God's Course in Your Life
The number one priority of God's course in your life is your spiritual development. People sometimes believe they have to get busy for God, straighten up their life, get their act together and all this type of thing because they think once you become a Christian these are the kind of things you do. But that's not the number one priority. The number one priority is your spiritual development.
There are so many ways to look at this, and it could be a study all in itself as to how God works in our life and how spirituality is developed. We could talk about what it means to walk after the spirit, what it means to be spirit filled, what it means to be adult sons of God rather than children, which is one of the terms Paul uses to explain our Christian walk today. And, there are different ways to talk about this. For example, we could talk about transformation, but the way I want to do this is to simply look at our spiritual development and begin to understand that our spiritual development begins by being taught, because our spiritual development matures as we learn who we are in Christ. And, lastly, this spiritual development is an inner transformation and not an external confirmation or compliance.
Romans Chapter 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the rightousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Continuing down through Romans, Chapter 8, at least in this first introductory section here, the scriptures are talking about walking after the spirit. There is a contrast made between walking after the spirit and what the law was doing in our life. I want you to understand that the law was the way that God was working on people, not in people.
The law was an external set of rules that were given to the nation of Israel. It was actually a covenant given to them; if they would do these certain laws, God was going to benefit them in special ways above all the other nations. And so, the law was an external means wherein God dealt with the nation of Israel requiring their obedience. But if you study the Bible, you find out that Israel never kept the law. They couldn't keep the law.
Look closely in verse two, “For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus …” Now you might not understand that phrase, but there is a spirit of life in Christ Jesus that we have today. And the verse continues “…has set me free from the law of sin and death .” There is a natural law, you might say, a spirit of life given to us by God which has freed us from another natural law called the law of sin and death.
As you read Romans Chapter 7, the law works on our members, our flesh, and tries to tell us how to live and what God expects out of us. But the problem is, our flesh is sinful and won't do what God wants it to do. So this natural law works in our members causing us to sin. However, there's a supernatural law wherein God has superceded the natural law which he gives to us through his Holy Spirit through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
That's the difference between inside and outside. Verse three says this, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” Again, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh...” What I'm trying empathize to you is that our first priority and the first means by which we develop spiritually, is that we simply need to be taught some things. When people get saved, or they come into a church, they start thinking, “O.K. what's my course in life?” They think they haven't been living right so they feel they need to get their act together. Mostly they say they need to stop sinning ~ not because they've been taught that of God (though God will teach you that), but because when they come around a group of people who are believers, or they come into a church, they're going hear that they must stop sinning. So they think they need to get their act together mostly because other believers and the preacher say so. Well, that's the wrong reason.
Then, another person says: I need to get busy working for God, I need to straighten out my life and start walking the straight and narrow and start acting like a Christian. Which to them would mean, I need to start joining, first by joining a church, paying the tithe, volunteering my time to do all the different things around the church. And somehow they think that's their course in life to start doing these things. That's not at all what God would have us to do, that is actually fulfilling the law because what you're doing is you're acting things out. You're acting like a Christian. It's not a transformation that's taking place from the Spirit of God within you, it's something you're doing to be shaped like a congregation. Now, every congregation has a personality and attitude and an influence in your life, but if you just mold to that influence you're going to think you're walking the way God would have you to walk, and you're not living the Christian life. All you are doing is conforming to the group of people who are surrounding you and you're going through an action, and it's not a transformation in your life. God wants to work in your life and he wants a spiritual development, one that's going to work on the inside of your life to work out.
If you just simply have the forces of other people around you shaping you and telling you what to do and that's why you are who you are, and why you do the things that you do, then you're actually just living under a performance system. You're living under a law. And when you read this Bible, you find out first of all, that you'll never succeed, because no one has ever fulfilled the law. You'll just act like you're succeeding. You'll hide your sins. You'll hide your failures and you'll just look like you're doing better when you're really not. The law is really a means of controlling the flesh and it will always fail. It's called the condemnation, (the law brings condemnation) and that's what you'll have working in your life because other people won't see it, but you'll know your failure. You'll be walking around in condemnation and allowing sin to reign in your life because when the law fails, sin is on the throne and sin is working death. So the whole point is this: You want a spiritual development going on in your life and the way that it happens is by you simply being taught. When I say being taught, I don't mean by me telling you how to be spiritual, I mean your being taught of God. The things God would have you to know and, as you listen to what God's word has to say, and as you learn about your position in Jesus Christ, it will have a transforming effect on your life and the results will be true godliness and holiness.
