by Dr. Ray H. Hughes
Because one belongs to Him or is possessed by Him He said, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). We must glorify God both in spirit and in body. Filthy spirits must be brought under subjection to Him as well as the filthiness of the Flesh. If we glorify God in our spirit, it will deal a death blow to pride, carnal ambition, self-seeking, self-esteem, political chicanery, double-talk, favoritism, devilish diplomacy, and deceit.
We must glorify God in our spirit. He must be the Lord of our spirit. As the Apostle Peter said, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in your with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). When He is the lord of our heart, our affections are set on Him and not on the things of the earth. He is the lord of our spirit. Remember, it is just as bad to have a filthy spirit as it is to have a filthy body.
His lordship also means that we glorify God in our body. Our body must be presented to Him as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable. If He is the lord of the body, we won’t have to worry about abuse and misuse. We won’t have to worry about modesty and holy appearance. We will be striving to magnify the Lord in our body (Philippians 1:20).
We have come to a day when most everything goes. One can see almost everything under the umbrella of Pentecost. But I want to repeat a statement that I have made for many, many years. And that is, “You can’t have Pentecost without Calvary.” You can’t have Pentecost without holiness. If you glorify God in your body, you’ll not be a liquor-sipping saint, a wine-bibbing believer, or a cocktail-drinking Christian. You will not throw all caution to the wind and let the flesh control the desires of your life. For if you walk in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
I know that there are some who would wish that I would not pause here and would label this part of my message as negative. I want you to know that there must be the negative and the positive to have a proper balance. Even a battery has a negative post and a positive post to give power. If we’re going to have power with God, there are some things we must denounce and lay aside. There are some things that we must put off as well as put on. And I want you to know that this is not a tangent of some pin-whiskered preacher or some Johnny-come-lately who has a hobbyhorse to ride or an ax to grind. This is the cry of a burdened man in a society where people have become so loose and liberal in their living that anything and everything is tolerated without discipline. People are willing to claim to be Pentecostal without bearing the Pentecostal image. God wants men, men who will stand up and not be afraid to declare the whole counsel of God.
The scripture declares, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” (Colossians 2:6). “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19).
The lordship of Jesus Christ also means divine control. He is the head of the church which denotes control. Nowhere in the Bible is He symbolized by an arm or a leg or any other part of the body. He is the head! And anyone who would endeavor to take His place in the church is infringing upon His crown rights. He is to have preeminence in all things. There are those within the church who have difficulty in allowing him to be preeminent.
I read in the Bible of a man by the name of Diotrephes, who was one that loved to have preeminence in the church and cast out some of the members (3 John 9). We have come to a time when the devil is doing his very best to divide local churches. Members with carnal spirits, preachers with petty attitudes, people who are controlled by the desire for money and the lust of the flesh, and those who are entangled with the cares of this life want to run the church like they run their secular businesses. But if ministers and members alike would recognize Him as the Lord of the church, church problems would be resolved, difficulties would fade, carnality would be defeated, pastoral pettiness would fall at the feet of the Master. Personal desires would give way to His desires.
But the spirit of this age has infiltrated the church, and ministers and members alike want their own will, just as the mother of James and John asked that one of her sons sit on the right hand and the other on the left in the kingdom of Christ. The response of Jesus was, “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:25-27). Christ was saying that this spirit is the spirit of the world. This is the political spirit which carries out its own will. But when Jesus Christ is Lord, the world is brought under subjection to His will.
There are multitudes who will not recognize His right to rule over us. We may be sure, however, that things will not always remain as they are, because Jesus Christ is Lord and He will make good His claim. The time will come when all men will acknowledge Him as Lord, whether willingly or unwillingly. The mighty men, the kings, and the captains are going to cry for the mountains to fall upon them and to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb and from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne. The time is coming when they will cast their crowns at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, and even the twenty and four elders will prostrate themselves before His feet, and all men will sing the song of the Lamb, worthy are thou, O Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world and redeemed us unto God by thy blood. Hallelujah.