswing
I am so glad you have discovered the writings of G W North. I have been richly blessed through the life and ministry of many saints of God but I regard this man's influence as the most definitive in my own understanding the work of the Spirit.

He was a very close and personal friend. He and his wife stayed in our home on several occasions. He went to be with the Lord last year, a couple of days after his 90 birthday. I have almost completed the archiving of his writings into pdf format, and if you have not already discovered the site you will find the sources for your posts here. The Doctrine of the Spirit in Romans

His writing was not always easy to follow at first reading but it is pure gold. If you have not heard him in action I suggest go up into God


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Ron Bailey

 2004/4/15 7:15Profile
eagleswings
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 Re: "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" by G.W. North



19. How full of precious instruction is this chapter. Paul wrote it to enlighten us as to some of the more basic offices and ministrations of the Spirit: in it He is called the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus; the Spirit of Him (the Father) that raised up Christ from the dead: the Spirit of leadership: the Spirit of adoption: the Spirit of witness: the Spirit of fruitfulness: the Spirit of intercession. He comes to men to enable them to walk after Him and not after the flesh. He has created such a variety of possibilities, and opened up such prospects for us — joint-heirship with Christ, glory, love, power — that we are almost overwhelmed by them. So great are the blessings, that for evermore we are indebted to God to refuse to live after the flesh any more. It is true that this is a negative commitment, but it is a very necessary one indeed. This is a personal debt we owe Him, which, if we fail to discharge on this earth in this life, we can never discharge hereafter. We can only discharge this by living positively for Him; until we do this we shall not be able to have and enjoy our inheritance as we ought. By the law of the Spirit of God we have to live by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus to such effect that the Spirit of Jesus shall be reproduced in us — then we shall not be held and motivated in any way by the law of sin and death.



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Roger P.

 2004/4/16 10:23Profile
eagleswings
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 Re: "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" by G.W. North



20. The Holy Spirit has come for the whole man — spirit, soul and body; not for a third, or two thirds of him, but for all of him, and the direct purpose of His coming is the reproduction of the life of Christ in every man bought with His blood. But, although He is so powerful, He cannot do this without our co-operation, and this must be total. We must be very attentive to Him and obey Him willingly and lovingly, for He will not force us to do so. Firstly it is necessary for us to recognize what God has in mind, namely that we should be conformed to the image of His Son. Everything else, whatever it may be, is subordinate to that. All the Holy Spirit's energies are directed to this end in every man; He has it always in mind, and all the time He is thinking how best to accomplish it. He was there in conference with Father and Son when it was decided that all God's sons should be predestinated, having already, in God's heart, been conformed to the image of the Son. That was the original determination, and it must have first place in every man's thinking. God's design is not to make us equal to the Son; that could never be. He is God and in His sonship He is unique; but that uniqueness apart, the Spirit is come to conform each one of us to Him in the likeness of His glorious humanity — the nature in which the Son subsisted as a man on earth.



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Roger P.

 2004/4/17 8:35Profile
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 Re: "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" by G.W. North



21. This the Spirit cannot do unless He receives one hundred percent co-operation from us; He has to change and adjust spirit, mind and body totally and progressively to the end in view. Unless we allow the power of God to affect us in every realm of our being, His task is impossible; not even God can accomplish it. There is nothing else for it. Man is so utterly degenerate; his need so great and his case so hopeless, that apart from total re-making he is lost. Hope for man lies in God alone, and the Spirit of holiness and love has come to bring it. He is equipped with all the power of God, backed up by and enhanced with the redemption in Christ Jesus, with the fixed intention of re-making us entirely thereby. He (1) brings believing men the spirit of Christ to identify us with Himself; (2) imparts the mind of Christ that He may teach us; (3) develops (in us) the soul of Christ that He may fellowship with us; (4) quickens our mortal body that He may walk and work with us. The result is that our entire life, our whole human nature is renewed. This is the degree to which God will save men on this earth; Jesus came to justify us, Father comes to own us, the Holy Ghost comes to glorify us. God expects all our minds to be instinct with this and all our thoughts to be ablaze with it.



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Roger P.