Now, some interesting things. Come to I Thessalonians 4:9, “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: For ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” In this verse the Apostle is to talking to the Thessalonians and if you back up in the chapter you'll read about the different instructions that he's given to them, but when he comes to that area of brotherly love, he says, “I need not to write unto you” because “ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another”. I think you would understand this when you understand 1 st John which tells us that God is love. Someone who knows God, knows what love is. But if you know not God, you don't know love and vice versa. Just the very fact that you would know God (in the way he has revealed himself to us), you don't have to be taught to love your brother. You already know to love one another. When you consider what Paul is saying in this verse, you can see that God does teach you.
Romans 5 says that his spirit is shed abroad in our hearts crying, Abba, Father. And because of that relationship of God in you, you're immediately taught of God to love one another. But this verse says something else you need to consider. It says, “as touching brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you”. How about the others things in your life? Concerning brotherly love, does Paul have to tell you to love your brother? No, but this also implies that there are a lot of other things Paul had to write about to teach you what God wants you to know. So you see in the context God does teach you, but there are other things that are to be taught to you by the pen of the Apostle Paul which is very important.
Come to Ephesians 4:17, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.” Now, we're Gentiles and Paul is writing to us, but when we get saved, we're no longer Gentiles. We become a member of the Body of Christ, so he's telling us now that we're saved, and belong to Christ, don't walk like other Gentiles; that is, Gentiles who aren't in Christ but are still in the flesh and living their lives the way they do without knowing the Lord. We're not to live our life like an unsaved person does. The way an unsaved person lives his life is told to us in verse 17; he lives in the vanity of his mind. He has a vain, empty understanding in his mind about the things of God so he lives without any association with God. He lives, as we would say, the best he knows how, which is vain and empty. He's going to live in the flesh ( and in the members of our flesh is sin), so he's going to live sinfully. He's going to live apart from the will of God and apart from the knowledge of God.
You and I don't have to live our lives that way. In verse 18, concerning those Gentiles who walk in the vanity of their mind, “ Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” Do you realize their lives and the things that they do, their “course in life” so to speak, is one of being alienated from the life of God? The course of their life is not God's life in them. The course of their lives is separated from the life of God and it is through the ignorance that is in them. And the ignorance is there because of the blindness of their heart. They don't want to know the things of God. Therefore, the things of God are darkness to them. And so they live in the vanity of their minds and they live a life totally separated from the life of God. Their lives have nothing to do with God's purpose for them in life. It says in verse 19, when you're that way, there's no end to what degree of sin a person could go. “Who being past feeling have given themselves over to laciviousness to work all uncleaness with greediness.” A person who has no mind of the things of God, is alienated from the life of God, and there is no end to the sins they will get into. They will work what kind of uncleaness? ALL uncleanliness.
Sometimes you hear about debauchery and sin (the Bible uses the word laciviousness, unbridled lust) such that you can't imagine what people get involved in. But a person who's life is apart from God, and in the vanity of their mind, the greediness of their flesh, and the desiring of satisfaction and fulfillment in sinful ways, there's no end to what they will do. But verse 20 says something, and it's the key to everything we're saying here today, “But ye have not so learned Christ.” We who are saved don't live our lives like they live their lives, why? Because we've learned something, haven't we? Now that's a strange phrase. Let me read you a phrase that I've thought about, and I don't totally understand it, though I've always found it to be a blessing. It's in Matthew , Chapter, 11, where the nation of Israel rejected Jesus Christ. It says in verse 28, “Come unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” The nation of Israel in rejecting Jesus Christ is going to face a time of tribulation that's going to come on this world. In studying the book of Hebrews we learn all about Jesus Christ… His accomplishments upon the cross, what He has done in behalf of the nation of Israel. Since he's going to work for them, he's saying my yoke is easy; my burden is light. Therefore, learn of me. As you read the book of Hebrews (12:2) as they're facing the tribulation, it says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The way that the nation of Israel is going to go through a time of tribulation, according to these verses, is that they're going to come to Christ and they're just going to learn of him. And the more they learn of him, the more they're going to be equipped to face unparalleled times ~ a time of trouble like this world has never seen before. Why? Because they've learned something about Jesus Christ that changed their life.
