Thursday, March 21, 2024

Orange Moon Thursday, March 21, 2024 “Behold!” Part 5 - Being… Behaving

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


Part 5 - Being… Behaving

      "Beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).

     "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.  Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).

    Knowing God through the Lord Jesus Christ is salvation.  "This is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3).

     Knowing ourselves through the Lord Jesus establishes, maintains, and empowers our capacity to live out our God-enabled salvation.  "I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints, that the communication (shared participation) of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus" (Philemon 1:5-6).

    The Apostle Paul called Philemon to a particularly challenging step of obedience to God (the receiving of his escaped servant Onesimus as a brother in Christ).  Paul did so by reminding Philemon not only of the Lord Jesus, but also of the "every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus."  It was not enough to know only the good things of the Savior, wondrous as they are.  In order to become "effectual" in obedience, Philemon had to know and believe the grace of God dwelled within himself through Christ.  He had to affirm the truth of both "in Christ Jesus" and "in you."  Philemon required awareness of the behavior to which he was called, and the being that made possible his obedience.  He could lovingly and graciously receive Onesimus - behavior - because of who Christ was in Him, and who he was in Christ - being.  

   Had our father and mother never conceived us, we could not be human, nor behave as human.  In like manner, had God never spiritually conceived us through the indwelling Holy Spirit, believers could not be "the servants of righteousness" we are (Romans 6:18).  Nor could we behave righteously.  Obviously, being precedes and makes possible behavior.  We cannot act if we do not exist, either in earthly or Heavenly reality.  Thus, if we fail to affirm the "new creature" we are in Christ - if we fail to "behold," as Paul commands  - we will find that this act of unbelief and disobedience will result in weak footing for a consistent walk with God (II Corinthians 5:17).  

    The knowledge of God is absolutely primary in salvation and in our walk with Him.  It must form and inform every aspect of the Christian life.  This does not discount, however, the proper knowledge of ourselves in accordance with Scripture and the living presence of Christ within us.  In fact, we only see ourselves rightly as we see our Lord rightly.  "In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).  Do we view ourselves as united to Christ, with His presence and promised working in us affirmed as the very Life of our lives?  "Christ is our life… It is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure" (Colossians 3:4; Philippians 2:13).  Do we see that we "have our being" in Him whereby our behaving through Him is possible in all things? (Acts 17:28).  Do we believe the change of being that has already occurred in our hearts through the new birth, which makes possible the ongoing growth necessary as we seek to honor our Lord in spirit, soul, and body?  The change?  No less than "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts" (Galatians 4:6).  Do we behold such "hope of glory?"  How we behave will be determined by our beholding the Lord Jesus - and by our beholding the "new creature" we are, as inhabited, led, and enabled by Him…

"Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

(Romans 6:9-11)

Tomorrow: Triumph and tragedy

Weekly Memory Verse

     Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."

 (II Corinthians 3:18)


No comments: