If ever there was anyone who suffered for the sake of the Lord, it was Paul. In this section he recounts any number of personal, physical and spiritual attacks on his person, many of which could have easily killed him.
But they didn’t. The Lord protected him through all of these persecutions and lifted Paul up to do the work to which he had been called. A person might wonder why he had to go through this litany of suffering, but Paul understood what was happening. Paul knew he had to suffer for Christ, and he was prepared to do so.
This was perhaps the greatest sacrifice anyone could make for the sake of the Lord. He had a work to do and he did it in spite of the suffering. Which raises an important question. Are you prepared to suffer for Christ and your walk with Jesus?
In my last post I discussed the fact that we are at war, but it is not a physical war against flesh and blood. Instead we are at war in the spirit for our enemies are spiritual, the primary enemy being the devil himself.
Needless to say, this is a different war, fought on a spiritual battleground. As a consequence it requires a different set of weapons from those used to wage a worldly, fleshly war. We do not use guns, knives, swords, tanks, explosives and bombs to fight this war, because the nature of this war is different.
Spiritual war is not about the capture or killing of people in the physical sense. It is about the capture of the hearts and minds, even the soul and life of people. The devil seeks to destroy our eternal life by snatching away salvation through the destruction of our faith. But in Christ we have the victory, if and when we come to Him and take the weapons of war designed to wage this spiritual war. So let us first look at the nature of this war and then consider what the weapons are we need to fight, and how to use them. Continue reading “Weapons Of War”
In my last post I wrote about why Christians get sick. The key to understanding that is knowing that this Christian walk is not about the flesh but about the spirit. The work that is going on in us is a spiritual work. The flesh is of no avail.
In this section of scripture today, Paul extends this understanding and shows that God helps us in our walk by giving us the Spirit as guarantee of His help in our salvation.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit in us to transform us into the image of God. This is why God gave us the Holy Spirit. But let us consider the words Paul has written here and how the spirit as guarantee helps us.
This chapter of Paul's letter to the Corinthians covers a great deal about speaking in tongues. In it we learn much about what speaking in tongues is, and what it is for.
There are many myths in the modern church about the gift of tongues and if people would read and understand this chapter, many of those myths would be torn down.
Speaking in tongues is important for the development of our walk with Jesus Christ. The gift is given to us for a very definite purpose, and this chapter covers a number of the aspects of that purpose.
So let us do some myth busting and see what this is all about in these few verses, and we will continue the discussion of tongues and the ramifications of having or not having the gift as we continue in the next few posts.
This section of scripture goes into great detail about warning us not to go down the path of sexual immorality. It is perhaps more relevant today than when it was written with the moral decline in this world where one night stands and all kinds of sexual perversions are the norm.
But hidden in this section is a verse that explains why it is so important to shun and flee from sexual immorality. The particular verse says,
But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. – (1 Corinthians 6:17)
Thus we have a dilemma that can only be resolved by following the advice of Paul by rejecting all forms of sexual immorality.
The challenge that faces all of humanity is their inability to exercise self control in all things. Oh sure, people can exercise self control over many things, but everyone has a weakness or two that will take hold of them when they least expect it and do not want it to happen and …boom! They fall apart and do the very thing they hate.
In my last post I wrote about how Paul suffered in this way from covetousness in his early walk with the Lord and before coming to Jesus. And he is not alone for every person has their own personal set of weaknesses to which they have and will succumb if the conditions are right and they are at a weak point. Let’s face it, even Superman had kryptonite! Only Jesus was able to exercise self control in ALL things and only Jesus conquered the passions and desires of the flesh and lived a life without sin.
But Jesus did all of that for a reason, which we need to take notice of. Jesus suffered in the flesh and died so that through His death we could come to God and be set free from sin and the law. But he did much more than that in the sacrifice he made for us and we need to take this lesson to heart. Continue reading “Thank You Jesus”
The Lord gives us great hope and a promise that all Christians should take comfort from in these few scriptures. There is also a warning, but with that warning a reminder that in Him we are safe.
Is there anyone in Christ today who can say that since coming to Jesus all of the problems and sufferings in this world have passed away? Does anyone have a life as a Christian that is all sweetness and light?
I very much doubt it…unless they are trying to fool themselves. The truth is that there awaits a life of tribulation, stress and persecution for those who come to Christ, and in this section of scripture Jesus tells us that is what it will be like. But He also shows that we need not worry about it when we follow Him for there is victory in Jesus Christ.
Peace! In this world just the very word is like water to a thirsty man. But there is a peace that is greater than anything in this world. The peace of God which passes all understanding, as Paul wrote in Philippians 4:7.
And the peace of Christ is not like the peace we find in this world. There is no comparison. When we think of peace in this world we think about the cessation of conflict, or the end of war, or when when fighting around us stops.
We all look for peace in our lives and most people just can’t seem to find it or enough of it. They look to things and places to seek peace. They go to rivers, lakes, mountains or the beach in the hope of finding peace. But this kind of peace does not last. It is temporary because it relies on external factors. But we will see that the peace from God, the peace of Christ Jesus is very different.
For those who are coming to Jesus one of the great challenges is the need to resist temptation. In this section of scripture Jesus makes it abundantly clear that temptation to sin will surely come just as night always follows day. So it is important that we understand how to resist temptation and to know to expect temptations to sin will come. And knowing these things we can do something about them.
At this time of the year we hear people saying, “Peace on earth” for this is part of the Christmas message. When Jesus was born, which by the way could not have been on 25th December…but that’s a discussion for another day, the angels appeared to shepherds saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14) But Jesus gives us something more to think aboutthat would no doubt surprise the Christmas well wishers. Jesus polarises people. Continue reading “Peace on Earth?”