The Spirit of Glory: The Medium of the Glory (continued)
Israel were the people of God, but you see, there was just this objective attitude to things, they were not spiritual people, spiritual men and women. And, when we say not spiritual, we mean they had not got the Holy Spirit indwelling and working. After all, everything was outward, and so they came to the Law as something written on tables of stone and said, 'Now it says: Thou shalt, thou shalt not, thou shalt not.' And it was all there like that, as cold commandments, and there was no corresponding light in their hearts; no Spirit indwelling, and so it was dead and it killed.
I know how hopeless it is to try and explain this, but you see, take even the commandments written on the tables of stone, how do they affect you dear friends? How do they affect you? Now you can take any one of those commandments: "Thou shalt not steal"; you feel bad about that? As a Christian do you feel bad about that? That is a terrible, terrible rebuke to you, and terrible warning, terrible commandment; if you do that in any way whatsoever and there are ten thousand ways in which you can do it. How do you look at that? What does that say to you? Does it just say, "Thou shalt not steal?" A cold commandment, imposing something upon you? Or has the Spirit of God in you taken up that with all the rest and said, 'Look here, here is Christ. Christ rather than draw to Himself, even what belonged to Him, to say nothing of what belonged to other people and did not belong to Him, rather than draw to Himself, simply was always thinking rather of how He could give, rather then get.' It is a principle you see. Stealing embodies a principle. It means that you are drawing to yourself; you are going to have for yourself - willy-nilly, anyhow you are going to get that because you want it. It is a spirit, it is a principle. And lawfully or unlawfully, stealing is unlawful, but when you lift it into the realm of the spiritual, you see something infinitely more than just, 'You shall not go out and take something from somebody else that does not belong to you'; stealing, in that ordinary sense.
You see, behind there is the Nature and Disposition of God. Behind there is the Disposition of God, behind every commandment. We need to have every commandment dealt with in this way to see behind there is the disposition of God, the Nature of God. That is mediated to us in Christ by the Holy Spirit. That a really Holy Spirit-governed life does not want to be getting all the time, even to the point of taking what they have no right to have. But right round the other way: the really Holy Spirit-governed child of God, does not need to come under an awful weight of condemnation when it is said, "Thou shalt not steal, or thou shall not do any of the other things.' The Spirit inside has dealt with that quite all right, quite well, quite thoroughly, and changed the disposition, changed the desire. But you see something has got to be done inwardly, otherwise "the letter kills," beings death. But the same "letter" taken up by the Holy Spirit illuminated, brings Life. It brings Life (2 Corinthians 3:6).
The Word comes to life and makes us live. Written, says the apostle, "in our hearts." Written "not on tables of stone," but "in our hearts," in hearts of flesh. Along one line, there is no glory at all, no glory, but along this other line there is Glory.
(continued with # 20)