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Series: Other Speakers
Sun am 28 September 2014 – Shane Egypt
(2 Pet. 1:3); Eph. 3:19 (Amplified); Mark 28:35; 2 Cor. 3:7-9; Matt. 5:17, 27;
(1 Cor. 11:1); (Titus 3: 4); (1 Thess. 5:14); Phil. 3:5-6; (1 Cor. 9:24);
(1 Tim. 4:8); 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 12:11 (Amplified); Phil.3:10 (Amplified)
We need to believe that we are complete in Christ. The Word of God is clear that we have everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). We will not find a release for ourselves or grow if we focus on our faults and try to correct them. Much of our feelings and our thought- life centers on our lack, our shortcomings and our unfruitfulness. Many times, it is in a period of our life when there is a cutting away. God is a skillful gardener and He knows what to cut away from our lives if it is unfruitful. [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! (Eph. 3:19 Amplified). When it seems that there is no growth and there is futility in our lives, we need to be filled with God. We need to be filled with Him when we go through periods of unfruitfulness and futility. For whoever wants to save his [higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [the lower, natural, temporal life which is lived only on earth]; and whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it [his higher, spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God](Mark 8:35). It speaks of two dimensions of life: the eternal, spiritual life that is the higher form of life, and the natural and the temporal life, which is the lower life. Whoever gives up the natural life for the sake of the gospel, will save the spiritual and eternal life. When we live according to the new life, the life of the Spirit, if we seek this with all our heart we will be released from a life of futility, released from being snared by this temporal life that is full of rules and regulations. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory (2 Cor. 3:7-9). Jesus said He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17). You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matt. 5:27). Jesus is ascribing to a higher spiritual law and in fulfilling this law of God in his heart. The law that He fulfilled that came with glory on tablets of stones meant nothing to Him because He lived according to the Spirit. He lived according to that spirit life that God had given and imparted to Him. The snares of the natural life could not touch Him. He is the pattern Son, the blue print and similarly if we live according to the new life, the life of the Spirit, we will be released like Him from the snares of this natural life. This temporal life causes us to be locked in a cycle of despair and hopelessness.
Looking briefly at the life of the Apostle Paul, he could boldly say “Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). The Word of God warns us about living idle, uncultivated and unfruitful lives (Titus 3:4). The word also instructs to preside over idle acts (1 Thess. 5:14). Look at the dedication of Paul. Circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness that is in the Law, found blameless (Phil. 3:5-6). The Law that came with glory but it brought unfruitfulness, it brought futility. Everything in us in this natural, temporal life resists self-discipline. If we start something we find it hard to follow through, we battle against inconsistency, and we love to procrastinate. We need to dedicate ourselves to the Word of God and become disciplined. We need rigorous training and Paul often mentions that we are in a race (1 Cor. 9:24). We will be fruitful if we spend time dedicated to the life of the Spirit. Paul says that physical training is of some value, but godliness is useful and of value in everything (1 Tim. 4:8). We need to use the training for righteousness.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God] (Heb. 12:11 Amplified). For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] (Phil. 3:10 Amplified). We need to get intimately acquainted with Him. There was a determined pursuit in Paul’s life to get to know God. Is that pursuit in your life? If we can have that same dedication and pursuit for God just think how transformed we will be and how effective we will be, for God has called us to be transforming agents.