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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Oswald Chambers ~ The Soul of a Christian

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crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Oswald Chambers ~ The Soul of a Christian

[b]Soul Satisfaction[/b]

[i]O Lord, Thou hast searched me, and known me. Psalm 139:1[/i]

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (for the redemption of their soul is costly, and must be let alone for ever). Psalm 49:7-8 (rv)
Beware of believing that the human soul is simple, for it is not true. Read Psalm 139, and look into yourself, and you will soon find you are much too complex to touch. Charles Wagner* was the apostle of naturalness, “the gospel of temperament”—Be simple! How can anyone who is wide-awake be simple? We befool ourselves into moral imbecility if we believe those who tell us the human soul is simple. As long as we think we understand ourselves we are in a lamentable state of ignorance. The first dose of conviction of sin, or of the realisation of what the Psalmist states, viz., the unfathomable depths of our own souls, will put an end to that ignorance. The only One who can redeem the human soul is the Lord Jesus Christ and He has done it, and the Holy Spirit brings the realisation of this to us experimentally. All this vast complex “me” which we cannot begin to understand, God knows completely, and through the Atonement He invades every part of our personality with His life.

Soul is the responsible expression of the ruling personal spirit, and when the personal spirit is filled with God’s Spirit, we have to see that we obey His Spirit and reconstruct another soul. God’s Spirit entering my spirit does not become my spirit, but quickens my spirit, and I begin to express a new soul. It is not the nature of the working of the soul that is altered, that remains the same in a regenerate human spirit as in an unregenerate human spirit, but a different driving power expresses itself. When God’s Spirit comes into my personal spirit, instantly I am introduced to a life which manifests itself in contradiction to my old way of reasoning and expressing myself, and the consequence is that the life whereby I have affinity with other people is upset and they wonder what is the matter with me, a disturbing element has come in which cannot be estimated. The incoming of the Spirit of God disturbs the reasoning faculties, and for a while the soul that is born from above (rv mg) is inarticulate, it has no expression; the equilibrium has been upset by the incoming of a totally new spirit into my spirit, and Jesus Christ says, “In your patience ye shall win your souls” (Luke 21:19 rv)—acquire your new soul with patience .

Satisfaction and the demand for satisfaction is a God-given principle in human nature, but it must be satisfaction in the highest. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”

*Charles Wagner (1852-1918): Protestant clergyman and writer in Paris; author of [i]The Simple Life,[/i] published in 1904

Oswald Chambers
[i]The servant as His Lord[/i]


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Mike Balog

 2005/10/28 10:19Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
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Santa Clara, CA

 Oswald Chambers ~ The Soul of a Christian

[b]Naturally[/b]

[i]But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)[/i]

We preach to men as if they were conscious they were dying sinners, they are not; they are having a good time, and our talk about being born from above (rv mg) is in a domain they know nothing of. We do not need the Holy Spirit to reveal that immorality is wrong, but we do need the Holy Spirit to reveal that the complacency of the natural life has Satan at its basis. Nowadays we have come to the conclusion that a man must be a down-and-out sinner before he needs Jesus Christ to do anything for him; consequently we debase Jesus Christ’s salvation to mean merely that He can save the vile and sensual man and lift him into a better life. We quote our Lord’s statement that “the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost” (rv) and misinterpret His meaning by limiting “the lost” to those who are lost in our eyes.

The natural man does not want to be born again. If a man’s morality is well within his own grasp and he has enough religion to give the right tone to his natural life, to talk about being born again seems utterly needless. The natural man is not in distress, he is not conscious of conviction of sin, or of any disharmony, he is quite contented and at peace. Conviction of sin is the realisation that my natural life is based on a disposition that will not have Jesus Christ. The Gospel does not present what the natural man wants but what he needs, and the Gospel awakens an intense resentment as well as an intense craving. We will take God’s blessings and loving-kindnesses and prosperities, but when it comes to the need of having our disposition altered, there is opposition at once. When we come down to close quarters and God’s Spirit tells us we must give up the right to ourselves to Jesus Christ and let Him rule, then we understand what Paul meant when he said that “the carnal mind,” which resides in the heart, is “enmity against God.”

No man can have his state of mind altered without suffering for it in his body, and that is why men do anything to avoid conviction of sin. When a worldly man who is happy, moral and upright, comes in contact with Jesus Christ, his “beauty,” i.e., the perfectly ordered completeness of his nature, is destroyed and that man must be persuaded that Jesus Christ has a better kind of life for him otherwise he feels he had better not have come across Him. If I knew nothing about sin before the Holy Spirit came, then why did He come? If I am peaceful and happy and contented and living my life with my morality well within my own grasp, why does the Holy Spirit need to come in and upset the balance and make me miserable and unfit for anything? It is time we asked ourselves these questions. God’s Book gives us the answer. Thank God, we are coming to the end of the shallow presentation of Christianity that makes out that Jesus Christ came only to give us peace. Thousands of people are happy without God in this world, but that kind of happiness and peace is on a wrong level. Jesus Christ came to send a sword through every peace that is not based on a personal relationship to Himself. He came to put us right with God that His own peace might reign.


