We scarcely know all that we have been delivered from, fellow believers. James Masterson lists 10 “capacities” of the self life, in his book,”The Personality Disorders.” Among these we find the capacity for:
- One for entitlement: to appropriate experiences of mastery and pleasure
- And the entitlement to environmental support for these
- The power for maintaining self-image
- The power for commitment
- The power for intimacy
- The power for creativity
Masterson sees these as inherent in every man and also there are more listed.
The problem that we have with these “capacities” lies in the truth, which places them in that part of man which was crucified with Christ. The self.
Dr. Stevens teaches in his booklet called, “A Living Faith,”
- We may very well have an orthodox faith but not a correct faith.
- We may have the words of faith but a faith without the tune of grace.
- We may have statutes without salt. It does not glow and it does not burn.
- We may have intentions but no experience.
- We may have confession but no communion.
- We may speak the words of faith and not live in faith with our words.
- We may make promises and conviction is found wanting.
Friends, what am I saying? “…faith …worketh by love!” from Galatians 5:6
Where is the grace, where is the love, where is the burning desire to lose our own life for the sake of another?
The Holy Spirit makes the difference between mere “powers of he soul” and love which never fails.
We have all met folks with strong commitment. We have met folks who assert their autonomous ability to sooth their pained emotions, to keep their head above water, to “give their body to be burned” as in 1 Corinthians 13.
We have seen wondrous works of creative genius, of intimate sincerity. We have seen proud demands for entitled love, honor and support. We are often moved by these soulish activities. Indeed have done them. But friends,
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 teaches me, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Love never ends. 1 Corinthians 13:3-8
“Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]” Amp.
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” NLT
Brothers and sisters, as strong as a person can be in his soul power, love is greater. Watchman Nee, famous Christian pastor and author entitled a book “The Latent Power of the Soul.” He speaks of the drawing out and enhancement of soul power in the latter times, initiated by the powers of darkness.
Yes, these natural capacities, as honest and well meaning as they are, can be used by the other kingdom.
Friends, they have been crucified at Calvary, and by faith we reckon them dead.
Where does this leave us? Weak, yes weak in natural endowment, perhaps, but real candidates for God’s love.
See, all of 1 Corinthians 13 is first God’s love for you and me. He is faithful and kind, not envious. Doth not behave Himself unseemly, seeketh not His own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
He beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things (for us).
Never fails (us). love ya