December 9, 2018
- By Ed Powell
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"I gave you milk, not solid food, for you are not ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?" 1 Corinthians 3:2-3
Have you ever heard the statement from an unbeliever..."Why should I become a Christian? I don't see any difference between my life and theirs. I don't see how their faith in Christ has affected the way they live." What a sad commentary on the average believer from those outside the church. I'm afraid this is starkly true of many who profess faith in Christ.
Paul had ministered in Corinth and many became believers. However, when he returned, he saw little, if any, growth in their spiritual lives. He concluded that he must repeat the basic principles of Christianity so they could understand and be nurtured. He found them quarreling, divided, jealous, and acting as mere men, not as ones who had received the grace of God in their lives and were seeking to be mature in their faith.
This condition exists today all too often. One of the reasons is that at the time of their salvation, repentance of sin was not stressed. Emphasis is put on simply believing that Christ died for our sins, and if you believe in HIS atoning sacrifice, you are saved.
This certainly is the main focus of our salvation, but there is also the imperative need for making a complete turn around to Jesus Christ, realizing the depth of our sin. Mark said, "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news" (Mark 1:15). Many today who make a "profession" of salvation live lives that have never changed from they were before salvation. They have never been "possessed" by Christ, therefore they remain dominated by their carnal nature, which follows the desires of the flesh. There is still envy, strife, anger, pride, and an unforgiving spirit. All these are the works of the flesh and the expression of a carnal spirit. Where these malicious characteristics prevail, you are still carnal.
For one to be changed from their carnal state to the spiritual, there must be sincere conviction of inward attitudes, such as pride, criticism of others, selfishness, arrogance, and any worldly pursuits that quench the Spirit and bind one in the bondage of SELF.
Until we admit our need, we will not seek God in our new relationship with Him for Him to deliver us from the "power of sin" in our lives. But God has not only provided atonement "for" our sin but he has provided every believer the Holy Spirit who alone enables us to have victory over sin in our daily lives. The whole aim of Christ's work in our redemption and our walk before others is that HE MAY BE ALL IN ALL.
This life of walking by the Spirit comes from God. HE will be our sufficiency for every encounter, when we cast ourselves completely at the foot of the cross. There must be a displacement of self-rule and the enthronement of God in our heart. Until God is THE priority of our life, we will wander on the perimeter of God's plan in inconsequential significance, and have an unfruitful, ineffective spiritual life.
Dare to launch out into the deep by faith, into the uncharted waters, that you may see His wonders there. Do not be content with a carnal nature that is concerned only with self. Dare to trust God for all He wants you to be, by letting HIM be the Lord of your life after salvation. Walking by the Spirit is "life on the highest plane." You can have GOD'S BEST...when you turn the control of your life over to HIM, where GOD IS ALL IN ALL.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2018-12-09
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