The one abiding method of interpretation of the
teachings of Jesus is the Spirit of Jesus in the heart of a
believer applying His principles to the particular circumstances in which he is placed. Be renewed in the spirit
of your mind, says Paul, that you may make out what is
that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Beware of placing Our Lord as Teacher first instead of
as Savior. That tendency is prevalent to-day, and it is
a dangerous tendency. We must know Him first as
Savior before His teaching has any meaning for us, or
before it has any meaning other than that of an ideal
which leads to despair.
Fancy coming to men and women
with defective lives and defiled hearts and wrong main
springs, and telling them to be pure in heart ! What is
the use of giving us an ideal we cannot possibly attain?
We are happier without knowing it.
If Jesus is only a
Teacher, then all He can do is to tantalize us by erecting a
standard we cannot come anywhere near. But if we know
Him first as Savior, by being born again from above, we
know that He did not come to teach us only: He came to make us what He teaches we should be. The Sermon on the
Mount is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His way with us.
The Sermon on the Mount must produce despair in the
natural man; and that is the very thing Jesus means it
to do, because immediately we get to despair we are willing
to come to Jesus as paupers and to receive from Him.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit " that is the first principle of the Kingdom.
So long as we have a conceited,
self-righteous notion that we can do the thing if God will
help us, God has to allow us to go on until we break the
neck of our ignorance over some obstacle, then we are
willing to come and receive from Him. The bedrock in
Jesus Christ s Kingdom is poverty, not possession; not
decisions for Jesus Christ, but a sense of absolute futility
" I cannot begin to do it." Then, says Jesus, "Blessed are
you." That is the entrance, and it does take us a long
while to believe we are poor. The knowledge of our own
poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Jesus Christ
Every mind has two compartments conscious and
subconscious. We say that the things we hear and read
slip away from memory, they do not really, they go into
the subconscious mind. It is the work of the Holy Spirit
to bring back into the conscious mind the things that are
stored in the subconscious.
In studying the Bible never go
on the line that because you do not understand it, therefore
it is of no use. A truth may be of no use to you just now,
but when the circumstances arise in which that truth is
needed, the Holy Spirit will bring it back to your remembrance. This accounts for the curious emergence of the
statements of Jesus ; we say, "I wonder where that word
"He shall bring back to your remembrance
the things I have said unto you." The point is will I obey
Him when He does bring it back ? If I discuss the matter
with someone else, the probability is that I will not obey.
"Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood..."
Bear in mind this twofold aspect of the mind, there is
nothing supernatural or uncanny about it, it is simply a
knowledge of how God has made us. It is foolish, therefore,
to estimate only by what you consciously understand at
the time. There may be much you do not begin to grasp
the meaning of, but as you go on storing your mind with
Bible knowledge, the Holy Spirit will bring back to your
conscious mind the word you need and apply it to your,
particular circumstances. These three things always
work together my moral intelligence, the spontaneous
originality of the Holy Spirit, and the setting of a life
lived in communion with God.
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
"But God has revealed
them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes,
the deep things of God....Now we have received, not the spirit
of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the
things that have been freely given to us by God." 1 Corinthians 2:9-12