Now we're not going through that time, but it's the exact same thing that we're learning from the Apostle Paul about what transforms our life. Where the Gentiles in Ephesians are living in the vanity of their mind, there's all uncleaness and greediness never being satisfied, living in vanity, in darkness, and it says, “but ye have not so learned Christ”. And it says in verse 21 of Ephesians 4, “ If so be that ye have heard him and had been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts.” God doesn't want you living like you were before you were saved, you are to put that off. But that's not the end of the Christian life, you just naturally know that you're supposed to put that off, but then (verse 24 tells you) to put on the new man. Well, you don't just immediately put on the new man, there's a verse between verse 22 and verse 24. Verse 22, you put off, verse 24 you put on, and what happens in between causes it to happen. Verse 23 says, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” You see, the way God begins to work spirituality in you is by your simply starting to learn about Jesus Christ; who he is, what he has done, what he is accomplishing. So you put off the old life as you're studying and learning about Christ, and as that verse says, you're “being taught by him”. When did Jesus Christ ever teach you anything? The answer is when he sent the Apostle Paul to tell you what he wants you to know. When you're reading those verses in Ephesians that is Jesus Christ teaching you what he wants you to know about him so you can be renewed in the spirit of your mind and then put on the new man, “which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
The new man is putting on what God has made you in Christ and as you're transformed by the renewing of your mind, it's not a phony and hypocritical action, it's righteousness and true holiness. Because what you're seeing is what God has made you in Christ and that is changing your life to such a point that you're not just acting righteous, you are becoming righteous. And you're not just looking like you're holy, it is God's holiness being produced in your life. Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus had made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That …. ” Let's look.
The law of sin and death works in our flesh, but what He did was send his Son into the world to condemn sin in the flesh. That is, all our failures that the law tells us to do and we fail to do; all that condemnation of our sin which showed us our failures, God sent his son into the world to condemn sin in the flesh ~ all the sinful actions we've ever done. He came and he took care of all those sins. Therefore it says, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” In other words, what he's telling us is once you see your failures, then look to see how God dealt with your failures through Jesus Christ, who came and took upon himself the sin and paid for the condemnation of sin, rose from the dead, that he might impart to us that Spirit of life so that the righteousness of the law might now be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ~ that is, to have a spiritual walk. Something from the inside. And the way that is done is by first learning what Christ did. And that's how it's accomplished.
First Corinthians, Chapter 2:9, “As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” A lot of people quote this verse saying, we don't know what God has in store for us. But that's not what Paul is writing here because verse ten says, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.” So what the eye hasn't seen, or the ear heard, the spirit of God has now revealed that we, through the eyes of faith, might know what God has given us in Christ. Now when it talks about the spirit giving us that information, remember that Paul is receiving revelation from Jesus Christ about what God has for us. So he says in verse 13, “Which things also we speak, not with the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” The Holy Spirit teaches us, doesn't he? God the father has taught us, Jesus Christ has taught us, and here Paul is saying the Holy Spirit teaches us.
Now I want to ask you a question to make sure you understand. How did God the Father teach us? Not in just how to love, but everything else? The answer is through Paul writing it down. How did Jesus Christ teach us Gentiles? He never walked around Gentile land. He sent Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, to tell us the things he wants us to know about Jesus Christ. And now how does the Spirit teach you and me? Do we just get a Bible and “God speaks to me in my heart and this is what I know about God” ? Well, if you look at that verse, it says that Paul teaches not with human words, but with the words the Holy Ghost teaches. You know what those are? Those are spiritual words. Those are the words that came from the Spirit of God and Paul says that the things that he is writing down are written so you might know the things God has given to us. Those are the words of the Holy Spirit teaching you the things that God wants you to know; comparing spiritual things, the truths that God has for us, with spiritual words. Words that came from the Holy Ghost. You know, this tells you that the Bible is the way God talks to you. And God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, is teaching you something. Your first spiritual development is not for you to get up and start going out and doing, but the first thing you want to do, if you want to know what your course is, is to learn what God has for you to learn. God wants to say something to you. And so, rather than you yakking with your mouth and running with your feet, and working with your hands, the first thing that needs to be done, is to be taught of God; the things that God wants you to know.
Now, because God used the Apostle Paul to go to the Gentiles, what he is saying to us is different than what he said to the nation of Israel. They're under the law, we're not under the law. Look at Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men”. Now that means that the grace of God in Paul's course (and we've studied that) was to take the message of God's grace and share it with the world. And we studied and saw that he did it. Therefore, he can write this verse and say “the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men”. Now that tells me that before we can go on, we need to understand what the grace of God is, and what your salvation is. The grace of God is that you and I, as Gentiles, are dead two ways: 1) We're dead in trespasses and sins; and 2) we were dead another way, we were without God and without hope in the world ~ until God and his grace, because of the cross of Calvary, sent the Apostle Paul out to tell us Gentiles the good news of what Jesus Christ did on our behalf when we were afar off and dead in sins. When we were ungodly and we were sinners, the Bible says Christ died for us. He paid for our sins and became what the Bible says is the propitiation for our sins; the full satisfying payment. God the Father is fully satisfied that the payment Jesus Christ made on the cross, pays for ever last one of our sins; and that our faith in the blood of Jesus Christ receives for us God's gift of eternal life.
Now that's Paul's message of salvation that he took to all the world. And, it does more than that. Look at what it does when you learn that truth, it says, “for the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly, in this present world.”
Now some people have the idea that if you tell someone that Jesus Christ totally paid 100% of their sins, (past, present and even future sins), and that his payment on the cross was so complete that at the very moment they trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior, God gave to them eternal life, declared them righteous, and sealed them by the Holy Spirit (and thereby saving them forever), these people say that if you tell people that, those people will go out and live in sin. Now that's what people say. But, do you know what God says? He says that the message of the salvation of his grace that goes unto all men “…teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and Godly in this present world ”, verse 12. Grace never tells you it's OK to live continuously in sin. Grace shows you how unworthy you were and how powerless you were to save yourself in order that you would understand his great love and his grace in such a way, that you would not continue in sin; that grace touching your life would transform you so you would start living holy, and acceptably for him. That you would live, as it says here, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, … live soberly, righteously and Godly in this present world.”
Now that first word, soberly. You're probably thinking of alcohol, aren't you? Forget that. There are people who live in a delusion of life, by the influence of the world on their mind. You know how Gentiles walked in past times? With the darkness that was in their heart, they had no knowledge of God, living in the vanity of their mind. If you're saved, and you understand God's grace, you've got something else working in your mind, don't you? You can live soberly. You'd have to be intoxicated with pride and sinful thoughts and vanity to think it's OK to live in sin. But when you're saved, and you realize God saved you, you can think soberly. Finally, the influence of the world is out of your mind, and you realize that's not what life is about. That's not why God saved me so I can live in sin. I was living in sin before he saved me. He saved me to make me something new in Christ. And for the first time you can think sensibly. And not only think sensibly, God can start beginning to work in you (the spirit of life in Christ Jesus) to make you that new man he created you to be in Christ. You can start thinking a new way and also living for a whole new hope (Titus 2:13) “… looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” That's what God saved you for. To make you a peculiar person. Different from the world. Zealous of good works in serving him. God's grace can make you think that way and transform your life.
