“Then said Yasha to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” John 8:31-32.
This is one of the most beautiful promises in the Bible, yet it is seldom understood or accepted. I am convinced that the proper understanding of the above text will forever end the controversy over whether we are saved by our works or without them. But until our eyes are opened, we will continue to drag up the scriptures that seem to support us whether our conviction are pro or con.
Understanding the work of the Holy Spirit enlightens us so that we can comprehend the meaning of our new birth. It also helps us understand the scriptures that have been used to divide the believers.
When the Spirit of Truth came to the infant Church, he appeared as a Guide, Comforter, and Teacher. He brought with him the supernatural gifts and the gifts of the ministry. He came with the power to change our lifestyle, heal us, and deliver us from habits and bondages. But he did more than that: he came to complete and end the Mosaic administration. But the greatest thing he did was to restore us to the life that was lost in Adam. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,” 1 Corinthians 15:22.
Christ brought life back into the bodies of clay by revealing the word of truth. When we talk about Spirit and Word, we are talking of things that are not material. Love can be felt, its effects can be seen, but love is of the unseen realm. This is what we mean when we speak of the spiritual realm.
Our Lord came to the earth to talk about spiritual things; his admonitions centered on the power of our thought patterns. His message was “the things we believe do affect us.” He told his disciples that faith in the message he taught would generate the power to change people’s lives. What we believe does not have the power to change the truth that Yasha taught, but his Word changes people when they accept it.
Let me use temper as an example of the negatives that only the truth can change. Temper is of the spiritual realm. Though a man who has a temper can be changed, temper cannot be changed. Temper must go and give place for longsuffering, which is the fruit of the Spirit.
If finding peace is your goal and you are trying to learn to control your temper, you are wasting your time. Confess your lack, admit that you have a temper, and ask the Lord to deliver you from the power of it and he will. The root of temper is a trait left over from our babyhood. Infants must demonstrate their need for attention by displaying their dissatisfaction. This they do by screaming and flailing the arms and legs; they must do this in the absence of the ability to talk.
With the help of wise parents, most children eventually outgrow tantrums as a form of drawing attention to their needs. They began to communicate their needs by voicing them with legible sounds. However, some folks fail to make the transition. They bring their tantrums with them on into adulthood. They were able to obtain their needs by displays of agitated emotions in babyhood and proceeded to sharpen their skills by using the same techniques throughout their adult years.
Most people will surrender their rights to avoid these aggressive encounters with temper-prone individuals, but the so-called high-tempered person is bent on having his/her way at all cost, so there is a deeper problem to contend with when we are dealing with rage.
First we must understand the underlying root of rage is a selfish desire to control by intimidating others. The greatest victim of temper is the one that uses it. They have adopted this method, or principle, at an early age, and since their immediate goal is to control every situation, they are deceived into believing they do. But, in reality, they do not. The fact is, they sacrifice their integrity, the respect of others, and all close family ties to get their way in trivial things that others are not willing to fight for. In reality, people who have to put-up with them are continuously working out methods of survival behind their backs by keeping everything secret that might cause an explosion. They do not control because family, friends, and neighbors work together to keep secrets from them. Most victims of temper live a life of illusion and they never discover this fact.
Temper is a symptom of a wrong concept that is lodged in the mind. Therefore, our first step is to turn to the Lord and ask him to reveal the right principle to us, i.e. show us the truth
That which is true of temper is true of the other works of the flesh, such as stealing, lying, cheating etc. The folks that feel they get by with these traits always live a life of fantasy; they deceive themselves into believing their sins are hidden. Everyone knows, even though they are too kind to reveal that knowledge; therefore, confession is not nearly as revealing as we might imagine.
Every habit and besetting sin is a part of the fleshly concept of the carnal thinking and produces death, but the life of Christ is a workable solution and the answer to every need in our lives. Yasha said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” It will clear our mind of deception if we choose to be free.
It is the deception that binds the man of wrath. He hates to be forced into resorting to a display of temper and will sometimes apologize for having done so, but not for getting his way. That subject is not usually one he wants to deal with. He sincerely desires to find a better method of getting his way. But since it is difficult to dislodge folks from their space, it almost always demands force. The man of wrath needs to be delivered from his mind-set and his selfish principle. The Lord would deliver him, but not from wrath, but from the selfish desire to control. Once the desire to control is gone, he has no need to display wrath.
All sin pivots around control. If we do not trust in our Creator to guide and protect us, we then must center in on survival techniques. Our ability to properly maneuver our lives depends on the degree of control we can usurp over every situation that confronts us. So we grope around spiritually blindfolded, never knowing what’s waiting for us around the next curve, because subconsciously we are aware that we are never in control. However we need not despair— the awareness of the reality of Christ within brings not only the peace we need, but true security.
The greatest part of our future is still veiled from our conscious vision. But knowing that there is someone at the control center that sees to it that all things are working together for our good, creates an awareness that calms our fears. Instead of being dashed to and fro on a mad sea of chance, we rest assured that the man at the helm has control, not only of our ship, but of the sea and the winds that drives our sails.