We think of the Apostle Paul as incredibly bold and fearless in his proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Certainly he was, but just as certainly, the motivation and strength for such loving courage did not originate in himself.
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Ephesians 6:18-20).
Had boldness been Paul's natural disposition, he would not have asked for prayer regarding the matter. His request therefore indicates need for grace, and just as importantly, the Apostle's awareness of such need. "Without Me ye can do nothing" declared the Lord Jesus, and the wondrous life of Paul actually shines forth the light of the glorious life of Christ. Moreover, our Savior Himself lived such a life of dependence during His earthly lifetime. "I can of Mine own self do nothing… the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works… I live by the Father" (John 15:5; 5:30; 14:10; 6:57). Just as those who saw Paul actually saw the enabling presence and power of Christ in Paul, so did the Lord Jesus testify of His Enabler, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9).
Humanity, including even our Lord's humanity, exists to be inhabited and empowered by the Divine. When Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation to "be as gods," they turned away from the very nature and essence of their being (Genesis 3:5). They sought independence rather than dependence, desiring to be the Deity that inhabits the temple rather than serving as the temple. Death and disaster ensued, a plight remedied in Christ when He reconstitutes our being by leading us to a salvation that could only be given by grace and received by faith. Indeed, in the very first twinkling moment of the new birth, we begin to live in reality, the reality of "Without Me, ye can do nothing… I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13). This was Paul, for whom boldness did not come naturally, but rather supernaturally. And this is you and me, for whom the life to which God calls us must be the life with which He provides to us. Without Him, "nothing." Through Him, "all things."
"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him."
(I John 4:9)
Weekly Memory Verse
Come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord.