WeLiveByTheSpirit.org

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25


Welcome to WeLiveByTheSpirit.org. During my life as a follower of Christ I have come across many resources which have helped me to grow as a follower of Christ, to become closer to God, to understand Him and His Word better. Some of these resources have challenged beliefs that I held at one time. Others have helped me to grow in faith, love and hope, in understanding of God and Christ. WeLiveByTheSpirit.org will allow me to share these resources with you, in the form of articles, books, reviews and links.

Thus, WeLiveByTheSpirit.org has two purposes:

To provide resources to help followers of Christ to grow spiritually, to become closer to God and become better followers of Christ.

To encourage discussion and reflection on some topics which are not addressed as often as they should be.

Please let me know if you have problems getting into a document. Most documents are provided in PDF, Word 2000, and HTML formats.

Would you like to be notified when new material is posted to this site? Email me at: ntbrierly@gmail.com I will keep your information private, and you will not receive more than 1 or 2 notifications per month.

Contact me at: ntbrierly@gmail.com

DISCLAIMER:

The presence of an resource here does not necessarily indicate that the author of that resource agrees with the contents of any other resource at WeLiveByTheSpirit.org.

The presence of a resource here does not necessarily indicate that I or anyone else associated with WeLiveByTheSpirit.org agree with everything in the resource. We have posted resources which we believe to be primarily Scriptural as well as helpful. As will all things, Test everything. Hold on to the good (1 Thes. 5:21). Please contact us if you have any questions.

Topics:

God and Jesus

Holy Spirit

Grace, legalism and faith

Sisters and brothers in the Ecclesia

Where is the community headed?

Spiritual Growth

Art and the Christian

Divorce and Remarriage

Peace, justice and society

Bible

Links


God and Jesus

"Towards a Revised Christology"
from The Making of a Tradition
by Mark Mattison

Sometimes when we are discussing the Trinity with staunch Trinitarians, we tend to descend into "verse-by-verse" combat. This is not often fruitful, and I think this is because biblical unitarians and trinitarians are coming at the issue with completely different mental paradigms. The Trinitarian theory is very much based on Greek thinking. It views humanity and divinity as being two different "metaphysical substances", and the question then becomes how someone like Christ have both divine and human natures at the same time. Divinity and humanity in the Greek view are like oil and water; how could something possibly be 100% oil and 100% water, how could Jesus be both God and man?

The Trinitarian answer, which was determined after alot of theological infighting, was that somehow Jesus was fully God and fully Human, ie he was 100% God and 100% at the same time. The Nicene creed, which come out of the process, is a very confusing document and most Christians today still don't understand it very well. And I would also say that most Jewish people in the first century would have been completely confused as well, because it is coming from a Greek perspective which is completely foreign to the Hebrew one. So the question then becomes: how could Jesus be human and divine in the Hebraic way of thinking? This document I think does a good job of explaining that.

This is one of the chapters of one of the best books on the Trinity, which is called "The Making of a Tradition", written by Mark Mattison. It is unfortunately out-of-print and very hard to find. If there is interest, I will scan and post the remaining chapters.

Formats:
HTML
Microsoft Word


Holy Spirit

We Live By The Spirit: Becoming better ambassadors
Trevor Brierly

Presented at the CORE Conference East 2010. Some interesting ideas here, I talk about God's "reproductive strategy", the distinction between the "gifts of the Holy Spirit" and "THE Gift of the Holy Spirit, us as the Temple and more.

Formats:

MP3 recording of talk (31 MB)
Accompanying slides available by request at ntbrierly@gmail.com

The Holy Spirit - An exploratory survey of Scripture Teaching
Edgar Wille

Notes: This easy-to-read and insightful book has helped hundreds of people become aware of the reality of the Holy Spirit and its power to help us become what God wants us to be. This is a good place to start if you want to learn more about the Holy Spirit and its activity today.

Formats: Multiple formats available

The Holy Spirit and the Believer Today
Alfred Norris

Formats:
HTML (132 KB)
PDF(143 KB)
Word 2000 (91 KB)

Holy Spirit Topics: A Study Guide
Trevor Brierly

As I was looking into the topic of the Holy Spirit and the possibilities of its presence in us I saw a need for a place for me to post the Scripture passages I was thinking about and record my thoughts about them. This Study Guide is a work in progress, and as you look into it you will see there are unfinished sections!.

The first section of the document consists primarily of Scripture passages in various sections, with some commentary. The second section is what you might call "objection handling", a start at dealing with some of the issues, misconceptions, wrested scriptures and concerns that some have with the idea of the "indwelling Spirit". In this section I hope to answer the concerns of those who believe that the Holy Spirit is not at work in any fashion nowadays, and has essentially been replaced by the Word (Bible).

How God Works In Us
Trevor Brierly

"Understanding how God works in us, through the Holy Spirit and other means, can be difficult. The details of the process are not laid out explicitly in the Scriptures to the extent that we might like. I contend that completely understanding how God works in us is impossible without undergoing the process itself throughout an entire lifetime. This is disconcerting to those who like to understand something completely before entering into it, but the nature of this subject is that it cannot be learned primarily by study, but rather by experience.

Our walk as followers of Christ is something to be done rather than studied. As believers who not only hear the Word of God but do it also, we are expected to "jump right in" and begin to live as God wishes. Throughout the journey we develop and grow, and we find that our communion with God increases also. We find (or rather, God supplies) the resources we need as we go along. If we seek to understand everything completely before setting out, we will always remain where we are."

Formats:
HTML (31 KB)
Word (39 KB)

My Understanding of How the Holy Spirit is at Work in the Believer
Trevor Brierly

A short document, stating my current understanding of how the Holy Spirit is at work in believers. Written in response to a request from a person who was concerned that I had become "Pentecostal" or "charismatic".

