Now understanding that Christ died for us to give His life to us to live His life through us is made clear in the Scripture. Sadly, what is not so clear is the fleshly belief that we can add to His life in us with our own fleshly abilities; and by so doing we somehow enhance the kingdom of God and perhaps our own standing in the eyes of God.
What is meant by doing things in the flesh? If you are looking for approval, acceptance, promotion, appreciation of your good deeds, or anything that motivates you other than because you love God or because you love the person you may be serving, or because you love to give and have a generous spirit, then that is pure flesh. The Apostle Paul says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Gal 5:6). And we are talking here about God’s love working in and through us, no other motivation. Therefore, He gets all the glory and honor because it is His love we are giving away. It is a complete renewal of the mind, a mind set coming to the realization that Christ is living His life in and through us. Whenever our motivation is other than this, it is absolutely and totally of the flesh.
We know the truth of God’s Word, but knowing the truth is not the challenge. Practicing the truth is the hard part. The Apostle Paul said very clearly, “to put no confidence in the flesh “ (period). Philippians 3:3.
Believing that your life is now hidden with Christ in God and that Christ is your life is the pure truth of God’s Word (Colossians 3:3, 4). However, the temptation we have to add to this declaration of truth, our successes, our abilities, our talents and our contacts is at times overwhelming to us. Before we know it, it is no longer “Jesus Christ plus nothing.”
It becomes Jesus Christ plus us and all of our good works. Remember, “there is no one good, no not one”. “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags”…Goodness is a fruit of the spirit.
The Apostle Paul came to understand that anything he contributed to God’s work was derived from his fleshly abilities apart from Christ’s life within him. Paul stated emphatically in Philippians 3:8 that any gain based upon his own credentials (work in the flesh) failed to endorse Christ and Christ alone as the source of life. As Paul considered this, he likened it to something our modern translators have determined is impermissible to write in a cultured letter written to mixed company. They called it rubbish. But in the King James translation, it is called what it is, DUNG.
My prayer is this: Help us oh, God, to remember that it is Your glory, honor, power, and strength working in and through us as Your instruments of righteousness (Rom 6:13). Example: We are the light bulb, He is the electricity. We are the glove, He is the hand. We are the body of Christ; He is the life in the body.
The Apostle Paul writes: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own: you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body…and be transformed by the renewing of your mind…it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me the only hope of glory.” And all God’s people said “Amen!”
We appreciate your continued prayer and financial support. We need both to meet the ministry obligations. Thank you for your faithfulness.