1 Corinthians 4:1-9
“ I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 1:4) “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)
God has made full provision for success in the Christian life. You might even say the victorious Christian life, but how do we appropriate such a life? Through God’s resources, not our own. Why is Paul so thankful for the stumbling, bumbling saints of Corinth? Because of their excellent track record? Because of the grace that was given them. Everything outside of hell is the grace of God, so certainly everyone in Christ is in grace. That’s where we begin in following Jesus: we enter into His grace. The Corinthians had. Have you?
It is required of stewards that they be found faithful………. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.(1 Corinthians 2:4 & 5b)
Living successfully is a process: the first step is that we are called into fellowship- not merely correct doctrine, happy experience, good feeling. Relationship! Called into fellowship. That is the goal of creation. This starts at birth into God’s family, consummated at translation into His very presence. The second coming is a strong motivation.
The lordship of Jesus covers everything in a right relationship with God. Jesus is Lord of everything- every person, every event. So you can trust him. You’d be foolish not to. And he is MY Lord, so I must obey him. The mystery is solved. One is tower is “trust,” the other “obey.” The two towers of the Christian life, the foundation and the pinnacle; the two elements in a right relationship with God the two hands of the Christian life: yield and trust. By these we lay hold of God. Jesus is Lord of all, so you can trust him, Jesus is my Lord, so I must obey him. Trust and obey for there’s no other way to have victory in Jesus but to trust and obey: two steps left, then two right. Remember, you can’t hop into the Kingdom on one leg and you can’t hop in victory. It’s a two-legged race!
We live in a society in which it is cool to be detached, uncommitted, it is not cool to get hot, involved, committed. But what are the danger signs of the uncommitted: Do you use the term “spiritual” as a put down of those who seem to be more concerned about things of the Spirit than material things? Do you say, “Accept me as I am” and mean approve me as I am because I am no hypocrite and I intend honestly to stay as I am? Have your expectations for success in the Christian life failed and you have concluded that anyone who seems to have succeeded is faking it?
And the most dangerous: if you feel free in a self-oriented life, that very feeling is a flashing red danger signal. If you truly belong to Jesus and slip into self-oriented thinking, doing your own thing, fighting to be free of obligations to others, or whatever direction the self-orientation may take, the first and all-pervasive evidence of your belonging to Jesus will be misery and inner strife. A corpse doesn’t feel pain, but to a sick person, the pain may just be his salvation.
If there are danger signs, what should a person do? Don’t worry, be happy, we’re told. Well, there is only one way to be free and strong and happy, and it’s a two-legged race: trust and obey. Which of these 2 legs is not strong in your life? Are you weak in the trust department? Not sure of God’s care and adequacy? Or is your obedience weak? It is difficult to move forward on one leg. Commit to exercise both for happy journey on the way and a strong finish at the end!