Some Problems with the Spirit-Word Approach
Trevor Brierly

In most of the writing I've done on the topic of the Holy Spirit, I've avoiding discussing the "Spirit-Word" approach. This idea is held by many who believe that the Holy Spirit is not at work in the believer in any way today. According to this view, what we have now is the Word (Bible), inspired by the Spirit, and that is largely sufficient. In this article I discuss the Spirit-Word paradigm and the numerous problems with it, not because I don't believe the Word is not important, but because I believe the Word teaches that the Spirit is (or can be) involved intimately in the life and growth of the believer.


Grace, legalism and faith

Suicide and Salvation - A Letter
Anonymous

This letter was written in answer to a question which appeared on the Truth Alive online group. The question concerned whether suicide was a sin, and if it might prevent one from being in the Kingdom.

Formats:
HTML (22 KB)
Word (38 KB)

Some Thoughts on Grace
Trevor Brierly

Formats:
HTML (102 KB)
PDF (78 KB)
Word 2000 (46 KB)


Peace, justice and society


Sisters and brothers in the Ecclesia

All One in Christ Jesus
Ian and Averil McHaffie

A consideration of Bible teaching on the work of brothers and sisters in the Ecclesia. Part 1 concentrates on the New Testament. Part 2 concentrates on the Old Testament.

Formats:
PDF (1.5 MB)

Paul, Timothy, the Gnostics and Women
Peter Baylis

Formats:
HTML (20 KB)
PDF (91 KB)
Word 2000 (31 KB)

The World Turned Upside Down
Peter Baylis

Notes: The complete series, of which "Paul, Timothy, the Gnostics and Women" is one of the sections.

Formats:
PDF (397 KB)
Word (88 KB)

A Call for Reform
Susan Lange

A series of studies to stimulate dialog on reforming the current practices regarding female believers in Christís Ecclesia.


OneVoice.info
(Be aware that you will need to have Flash installed to view this website)

"This site addresses the issue of women's roles within the church, or 'sister's roles within the ecclesia' to use terminology more familiar to those within the Christadelphian community for whom this resource is primarily provided."


Where is the community headed?

Where are we headed?
Stephen Cook

Formats:
HTML (57 KB)
PDF (180 KB)
Word 2000 (84 KB)


Spiritual Growth

The Real Self: The interplay of true psychology and basic Bible truths
Duncan Heaster

Formats:
HTML (69 KB)
Word 2000 (79 KB)

Benefits of Thankfulness
Given at Williamsburg Conference 2004
Trevor Brierly

I have come to understand while reading and reflecting in preparation for this talk that thankfulness is one of the most powerful means we have for our spiritual transformation. I have come to realise that developing an "attitude of gratitude" can radically change our character.

Formats:
HTML (36 KB)
WORD (48 KB)


Art and the Christian

Christianity and Art - Tolkien's Example
Trevor Brierly

We have very narrow views sometimes of how a Christian can be an artist. J.R.R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings and it's prequel The Hobbit, is an example of someone who didn't set out to write a "Christian" novel, and in fact God and religion are barely mentioned in Lord of the Rings. But LOTR is a very spiritual book, and many people have been helped spiritually by it. During the many years it took him to write LOTR, it might have appeared like he was wasting his time and (considerable) talents on an imaginary world. But at the end of the day, what he created has had an enormous spiritual significance in the lives of many people.

Christianity & Art Ė Tolkienís Example


Divorce and Remarriage

Divorce and remarriage is one of the most divisive of subjects within Christianity. The Traditional view is that divorce is actually not possible, that even though the two people are divorced in a legal sense, they are still actually bound together, and that any remarriage is actually adultery. Is this a Scriptural position? The following articles disagree.


A Liberating View Of Divorce And Remarriage
(A Biblical Response To Traditionalism)
by Gerry W Webb


Taking Another Look at the Divorce and Remarriage Question (PDF)
by William M. Wachtel, M.A.
Journal From the Radical Formation, Spring 1993, Vol 2., No. 3


Bible

Is the Bible Inerrant?
Mark Mattison

Mark Mattison argues that we don't need to expect the Bible to be inerrant. Doing so puts us into the uncomfortable position of coming up with dubious solutions to try to reconcile passages that seem to contradict eachother. It also means our faith in the Bible is only valid if we can reconcile every single apparent inconsistency.

Accepting that the Bible is not inerrant doesn't mean saying that it is not infallible or authoritative. The Bible is credible even without being inerrant, in fact its credibility is enhanced on occasions where multiple slightly different accounts of an event are given. Investigators know that witnesses to the same event will usually describe slightly different versions of the event. This is to be expected, and actually usually indicates that the event did occur. Multiple accounts that are identical often means the observers of an event colluded in coming up with their stories.

PDF
Word


Links

Christadelphians Worldwide

Note: you will need to have a Facebook account to access this group.
Christadelphians Worldwide is a Facebook group for Christadelphians which encourages open discussion. It is open to Christadelphians of all persuasions, regardless of 'fellowship'. Discussion is intended to be positive, practical, friendly and solidly based on the Word of God. You can read the many posts that have been made and if you want, you can join the forum and share your thoughts.
(In some ways it is the successor to the Truth Alive forum, which is no longer active.)


The Truth Will Set You Free

"The Truth Will Set You Free" is a blog written by Steve Cook (author of the Where Are We Headed article above). He describes his blog as follows:

"This weblog is addressed mainly to Christadelphians. Its purpose is to appeal to them to take a fresh look at what the Gospel is all about and to focus on the things that are really important in proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom."

There are a number of gems here, including an excellent series on Exclusivism in Fellowship, another one on The Lord's Table, and a series on Neither male nor female.