Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Orange Moon Tuesday, May 23, 2023 "Living For God, Living From God"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Living For God, Living From God"



   Regarding life in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul provides an interesting dichotomy in his testimony of Christ living in him, and he living by Christ.

    "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 Jesus Christ, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

   First, Paul seems to depart.  "I am crucified with Christ."  Apparently, God did away with the Apostle in a shared death with his Lord.  However, Paul returns, doubtless through a shared resurrection with Christ.  "Nevertheless I live."  He leaves again, however: "Yet not I."  The Apostle testifies he no longer lives, in lieu of Another's life: "Christ liveth in me." .  Finally, however, Paul returns, this time to remain as an active participant.  "The life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God."  

    Christ lives in us so that we live through Him.  This constitutes the most succinct summation of the New Testament protocol of life in our Lord, through our Lord, and by our Lord.  God does not annihilate us when we believe, but rather births a "new creature" and "new man" alive in the life of Christ, and enabled to live accordingly.  "We shall live with Him by the power of God" (II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; II Corinthians 13:4).  The understanding and experience of such grace requires a lifetime of growth in learning how to live for God by living from God.  Paul's testimony above reveals the challenge of such a life, wherein we must completely trust our Lord for His leading and enabling, while at the same time actively engaging our members and faculties to "exercise thyself unto godliness" (I Timothy 4:7).  How do we walk in the wonder of such light and mystery?  How can we know we live by our Lord's life indwelling our spirit, as opposed to the movings of the flesh that ever tempt us to walk in the delusion of human strength that leads only to failure and frustration?  "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).  The challenge is great, and no believer has ever fully understood or explained how such a life can be known and practiced.

   As with all truth, we can know some, and we can know more.  But we can never know all.  Thus, we must maintain an ongoing quest to grow in our Lord and His light.  Relationship with Him, and the fruits thereof, must never be viewed as merely a matter of learning principles and doctrines.  It is that, very much so.  But it is more than that, much more.  Grace and truth line the path of righteousness, whereupon we walk in living personal terms with our Heavenly Father, while also seeking to better understand in the light of His Word what a such a gift involves (John 1:17).  God made us as creatures of both spirit and mind.  Regarding Christ living in us, and we living by Him, we can know our Lord and understand His truth well enough to walk in the light of such glorious truth.  Never, however, will we reach a place wherein we have completely figured out how such a wonder works in our hearts and lives.  Paul's testimony greatly illuminates, while also informing us that greater illumination must be sought and found.  In relationship with an eternal and infinite God, it can be no other way.  Nor would we want it to be any other way.

"Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."
(Jeremiah 33:3)
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
(II Peter 3:18)
"Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
(Romans 6:11)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "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)






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