So, grace doesn't teach you to live in sin, grace teaches you to transform your life. How does grace teach you that? I'll illustrate that two ways. Turn to 1 Corinthians, verse 6. Paul's dealing with the Corinthians. They weren't walking the way they ought to walk. And here's how grace can teach them how to walk the right way. Chapter 6:2, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” Now, he gives them some information, doesn't he? He's first of all declaring that the believers in Jesus Christ are saints, and says “don't you know that the saints will judge the world?” Well, based on that information, it says, “and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” In other words, he tells you what God saved you for which begins to work in your mind, saying, wait a minute, if God saved me for that, then I ought to be judging some affairs right now. He says in verse 3, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” Whoa, I'm going to judge angels? God in his grace has given me , and is going to use me to judge angels? Now once you know that truth, look at what the rest of the verse says, “how much more things that pertain to this life?”
Well, that'll sober you up quite fast, won't it? When you understand how God's going to use us, then you realize if he's going to use me in eternity that way, then I better start dealing with the affairs of this life a little differently. Verse 9, “ Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived.” And he starts talking about the unrighteous people. But then you get down to verse 11, and it says, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.” You know what he's doing there? He's saying, look! the unrighteous, the sins that they do, they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Then he says, and you were that, but you're no longer that. You're washed, you're justified, you're sanctified in the name of Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God, not by anything you did, is it? Well, you know what he's doing in those verses? He's implying to you that if you've been washed, justified and sanctified in the name of Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God, then you shouldn't be doing those things that the sinners are doing who are going to go to hell. When you learn that, you go Whoa, wait a minute, I'm different than that. I'm no longer that. That was the old me that I put off. What am I now? I'm washed, justified, sanctified (holy), in the name of Jesus Christ. When you know that about you, you know what it does? It transforms your life. It sobers you up. And it teaches you to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live soberly, righteously and Godly.
He didn't say, live right and I'll save you. He says the sinners life is this way, they're going to hell, but I've saved you. The whole implication of this is, if I'm cleansed, then why would I live that way? Let me say to you, anytime you're in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, does it ring in your head the understanding that this is the old you and God saved you from this? And, that's not what he saved you to do? And when you're doing those things, are you totally aware that this is a total denial of who God has made you in Christ; to such a point, that you wonder why you're living such hypocrisy? I am sanctified. I am justified. Why aren't I doing the things God would have me to do? Why aren't I going to places God would have me to go? I should be saying the things God wants me to say.
And that's what grace does, it transforms your life. Because you realize the hypocrisy and how that is not you. Because God has changed you by his grace. And when you understand that, then it changes your life. That's why verse 15 says this, “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ?” That'll make you think twice about what you're going to do in this body, won't it? He didn't say, if you do right, I'll make you part of the body of Christ; he says you are part of the body of Christ. That's grace, I gave you that position. That should effect your life, they way you live. Verse 16, “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, sayest he, shall be one flesh.” If I'm the body of Christ, to be joined with sin shouldn't happen because knowing what God has made me in Christ would repel me from these things. Verse 19 says, “What? Know ye not that you're body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God and ye are not your own.” But, God doesn't wait for you to clean up your life and then gives to you the Holy Spirit. God saved you by his grace and immediately gave you the Holy Spirit. And because the Holy Spirit of God lives in your body, your body is now the temple of the Holy Ghost. Just knowing that will transform your life. So you realize the whole purpose of the message today. You spiritual development is to just learn. To be taught first. And then, particularly, your maturity will come as you begin to understand more and more who you are in Christ.
Let's look at some verses. You'll notice that each one of these verses say you are something. These are written so you might know who you are and therefore should have an effect on your life. Ro 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father…” What's the implication? “Even so we should also walk in newness of life.” By the way, Paul doesn't say, go get baptised. What he writes to his readers is that you've been baptised. When? By the spirit of God you are placed into the body of Jesus Christ. That's being baptised into his death, his burial, and his resurrection. And the point of this is, if you will know that you have been buried with Christ in baptism and you understand that, then you understand that you've been raised unto a newness of life. Should you live the old sin any more? Should the old habits still rule your life? How many people would love to be able to go through life and realize, if only I could do it all over again. Isn't that what everybody wants? Do you realize when you're a believer, that's exactly what you get? When you become a believer , you become a new creature in Christ. And as a new creature in Christ, you've been buried with Christ in the baptism into death. You put away that old life and you have a whole brand new start in Jesus Christ. But you say, what if I flub up in my new start? Paul says, the outward man perishes, but the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16). Every day in Christ is a new day, an opportunity to live for him. You know what? You have to know God made you that in Christ in order to transform your mind for you to live in newness of life.
