2 Corinthians 3:16-18 ESV
“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
Prior to us surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ and repenting of our sins and turning to the Lord to walk in obedience to his commands, we were all in a state of spiritual blindness, symbolized here by a veil. We were not able to enter into the presence of Almighty God for our sins separated us from God. For we are all born into this world with sin natures in the image of Adam, and thus we have all sinned, and we have all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and acceptance, and his righteousness.
[Rom 3:9-26; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49]
But when we turn to the Lord in repentance and in obedient faith in Jesus Christ, and we die with Christ to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, then that veil is removed. We are no longer the spiritually blind for our eyes have now been opened to our sin and to our Lord’s righteousness and holiness and of our need to and of God’s requirement that we die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness, by his grace.
[Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Acts 26:18; Jn 6:44; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15]
Now faith in Jesus Christ is not just a get-out-of-jail-free-card. By faith in Christ we die with him to our old lives of living in sin and for self so that we can now live for him in obedience to his commands in holy living. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but to righteousness. So, we are to not let sin therefore reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Luke 9:23-26; Romans 6:1-23).
And a walk of faith in Jesus Christ involves us daily being transformed into the likeness of character of Christ, our Savior and Lord. Daily by the Spirit we are to be putting to death the works of the flesh (the deeds of the body) and we are to be walking in obedience to our Lord and no longer after the sinful pattern of this world of ours. For our minds are to no longer be set on the things of this world and on the flesh, but now our minds are to be set on Christ and on living holy lives, pleasing to our Lord (Romans 8:1-14).
2 Corinthians 4:1-2 ESV
“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, and as ministers of the true gospel of our salvation, which we are all to be who believe in Jesus Christ, we are to renounce all disgraceful and underhanded ways, and we are not to be those who practice cunning and craftiness in deceitful scheming. But we are to be those who are living godly, holy, and upright lives in all integrity of heart and mind, for the glory and praise of God. And we are to be those who speak the truth in love, one to the other, and who do not lie in practice.
Also, we are not to be those who tamper with God’s word, but we are to be those who rightly handle the word of truth, to the best of our understanding, as guided and directed by the Holy Spirit. And to do this we need to be students of the Scriptures who study the Scriptures in their context prayerfully, praying for the Spirit to reveal to us all truth. But we also have to be open and willing for the Lord to show us things we have gotten wrong or beliefs we have adopted into our lives via false or misguided teaching.
And then we must be willing to put off those false concepts and beliefs and practices and to replace them with the truth of the Scriptures in practice in our daily lives. Even though I had good sound biblical teaching growing up, not everything I was taught was the truth. Now I don’t believe my pastors back then willfully lied to me, but I believe they were misguided in some areas because of what they were taught early on, and at that point they just had not unlearned them but they were carrying them on in their teaching.
In our world today it is a different story. So many pastors and church planters are being trained in deceptive practices and in cunning and craftiness in deceitful scheming. They are being trained in manipulative tactics and in marketing strategies and in trickery in order to attract the world to their gatherings and in order to get the people to go the direction they want them to go. For so many of them have bought into business marketing strategies on how to plant and to grow their “churches,” which are really businesses of men being marketed to the world.
And, thus, many of them are not following the Scriptures in truth, and they are not following the example of Jesus Christ, and so they are also not being led by the Holy Spirit, because marketing books and books and seminars taught by marketing strategists and by people who are compromising with the world are what many of them are following, instead. And so they are leading their people to follow suit and to follow after a diluted gospel and to accept man-created “churches” in place of the true body of Christ.
But as followers of Jesus Christ, and as ministers of the true gospel of our salvation, we are to have no part in man-made “churches” and in man-created gospels which are tickling itching ears and which are patterned after the ways of this sinful world in order to draw in large crowds of people from the world. But we are to remain true to the teachings of the Scriptures (in context) in our beliefs and in our practices. And we are to gather together with the body of Christ for our mutual encouragement in our walks of faith.
[Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Jn 4:31-38; Jn 13:13-17; Jn 14:12; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 26:18; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Rom. 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 1:22; Eph 2:19-22; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-30; Col 1:18; Col 2:19; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet. 2:4-9,21]
When in The Stillness
An Original Work / September 26, 2011
When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.
While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.
Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.