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Mike Balog

 2005/10/28 10:23Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
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 Oswald Chambers ~ The Soul of a Christian

[b]Satanically[/b]

[i]But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)[/i]

Paul did not say “the lost” were the drunkards and social pariahs, but those “in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not”—they see nothing whatever in all that Jesus Christ stands for.

If the natural remains united with itself long enough it will lead to a deadly Satanic satisfaction, a blind happiness. The words “diabolical” and “Satanic” do not mean the same. Judas became diabolical: “the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him” (John 13:2† rv); Peter became “Satanic”: “But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind Me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23†). The Bible holds man responsible for the introduction of Satan. Satan is the representative of the devil, and the devil is the adversary of God in the rule of man. When our Lord came face to face with Satan He dealt with him as representing the attitude man takes up in organising his life apart from any consideration of God. For a thing to be Satanic does not mean that it is abominable and immoral; the Satanically-managed man is absolutely self-governed and has no need of God.

When Satan rules the hearts of natural men under the inspiration of the devil, they are not troubled, they are at peace, entrenched in clean worldliness (cf. Psalm 73), and before God can rule a man’s kingdom He must first overthrow this false rule. In the parable in Luke 11:21 our Lord says that “when the strong man fully armed” (Satan) “guardeth his own court, his goods” (i.e., the souls of men) “are in peace” (rv); there is no breaking out into sin and wrongdoing. The one thing the prince of this world will guard against is the incoming of Jesus Christ, the “stronger than he,” because “he taketh from him his whole armour wherein he trusted” (rv), The coming of Jesus Christ is not a peaceful thing, it is a disturbing, an overwhelming thing. Am I willing to be born into the realm Jesus Christ is in? If so, I must be prepared for chaos straight off in the realm I am in. The rule which has come in between God and man has to be eclipsed, and Jesus Christ’s entering in means absolute chaos concerning the way I have been looking at things, a turning of everything upside down. “Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). The old order and the old peace must go, and we cannot get back peace on the old level. Immediately Jesus Christ comes in that peace is gone, and instead there is the sword of conviction. A man does not need the Holy Spirit to tell him that external sins are wrong, ordinary culture and education will do that; but it does take the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin as our Lord defined it. The Holy Spirit is unmistakable in His working, and our Lord said that, “He, when He is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, . . . because they believe not on Me” (John 16:8-9 rv). That is the very essence of sin. If once we have allowed Jesus Christ to upset the equilibrium, holiness is the inevitable result, or no peace for ever.

One of the most cunning travesties of Satan is to say that he is the instigator of drunkenness and external sins. Man himself is responsible for doing wrong things, and he does wrong things because of the wrong disposition that is in him. The true blame for sin lies in the wrong disposition, and the cunning of our nature makes us blame Satan when we should blame ourselves. When men go into external sins Satan is probably as much upset as the Holy Ghost, but for a different reason. Satan knows perfectly well that when men go into external sin and upset their lives, they will want another Ruler, a Saviour, a Deliverer; but as long as he can keep them in peace and unity and harmony apart from God he will do so. The Bible reveals that there is a solidarity of sin, a bond of union, that keeps men together known as “the body of sin”; it is the mutual inheritance of the human race (see Romans 5:12). The Bible also reveals that Satan is anxious to keep that solidarity intact, because whenever men break out into immoral conduct, it disintegrates his kingdom. The one other force that disintegrates the solidarity of sin is the Spirit of God. Never have the idea that a worldling is unhappy, a worldling is perfectly happy, as thoroughly happy as a Christian. The persons who are unhappy are the worldlings or the Christians if they are not at one with the principle that binds them. When a worldling is not a worldling at heart, he is miserable; and when a Christian is not a Christian at heart, he is miserable, he carries his religion like a headache instead of something that is worth having. Remember then, the two things that disintegrate Satan’s kingdom—breaking out into acts of sin, and conviction by the Spirit of God. This is the solution of a number of moral problems.

The beginning of calamities from the natural standpoint is when our Lord comes across people. The thing that upsets our natural complacency is a touch from our Lord. It may come in a personal interview (as in John 4), but when it comes it is all up instantly with the old order, we can never get it back. Before the Spirit of God can bring peace of mind He has to clear out the rubbish, and before He can do that He has to give us an idea of what rubbish there is.


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Mike Balog

 2005/10/28 10:26Profile





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