Romans 6:14-16 “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace” What does this mean? That means you can now serve righteousness. We've already seen how you can be created in Christ, in righteousness and true holiness. For the first time (if you realize you're not under the law) you don't have to worry about the law condemning you and telling you what sins you're doing. You can forget about that and start serving the Lord, but only if you know that.
Romans 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit” Well, if you realize you are not in the flesh in God's point of view but in the Spirit, now you can walk in the Spirit. Most of you think you're in the flesh. That you're bound by the flesh. No you're not. You're not in the flesh in God's sight. He's placed you in Christ, and you're in the Spirit. So walk in the Spirit.
Romans 8:37 “We are more that conquerors through him that loved us”. Doesn't that tell you, that if you're more than a conqueror you ought to live in victory? God gave us this in his grace. And when we know it, it should have an effect on our life. We ought to be living in victory.
1 Corinthians 3:9 “We are labors together with God”. That tells you what your course in life is. It's not what should “I” do. If we're laborers together with God, the decision in your life should be “What is God doing? I'm supposed to be helping him.” And that tells you how to find the will of God in everything.
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God?” If you're the temple of God, then it's obvious. Be Holy. God's temple is holy.
1 Corinthians 3:23; 6:19 “Ye are Christ's…and ye are not your own” He owns you. You don't decide things. You're bought with a price. You're to glorify him.
1 Corinthians 6:11 “Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified” The idea here is that we are one body in Christ. If I'm one body in Christ, then I ought to be serving Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:7 “Ye are partakers of the suffering” That's a reminder to you that rather being surprised when suffering comes along, you ought to endure it because you are a partaker of it and shouldn't be murmuring about it. Just expect that in life.
2 Corinthians 3:3 “Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistles of Christ.” Are you read clearly? If you are the epistles of Christ, people are reading the bible in you life, that tells us you better give clear actions so people can read clearly what you're all about.
2 Corinthians 5:20 “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ” Then represent him well.
Galatians 3:26, 4:6 Ye are all children/sons. Then we must show it that we're a child of God and a son of God.
Ephesians 2:10 “…We are his workmanship”. If you're God's workmanship, shouldn't glory be seen in your life? Could God do anything that wouldn't reflect glory?
Ephesians 4:30 “Ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” The whole reason he said that, is to challenge you not to grieve the Holy Spirit. He's with you all the way.
Ephesians 5:30 “…We are members of his body, and of his flesh, and of his bones.” He lives on earth in us. We are the life of Jesus Christ in the flesh here on earth.
Philippians 3:3 “…We are the circumcision which worship God in Spirit.” Then worship him that way.
God says these are true about us. He says we are complete in Christ. Realize that. Don't be trying to get something more. God has already made you everything he wants you to be in Christ. Realize it and allow that to be lived out of your life.
Colossians 2:12, 3:3 “…You are risen with him” and “Ye are dead.” That's just a reminder that the life you have now is not yours, it's his life.
Colossians 3:15 “…You are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Realize the most natural response to all of what God has given us in Christ is thankfulness. Thanksgiving. Live in appreciation of what God has given you in Christ.
When you learn these things, you know what happens? You begin to fulfill Romans 12: 1,2:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye might prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
God has given you this position in grace. When you think and you study and you learn about what God has given you in Christ, it will transform your life and you'll deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly, righteously, and Godly, and be a peculiar people zealous of good works for him. And it starts by your just learning about Christ.
Transcribed and Edited 10/03/03
Tape #10, Priority #1 – Your Spiritual Development
March 14, 1999