Thursday, November 2, 2017

“Reception and Responsibility”

"Reception and Responsibility"

    The genuine reception of God's freely given grace in the Lord Jesus Christ also bestows a keen sense of personal responsibility to God and people.

    "Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches" (II Corinthians 11:28).

    Paul, the herald of God's free gift in the Lord Jesus, clearly affirmed the experience of such blessedness as the initiator and maintainer of a life that reflects the Savior's determination, "I must work the works of Him that sent Me" (John 9:4).  Reception leads to responsibility as the love of Christ for us becomes the love of Christ in us.  Those who accused the Apostle of preaching irresponsibility - "some affirm that we say, Let us do evil that good may come" - did not understand Paul or his message (Romans 3:8).  The gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit accompanies God's forgiveness and assurance of eternal life with Him.  The Divine presence within our hearts spiritually changes who and what we are.  "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" (II Corinthians 5:17).  Our Lord then works to progressively reveal the internal transformation in our attitude, words, and doings.  "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25).  No legitimate experience of God exists that does not elicit the grace-wrought motivation to trust, serve, and obey our Heavenly Father.  With this comes also the determination to serve others.  We do not always live accordingly, but like Paul's "care of all the churches," every believer knows the Holy Spirit's moving upon our hearts to foster the aforementioned "keen sense of personal responsibility to God and people."  "I will very gladly spend and be spent for you" (II Corinthians 12:15).

    Reception and responsibility go hand in hand, heart in heart.  The Gift that changes the heart also challenges the feet to walk a path of devotion to God and others.  Upon meeting the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul asked two questions:  "Who art Thou, Lord?" and "What wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:5-6).  Salvation results in service in all who receive the freest gift ever gift, which forms within us our Savior's attitude of "I must work the works."

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
(Hebrews 9:14)
"I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?  Then said I, Here am I; send me."
(Isaiah 6:8)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
(Philippians 1:6)

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