 2004/4/18 6:28Profile
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 Re: "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" by G.W. North



22. Let This Mind Be in You
The part the mind plays in it all is a very important one and this cannot be overlooked or neglected without dreadful loss. Paul sets out the mental position like this: 'they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; ... to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace ... the carnal mind is enmity against God'. The phrases 'carnally minded' and 'spiritually minded' may be thought of as 'the minding, or the mind of, the flesh' and 'the minding, or mind of, the Spirit'. Fleshly thinking or thinking only or generally for the satisfaction of the flesh with purpose to fulfil its desires apart from the will of God is sin and death. Thinking from the viewpoint of the promotion, comfort and advancement of life in and for the flesh is anti-God; He calls that carnal. By contrast, spiritual thinking, or thinking by the Spirit is to use the same mental powers and processes for the purpose of fulfilling the will of God, while in the body and with the same flesh. The Holy Spirit gives this enabling, which will be rewarded by the blessing of seeing things from the viewpoint of the Holy Spirit. This will enable Him to promote and advance the life of Christ in us for the glory of all concerned. This is not possible unless the mind of Christ, that is, His thinking and His way of thinking becomes ours. Only the Holy Spirit can bring Christ's power and process and practice of thinking into us. Unless this ability becomes ours He cannot make us what He wants; it cannot be done by external forces working upon us; they may do, but without a change of mind we cannot be changed people. If we were mindless, inanimate objects, His power could perform miracles on and with us, but could not reproduce the likeness of Christ in us, for that consists in and develops from changing states of thought. We are human beings, having reflexes which are not under the control of the conscious mind; we have wills capable of response or of rejection; we have imaginations also and memories, and can frame and speak words, formulate plans and decide actions. To do all this is part of life, a major part, and God is very concerned about it. He insists that we be Christ-like, and to be that we must think, and think with the right kind of mind, the spiritual mind. A person's mind is as important to him as his heart. It is exceedingly difficult to assess the relative importance of mind and heart in the life of man.




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Roger P.

 2004/4/19 10:22Profile
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 Re: "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" by G.W. North



23. There can be little doubt that right from the very beginning, in the formation and development of a human body within the womb, the heart and the brain come into being simultaneously. This is of necessity, for between them heart and brain constitute the twin indispensable basic functional mechanisms of human beings; they are interdependent — one cannot be without the other. At that stage their functions and capacity are limited, though their potential is great. Each is so dependent upon the other, that to destroy either would be to destroy both. This is so at every stage of life, but for that which we seek it is only necessary to perceive life's beginnings, so that nature itself should teach us. In its earliest stages the natural impulses of the heart are received from the brain as they are to this day in the body of everyone now reading this. These messages that command the heart to beat are not consciously generated by the intellectual mind; they function from the brain by means not yet known, from a part not yet discovered. The function of the heart and the function of the brain are of equal importance; between them, together with the blood of the mother, they produce a living body. We must therefore take extreme care when pondering these verses lest we miss vital truth, which to ignore could mean spiritual death. We must have a spiritual mind or we cannot have a spiritual heart; if one is carnal so is the other. They are twinned by God and cannot be put asunder, nor can their state be made different from each other; they must both be life or both be death. This must inevitably lead to a similar and even more basic point than this; it concerns the cause or origins of life within us. None of this would be possible unless the Spirit of Christ were given us. The mind of the Spirit and the Spirit of Christ are as it were twins; we must have both. Without either there could be no life, they cannot exist apart from each other; they exist together as one. This also is the Holy One's ministry in man. It is His charge to quicken our spirits within us, raising each man's spirit from its death, regenerating it thereby into a spirit like Christ's, that is, like the spirit that was in the body of the man called Jesus. The Spirit of God has to come into us, and He does so in order to generate a Christ-like spirit in us. Not until this happens is Christ indwelling us.



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Roger P.

 2004/4/20 8:29Profile
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 Re: "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" by G.W. North

24. Now this miracle besides being most wonderful is also most necessary. In order to sensibly believe we have the life of Christ, we must be living, thinking spirits; to think otherwise than this is plainly illogical. By command and provision of God, having been regenerated, we have so to live in these bodies of ours on this earth that the glorious image of the Son may be seen and unmistakably recognized in us in this world. The Spirit of the Lord is very aware of that. His commission from the Father is to complete the triumph of redemption in every realm of every human being who has received Him. This He does by bringing the salvation of God into us, causing it to work in our mortal body, as well as in our spirit and mind. In Paul's language this is how it happens, 'if Christ be in you the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you'. Though often misunderstood and all too frequently misinterpreted, these are nevertheless some of the most precious words in scripture. By some they are thought to be an assurance of the ultimate resurrection of the body, and doubtless they may have that meaning and be quoted in that connection. Others have applied them to physical healing, and interpreted them to mean that; but although both of these interpretations may be given to the text, it can only be done dubiously, for they are not what Paul meant by it.

(to be continued...)




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Roger P.

 2004/4/21 9:46Profile
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 Re: "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" by G.W. North



The Death by which We Live.

25. When Paul introduces the bodily resurrection of Christ into his teaching he does not always do so in relation to our mortal bodies, nor is he always thinking of the resurrection at the end of the age. This text is a prime example of the use to which he puts the fact and power of the resurrection throughout the whole of this section, as also in the sixth chapter. What he is saying here is that the Spirit dwelling in our mortal bodies will quicken them here and now — the end of the age is not in view. Paul is not here saying God will raise our bodies from the dead at the last trump, but that He will quicken them at this moment while they are still alive on this earth. The message is that constant bodily quickening is definitely and graciously included in God's eternal life-plan for man. This is all part of the process which He perfected in Christ and demonstrated by His resurrection for us; apart from this it is not possible for any man to enjoy salvation in all its fulness. The death of which Paul is here speaking is not physical death. This is what he says, 'if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness'. Quite obviously this death is a death which takes place in the mortal flesh, but is not of the flesh; it does not to any degree destroy the body; it is a spiritual death, not a physical one. Paul is continuing the teaching he commenced when writing earlier with great penetration about his own experience prior to his deliverance by Christ. His contention is that by the death of Christ he was delivered: (1) from the unconscious spiritual death in which he was born and lived in until he was rejuvenated; (2) from the conscious death he died, when the law came to him personally, that is when it was applied to his condition and he realized what life was; (3) into the conscious death which reigned in him from the moment when Christ came into him. Not one of these deaths is a physical one.




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Roger P.

 2004/4/22 10:49Profile
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 Re: "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" by G.W. North



26. Any confusion which may reign in any heart over this matter may have arisen because the death of Christ of which we speak is associated with His physical death. Christ's physical death was necessary for our salvation: that was entirely by choice of God. It was most natural and fitting that the greater spiritual death which Christ died to sin should coincide with His lesser physical death inflicted upon Him by the cross. His physical death was vital, but though absolutely necessary for our redemption, the greater death, that is, the death to sin, was not that of the body. 'He bore our sins in His body on the tree', this is the reason why a body was prepared for Him; He needed one so that He could live in it dead to sin, and then, while still in it, finally die to the sin, our sin, which was placed upon Him on the cross for our sakes. God did not will an eternity of physical sacrifice, He did not want bodies to be offered to Him for sin on altars constantly streaming with blood. He wanted someone, a man, perfectly sinless, and willing and able to take sin upon himself and be made sin, a God-man obviously, a person strong enough to bear it and bear it away and defeat it by dying to it in toto in a human body. When Christ was incarnated He became a true man, like all other men; His person and His body were not the same. He, the real person, that is, His soul, though resident in His body, must not be confused with His body.



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Roger P.

 2004/4/23 10:12Profile
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 Re: "The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" by G.W. North


27. Man is a living soul. God made him so originally; He inspirited with His own breath the body He had previously formed of dust. He made the body for the soul, not the soul for the body. So important is this that he called man Soul, not Body. The soul is of spirit, it is spiritous and could best be thought of jointly with spirit, thus spirit/soul. It is true that the spirit/soul can only have human identity by the body, but it must always be recognized as distinct from it. Before the Lord Jesus dismissed His spirit from His body on the cross, He shouted out 'it is finished'; this was the indication that He had met, accepted and been made sin, and had conquered and ended it before He died. In the process of dying physically He had died to sin also, and this accomplished He was willing for expiry, but not until then. Christ had to deal with sin while in the flesh before He left His body; while bearing the world's sin He had to keep His spirit/soul pure from personal sin all the while His blood was being shed, or He could not have redeemed us. He had to be shown to be dead to sin before His death to sin could be, or there could have been no justification for God or sinners. He had to die to sin all the while He was dying for sin and because of sin, and He did this in order that God may be justified in all He had done, especially in taking this step. Because He did accomplish this greatest of miracles concurrently with the death He died to sin, He was able also to shed from His body the blood that should inevitably redeem us from sin. That perfect Man would not release His spirit from His body till all forms and powers of sin had been comprehensively dealt with.



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Roger P.

 2004/4/24 4:29Profile





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