Former post from previous blog…Brief Thoughts……….
I have been mulling over the scriptures: mostly Romans 8:26-27 and the intercessory ministry of the Spirit to provide the things we “ought” to know. In so doing and learning the Spirit provides us knowledge through the word of God, I have compared much 1 Corinthians 2 with Romans 8:26-27. I share all this to bring out one point that could be developed with vast detail of which my intent is not to do in this post.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:9-12, “But 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. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; THAT WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS THAT ARE FREELY GIVEN TO US OF GOD.”
The last clause of verse 12 is what I want to emphasize. As those that are in Christ, who have trusted the gospel of grace, we have been freely given things of God, the moment we believed. This however, in all of Paul’s epistles is not simply the point, it is a part of the process. We need to be given things freely; however, then we need it in knowledge form to know it. Yet, this is not the end of the process.
In Romans 6 Paul teaches we are “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord”. This new identity is something that was freely given to us the moment we believed; however, we didn’t know it. Romans 6:1-11 provides for us to know it, but once again this isn’t the end of the process. God has freely given us things to know to be used, in order for us to DO something with this knowledge. Hence the exhortation in Romans 6:12, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” Who is the one obeying or not obeying, it is us. We are to disobey the lusts of our mortal body, by letting it not reign, based upon (therefore) Romans 6:1-11, the knowledge of who we are in Christ.
Many look down at DOING something with the knowledge, that which the knowledge provides. Many equate this process as law type thinking. In fact, many look down upon some kind of performance. God wants us to perform, He just wants it to be Him in us by virtue of His spirit, His knowledge, which makes the performance of Him, even though we are actively taking the knowledge and DOING something with it. He wants this instead of us performing by our flesh, by the spirit of the world, philosophy, etc. The fruit of looking down upon the issue of saints performing by the knowledge of God in Christ and equating it to law type thinking is that many will have a whole bunch of knowledge, but that it is. If any performance on our part with the knowledge He has revealed to us is in the word of God is not what God wants, then one is left with two options: 1) God just wants us to know a whole bunch of things, or 2) we know a whole bunch of things, but the Spirit mystically, unknowingly, and hopefully uses our bodies to perform what He wants accomplished, which is Calvinism. This is not the end of the process.
God has given us His Spirit who searches and searched the deep things of God, revealed them to us, had them written down, imparted to us the spirit of God, so that we could have the mind of Christ not simply for the sake of having it, or knowing things, but to KNOW THE THINGS THAT ARE FREELY GIVEN TO US OF GOD. In other words, to be conformed to the image of Christ, to DO something with it. Adam didn’t just know that he had a wife, he knew his wife and she conceived. Adam did something with his knowledge something was produced. We don’t have a wife or husband just to have one, this would be silly, foolish, and childish. We have a wife or husband, to DO a whole bunch of things with them (to simplify it rather sacrilegiously). God didn’t just have us know that we are “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God” for some theological jargon purpose, but so that sin would no longer reign in our mortal bodies. This knowledge is power, but it is only power when you DO something with it. One can spend 8 years to become a doctor, but never choose to be a doctor. They are on paper, they are knowledge-wise, but isn’t a practicing doctor.
The end of the process, at least for this life, is to responsibly DO something with what God has freely given us. Otherwise, we are blessed with all spiritual blessings (which is great), but don’t experience those spiritual blessings, we just theoretically and theologically know we have them. Otherwise, we are dead unto sin and alive unto God, but don’t experience the power of disobeying the lusts of the flesh, we just theoretically and theologically know we are. Unfortunately, many, not all, utilize these expressions “blessed with all spiritual blessings” and “complete in Him” as a justification for their slothfulness (I have), rather than these expressions persuading them, constraining them, motivating them, and lighting a fire in them to DO something with those blessings and completeness and have them awake out of their sleep and quicken their sluggardness.
There is a parallel in the parables during the Lord’s earthly ministry in Matthew 25:14-30, where the Lord delivers to His servants His goods. They were freely given to His servants, two of them, DID something with those goods, one didn’t. The two were faithful and wise, they took the goods and replicated those goods. The one was wicked and slothful, he had a good freely given to him, but DID NOTHING with it.
When God has freely given us all things, has revealed them to us by giving us the Holy Spirit, which searched the deep things of God, and wrote down the spirit of God for us to have, this is WHEN IT BECOMES WHAT YOU DO.
The reward at the judgment seat of Christ is not something He freely gives to every believer. Christ will reward us not for something He freely gave to every believer, rather what every believer DOES with the things that are freely given. Having the things freely given doesn’t conform us to Christ’s image, knowing them does, which is understanding it and putting it to use. When we know these freely given things, we are knowing Christ, being conformed to His image, and (for the sake of consistency of terms) are replicating Him. He is the reward essentially. Knowing Christ through these freely given things ought to be our reward, prize, and treasure now and if so they will be our reward, prize, and treasure then. Will we learn those things in the exclusive manner He provides, be wise and put that knowledge to practical use? If your comfortable just having them, you have received the grace of God in vain, you have received it, but it isn’t effectually WORKING. God’s grace is the greatest power in the universe designed to persuade you to DO something with what He freely provides you. The word of God is quick and powerful and designed to WORK, to get you to WORK. The difference between law and grace isn’t performance or work, it is what is producing the performance or work. Let us, AWAKE OUT OF SLEEP!!!
Josh Strelecki, Pastor