The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Not Just Ourselves"
"Are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" (I Corinthians 3:3).
Many problems plagued the first century Corinthian church, including division, immorality, legal disputes, doctrinal weakness, and even disrespect of the Lord's supper. However, the Apostle Paul's rhetorical question above addresses the root cause of the Corinthians' spiritual weakness. Paul challenges their carnality, and in so doing, provides the clearest definition in Scripture of what it means for born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to walk in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. To live as if we are just ourselves, as opposed to ourselves inhabited, led, and enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit - this is the essence of carnality, and the root of its many fleshly expressions.
The Apostle asked another rhetorical question of the Corinthians:
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16).
The Corinthians did not adequately realize that the Christian life involves the present and active life of Christ Himself providing the enabling presence of God. Certainly, they required illumination regarding what believers are to do in faithfulness to God. However, they also required the realization of the living presence of the Holy Spirit as the "How?" of all godliness. "Without Me ye can do nothing… I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13).
No possibility exists of our independently living the resplendent life of grace to which God calls us. Thankfully, no command of the New Testament exists requiring us to do so. Believers "live through Him," that is, we trust that the same Christ who died for us now lives in us to empower the thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions to which God calls us (I John 4:9). We are not just ourselves. We are rather ourselves inhabited by the living God who created and sustains all things. The Corinthians needed to better know this. I need to better know this. Perhaps you feel the same way. Let us then rejoice in the truth of God's living and active presence within our hearts. And let us trust Him for growing illumination whereby we walk not merely as ourselves, but as ourselves inhabited by the living Spirit of Christ. Indeed, may the rhetorical question - "Know ye not?" - be answered with a growing and resounding affirmation that "Yes, we do know the wonder of 'Christ in you, the hope of glory' " (Colossians 1:27).
"I will dwell in them and walk in them."
(II Corinthians 6:16)
"We shall live with Him by the power of God."
(II Corinthians 13:4)
Weekly Memory Verse
"Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice."