c) 2012' name='copyright'/>Michael DeShane Hinton: Spirituality and Enlightenment

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spirituality and Enlightenment

Spirituality is both a perspective and an experience.  The experience is not dependent on the perspective but is greatly aided by it, congruent and synonymous with it.  Scripture describes Christian conversion, for instance, as enlightenment:               
I bear [the Jews] witness that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened. –Romans 10:2
For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. –Hebrews 6:4-6
But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. –Hebrews 10:32-33
Likewise, the perspective is highly desirable in furtherance of spiritual experience, namely, the deep knowing and assurance of God’s love that we should be able to enjoy, which many consider the foundation of joy in the Lord.  Paul prays that we will be enlightened with an inner knowledge and insight concerning our advantage in Christ:
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his great might which he accomplished in Christ when he raised him from the dead and made him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; and he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all. –Ephesians 1:16-23
Notice that in the passage immediately above Paul asks for the gift of enlightenment (may give you).  Therefore, let us ask the Lord to enlighten us with the spiritual perspective revealed in Christ, of which the New Testament speaks.

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