Archive for April 27th, 2013

April 27, 2013

Paul’s Challenge

1 Corinthians 10:13

The Voice (VOICE)

One of the strengths of the Jewish people is their corporate identity that comes from belonging to a unique, suffering people deeply loved by God. The tendency for the new, non-Jewish believers may be to create a new identity among themselves because they lack the sense of belonging shared by Israel’s descendants. A new day is dawning, a day when all may come to God regardless of ethnicity, locale, or social class. Believers in Corinth are not part of a new movement; they are a fresh expression of the historic movement of God.

The twenty-first century church needs to hear this truth today as much as the church in Corinth did two millennia ago. The world has changed drastically since the times of Abraham, David, John the Baptist, and even Martin Luther. In the midst of radical economic and technological advances, some within the church are embracing new or contemporary practices and regarding them as somehow superior to ancient and historic practices. Paul is challenging this idea and calling all believers to see themselves as a part of the local, global, and historic church.

13 Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward.

April 27, 2013

Our Greatest Fear

The secret is that grace deactivates our pride. Removing the Old law from our lives means our self-effort is no longer prodded to control behavior. The law excites human effort. It encourages us to depend on resources outside of Christ. But unconditional acceptance deactivates human effort and allows the Holy Spirit to be all that he wants to be through us. Our greatest fear is that we’ll be out of control. But we were never made to be in control. Self-control has always been a natural attribute of the Holy Spirit. The reason he lives within us is to produce the self-control that we’re afraid we’ll lack under grace. Paul encourages us to trust grace under the New Covenant by quoting Jesus himself on the matter:

But [Jesus] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 CORINTHIANS 12:9

Jesus doesn’t appear fearful about the outcome of too much grace in Paul’s life. Grace isn’t merely a response to sin. Grace is the core of the New Covenant. It allows Jesus to produce through us what’s needed in the moment. After hearing this divine position on grace, Paul decides that Someone greater than himself will work in his life. Jesus will produce what he cannot. The same is true for us today.

~Farley, Andrew

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