An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 201 of 297
'He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he
that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting'
(Gal. 6:8).
'In the spirit, and not in the letter' (Rom. 2:29).
'Serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter'
(Rom. 7:6).
'Not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the
spirit giveth life' (2 Cor. 3:6).
When we consider the words of Ephesians 1:3 'all spiritual blessings',
we are bound to interpret them in line with the constant contrast insisted
upon by the Scriptures.  They are blessings that belong to the heavenly
places where Christ sits at the right hand of God.  They are not 'natural' or
pertaining to the 'soul'.  They are not related to the 'letter' that killeth,
i.e. the law.  They make no provision for the flesh.
In attempting to arrive at an understanding of this, or of any
Scriptural term, it is of first importance that we put into practice the
grand rule of all true exegesis:
'Which things also we speak, Not in the words which man's wisdom
teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things
with spiritual' (1 Cor. 2:13),
and abide by the conclusions arrived at.
(Lev. 25:23)
It is a salutary lesson at times to ponder some word of Scripture and
to realize what a different approach the inspired writers have to that which
is often characteristic of our own.  For example, if we, apart from
inspiration, undertook to give a list of Old Testament characters who should
set forth the essential qualities of faith, and Joseph's life story demanded
an epitome, should we, out of all that clamours for recognition in that
wonderful life story, should we, we repeat, have passed by everything else
and fastened upon the fact that when he died he made mention of the departing
of the children of Israel, or that he gave a commandment 'concerning his
bones'? (Heb. 11:22).  Yet, the faith that underlies these two pronouncements
expresses as no other act of Joseph's amazing career that:
'Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen' (Heb. 11:1).
In like manner, what a bewildering wealth of material awaits the reader
in the recorded lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, yet the first section of
Hebrews 11 focuses attention on one strange feature:
'By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country,
dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the
same promise' (Heb. 11:9).