We all know that we once lived disobedient lives. We did foolish things and our minds were filled with covetous and unkind thoughts. We were envious of others and always complaining about our situations. We were convinced that others had it so much better than we did. Satan tries to get us to remember, so that we feel condemned, but God wants us to remember so that we stay humble. So, God revealed Himself to us through His Spirit, we were convicted and repented of our sins. He washed away our sins with the blood of Jesus. Not because of some wonderful, powerful act that we did, but simply because of His mercy and grace. We should ask God to fill us with the same kind of compassion that Jesus had for others and gently lead them to Christ. We must remember to remain humble because we were once in that same sinful condition.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?—1 Cor. 3:1-4 (NIV)
Up until the death of Jesus, the people would follow after certain Rabbis, the great teachers of religion in that time. These Rabbis taught the Old Testament laws and rules, as well as those who taught idol worship. Now there was a new plan of salvation instituted with the death and resurrection of Jesus. In a sense, it is understandable that the people, at that time, would have been inclined to follow the teachers and not just their teaching. Paul is telling the Corinthians that they aren’t yet able to understand the message. They must first learn that it is the message that is important and not the messenger. Until they understand this and have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord, he is not able to teach them in more depth. We still have the same thing happening in our society today. We have people who are misled and think that the messenger is the savior, thus we have cults and incidents such as Jim Jones, where people follow their leaders even unto death. Paul was concerned that the people in Corinth would turn back to the law or false religion. He wanted to be able to get them grounded in the faith by teaching them about living a Holy life after being saved, so that they, in turn, could make disciples of others. Today, we have many people who are saved and then become unsatisfied with Christianity because we don’t teach them to live holy lives. They drop out of church because we don’t teach them that living for Jesus is hard, but the joy and the end result is more than worth the effort. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.–1 Cor. 15:57 NIV
43 Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to do so! 44 For you are the children of your father the Devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning and has always hated the truth. There is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me! 46 Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin? And since I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Anyone whose Father is God listens gladly to the words of God. Since you don’t, it proves you aren’t God’s children.”—John 8:43-47 (NLT)
Jesus continues to have a conversation with the people present that day. They didn’t understand what He was saying because they were spiritually blind and deceived by satan. Lying, confusion and deception are all characteristics of the devil. Since the people there and we today were born in sin, we are easily misled and led astray. We are guilty of the same sins just as the father of all flesh, the devil, is guilty. Once the Holy Spirit calls us and we see the Light, then we can no longer use this as an excuse. When we are exposed to the truth of who Jesus really is, we always have to make a decision. Whether we accept or reject that truth will determine who our father will be. If we accept the truth of Jesus coming to earth to be our redeemer and His fulfilling that mission by dying on a cross, then our Father is God and we gladly listen and believe the words of Jesus. More than that, we should hunger and thirst after His words. We should hide them in our heart so that we will not sin against God. 10 I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 I praise you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.—Psalm 119:10-12 (NLT)
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.–Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)
We are to do good to the members of our faith and also to everyone else. This is how we show the world that there is a difference in our attitude because God’s Spirit dwells within us. When our lifestyles reflect the indwelling of God’s Spirit, it shows the world that we are living to please the Spirit and not our flesh. This is diametrically opposed to what the world believes and teaches us. We must persevere in our lifestyle so that we reap an everlasting life of joy and glory with God. You can’t manipulate or fool God, so our actions have to be from the heart and with right motives, otherwise, they are not worthy of the calling God has on each of our lives.