Friday, December 19, 2014

"What Music We Can Make!"

(A repeat from 2011)

"What Music We Can Make!"

    The Apostle Paul taught that God effects spiritual change in our lives by leading us to "behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18). Thereby we are "changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

    The word "glass" in this passage may surprise us. We might suspect that the Greek root "katoptrizomai" would mean a window, as in looking outward and away from ourselves unto the glory of God. This is not the case. The word actually means a mirror, implying that we behold the glory of God in ourselves regarding the spiritual process of being conformed to the image of Christ. 

    Our first response to such truth likely involves the remembrance of past sins and failures, too often committed even after we believed. Or we may sense our weakness in the present. How can we rightly look into the mirror and see glory, God's indescribable glory? Paul answers this question for us in his letter to the Colossians. Therein he declares the amazing truth of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).  God calls born again believers are to look into His mirror and see not merely ourselves, but ourselves united to the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. We are not alone! The indwelling Holy Spirit unites us to the One who has "overcome the world" (John 16:33). Christ constitutes our very life, we live by Him, and we can do all things through Him (Colossians 3:4; I John 4:9; Philippians 4:13). Furthermore, He is dwells so closely  to us that "he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17).  Little wonder that we see glory in the mirror as we view not merely ourselves therein, but ourselves as spiritually united to the Lord Jesus.

    The Scottish preacher James Stewart spoke well to this blessed issue: "But now! Now in Christ the new dynamic has appeared. Now there are incalculable resources for the fight. Surely the most wrong-headed psychology in the world is that which speaks of you and me as closed personalities, with just so much strength and no more, with strictly limited reserves of power. For what Christ has done is to make us feel, at all the gateways of our nature, the pressure and bombardment of the infinite energies of a world unseen. He has shown us how our little life, with unsearchable riches to draw on, can be reinforced beyond all calculation. I may not be able to fight down some evil thing. But if Christ were here, He could. So then, if Christ is in me, He can. This transfusion of spirit and energy is really possible. If Shakespeare were in you, what poetry you could write! If Mozart were in you, what music you could make! That cannot be. But here is something that can: if Christ were in you, what a life you could live! This is faith's logic. God wants you to know that you can rise above the level of your limitations. "I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me." 

    What music we can make, spiritual music of a life devoted to God, because the Spirit of our blessed Lord dwells within us! It matters not how little we have drawn on such resources in our previous Christian experience. We are to "behold as in a glass" today. Our Lord's spiritual mirror shines forth with two reflections united in one: "Christ in you." Christ in you to love God as we must, and to love others. Christ in you to pray. Christ in you to trust. Christ in you to obey. Christ in you to sacrifice. Christ in you to rejoice, and to be at peace. Christ in you to humble yourself and exalt only Him. Christ in you to faithfully fulfill daily responsibilities. Christ in you to "do all things!" We are not alone. The mirror reveals such glorious truth, the mirror of God's Word that tells us He "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us" (Ephesians 3:20; emphasis added). Or as Paul vividly affirmed in his epistle to the Galatians...

"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
(Galatians 2:20)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever.  Amen.
(Philippians 4:20)

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