Gnostic Doctrine

Monday, 6 August 2018

Co-Perception Human Perception and Spiritual Self Perception

Co-Perception human perception and spiritual self perception
self examination key to self knowledge







The word conscience comes from a Greek word meaning literally a co-perception. It implies that there are two types of perception within the believer- human perception, and spiritual self perception. The conscience that is cleansed in Christ, that is at peace, will be a conscience that keeps those two perceptions, of the real self and of the persona, in harmony.

What we know and perceive humanly, is in harmony with what we spiritually perceive. Our conscience, our co-perception, our real self, makes sense of the human perceptions and interprets them in a spiritual way. So, a young man sees an attractive girl. His human perception signals certain things to his brain- to lust, covet, etc. But his co-perception, his conscience, his real self, handles all that, and sees the girl’s beauty for just simply what it is- beauty.

Consider the connections between the following: " Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established" (4:26). " For the ways of man are before the eyes (Angels) of Yahweh, and he ponders all his paths." (5:21). " Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but Yahweh is pondering hearts" (21:2). "

Surely we are being taught that we ought to examine our path in life, bearing in mind that we will naturally think there is nothing wrong with it, because God examines it; our self-examination must mirror His. This is also taught in 1 Cor. 11:28-31; if we examine / judge / condemn ourselves now in our self-examination, God will not have to do this to us at the day of judgement. The spirit of man is in this sense the lamp of Yahweh, Searching all the innermost parts of his being. (Prov. 20:27); i.e. there is a link between a man's examination of his own conscience, and Yahweh's examination of him.

Real self-examination is painful- it has to be. It's no half hearted moment of self-analysis as , we prepare to partake of the bread and wine at communion. ultra-careful self-examination reveals ourselves to ourselves; and yet so do trials and "wounds". This is how tough real self-examination has to be- it should have the same effect as painful trials, revealing the same things which they do. Romans 5:1-6 heb 12:11

On the other hand, serious self-examination is part of the road to the Kingdom; it will characterize every successful believer: " The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way" (14:8); " the prudent man considers his steps" (14:15);

" whoso is preserving his soul, is watching his way" (16:17 YLT); " A wicked man puts up a bold front (" hardeneth his face" , AV); but an upright man gives thought to his ways" (21:29 NIV). This last reference suggests that a lack of self-examination is associated with a hardness, a brazenness, which is the result of a refusal to face up to the real issues of personal spirituality and our very personal relationship with God. It is more than possible to drift through the Christian experience with no thought at all for these things.

We live in a world without any sense of responsibility, with no fear of God and His judgment before their eyes.

Inevitably, we will be affected by this spirit. Self-examination is perhaps what we are most urgently in need of in these last days; a real self-knowledge, a true humility, a real sense of where we are going, and of the utter impossibility of travelling two roads.

" I am the way" , the Lord Jesus said, possibly with His mind on the one great way of Proverbs. The whole way of life which leads to the Kingdom, the things we do, our deepest thoughts, our daily decisions; these are all " the way" which leads to the Kingdom; and yet Christ is " the way" . This clearly means that all these things, the very essence of our being, the fibre of our thought processes, the basis of all our works; must be the Lord Jesus Christ.

The fact God’s ways and principles are unchanging encourage our self-examination; for there is always the rock of God and His way against which to compare our ways. The Lord Jesus is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

As a man or woman seriously contemplates the cross, they are inevitably led to a self-knowledge and self-examination which shakes them to the bone. A number of passages shed light on the way the cross leads to self-examination.

We have probably all realized that mere observation of one's own mental and emotional processes isn’t necessarily the same as fruitful self-perception / self-examination. In 1 Cor. 11:29,31 we are exhorted to both judge ourselves and also discern the body and person of Jesus in His time of dying. This is because our essential person is Him, crucified, covered in blood.


We are to thereby “reckon ourselves” to be dead to sin (Rom. 6:11).

The Greek word for “reckon” is that normally translated “impute”, in the context of imputing righteousness (Rom. 4:3,4,5,6,8,9- indeed, the word occurs in almost every verse of Romans 4).

 We are to search through our lives and perceive ourselves as in Christ, as men and women who don’t sin because we are in Christ. We are to impute that we are justified by faith (Rom. 3:28).
The Lord died to justify us (Rom. 4:25); yet we justify ourselves by our attitude to ourselves, in that we allow His death to so influence our self-perception.

We look in the mirror, and see Christ in us. This looking in the mirror is used by James as a figure for self-examination (James 1:18,22-25). By doing the word of the Gospel, we find we will live lives of looking in the mirror, of self-perception.

This is the essence of self-examination; to perceive the Christ-man within us, and that all other behaviour is our being unfaithful to our true self, living out a persona. We are to see ourselves as being Christ; we are to have a high view of ourselves in this sense, whilst despising and seeking to deconstruct the personas we so often act out which are unfaithful to Him.

The cross must change how we see ourselves. It must radically affect our self-perception and self understanding. For we are in Him. It was us who hung with Him there, and who hang with Him still in the tribulations of life.

We are Christ personified to this world. Therefore to be ourselves as God intends is to be Christ, to let the Christ-man within us show forth; the life that He lived and the death that He died becomes ours (Rom. 6:10,11). Paul could say, with reference to this, that he died daily (1 Cor. 15:31); and out of each death, there comes forth new life. For His resurrection life, the type of life that He lived and lives, becomes manifest in our mortal flesh right now (2 Cor. 4:11).


article taken and adapted from the writings of Duncan Heaster (Christadelphian)

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