July 8 – Differences

July 8 – Differences

2 Corinthians 10:12

“Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

We find the difference among Christians may simply be a sign of different levels of maturity. One should, in the matters of differences among Christians, deal stringently with oneself and generously in judgment of the other person – both of which responses are the opposite of our natural inclinations!

In the first place, I am not responsible to judge my brother (Romans 14:3-12); furthermore, I cannot do so accurately for myself, let alone for others (1 Corinthians 4:4). Another reason for caution in making such judgments is that the differences may be more apparent than real. What is an appropriate standard of comparison?

One must have God’s perspective in order to make a proper evaluation, and who among us has that? Therefore, we are fools if we compare ourselves among ourselves (1 Cor. 10:12), for we can never have God’s full perspective.

Certainly we all seek to bring honor to our God by putting His glorious character on display in mortal flesh. To be sanctified is of utmost importance, because without it, no one will see God (Heb. 12:14). That is, until the sin problem is cared for, no one is qualified to associate with a holy God, one who is Himself completely without sin and who, moreover, cannot countenance sin in any form.

And the good news is, we can put His glorious character on display in mortal flesh! Every believer has been sanctified through the atoning death of Christ (Heb. 10:10), has been made holy (Eph. 4:24), and is thus legitimately called a saint (I Cor. 1:2, 6:11). Not all believers are saintly, as we shall see, but all true believers are saints, officially released from the condemnation due their sins, the guilty record, and the tyranny of a sinful disposition.

The problem of Christians who behave like decent non-Christians is dealt with in 1 Corinthians 3. What is the solution? Paul points his readers back to the time of their “planting,” to the original laying of the foundation: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (v. 16 KJV). Paul excoriates the sinning Christians of Corinth, but he does not exhort them to seek some as yet untasted experience. Rather, he calls into question their salvation: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (1 Cor. 13:5).

What glorious good news when we are in the faith! No matter what may or may not have occurred in the past and no matter how inadequate my understanding, if my relationship to God is one of unconditional surrender and confident expectation that He will keep His word, I can experience a life of consistent success over temptation and growth toward His own likeness, I can see His purpose for my ministry supernaturally fulfilled, and above all, I can daily experience loving companionship with my Savior.[43]

[43] Taken from Five Views of Sanctification by Melvin E. Dieter, Anthony A. Hoekema, Stanley M. Horton, J. Robertson McQuilkin, and John F. Walvoord. Copyright © 1987 by Zondervan. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing. www.harpercollinschristian.com . For a more complete examination by the author of biblical teaching on living the life God intended, see Life in The Spirit, Nashville: Broadman, 2000.

Scroll to top