“He shall teach you all things.” It is often the case that hungry believers, needy as they know themselves to be, are more eager for experience than they are for revelation. They want a minimum of truth and study, with a maximum of results. But the more experience-centered they become, the less truth-established they will be. The penalty of this wrong emphasisis self-centeredness instead of Christ centeredness.
This sad and selfish condition develops when we endeavor to handle and control the truth that we see. But the truth of the Word does not respond to self. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God…neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). As we study, we are to rest in the Spirit of life in Christ. The Lord Jesus said, “The Spirit of truth ….will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). There are those who even go so far as to attempt to use the Spirit. They want Him to give them “power,” and many other self-centered “experiences” and “blessings.” The Holy Spirit does not respond to such unholy aspirations.
In the midst of finding out about ourselves, we are to be especially aware of what we are in our Lord Jesus. While the Spirit must cause us suffering in the crucifixion of the self-life, He comforts us in our growth in the new life. “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” (James 5:10, 11).
As we turn from the old man by reckoning upon the work of the Cross, we turn to the new man in Christ by reckoning upon the work of the Spirit. Gradually, as we grow, there are less and less “works of the flesh” evident, and more and more of the “fruit of the Spirit” manifested in our daily walk. (Gal. 5: 19, 22).
What comfort there is in the faithful work of the Comforter! In the natural realm, a worm is changed into a butterfly– a different creature, but of the same order of life. In the spiritual realm, a believer is reborn—a totally “new creation in Christ Jesus” (2 Cor. 5:17, margin). Therefore we “yield ourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,” and in dependence upon the Comforter we “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:13: 6:4).