Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pray, Walk, Speak

A true Christian is one who has been born of the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
A genuine Christian life is one that is lived in the Spirit and by faith.
To become a Christian is one thing; it is just the beginning.
To live the Christian life is another; it is a daily and lifelong matter.

It appears that a great number of true believers find it very difficult to live the Christian life. They somewhat know what the life of a Christian should look like, but to them it seems unattainable. They try and fail and feel condemned.

Then there are those who think they are doing well at living the Christian life because they go to church, read their Bible, and do good works. Yet, deep inside they still feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled. They think there must be something more they should be doing. Work harder. Give more. But nothing inside changes. They lack the reality and joy that is at the core of the true Christian life.

What's the problem? Has God really made it that difficult and complicated to live the life He saved us to live? Is it unattainable? Must we do more and work harder? Why do so few seem to have both the daily inward reality and outward testimony of the life of a redeemed child of God? Why so little joy? Why so much frustration?

A brief answer would be that we have not learned to live a life in the Spirit and by faith; we have either been misled or choose to do it our way instead of God's.

The New Testament clearly reveals the way of living a normal and overcoming Christian life. I would just like to use one small portion as an example, i.e.,
Colossians 4:2-6.

In verse two, we are told to persevere in, give constant attention to, and continue earnestly and steadfastly in prayer. Romans 12:12 instructs us to do the same. According to I Thessalonians 5:17, we are to pray without ceasing. Jude verse 20 says that we should be praying in the Holy Spirit. The Christian life is a life of unceasing prayer in the Holy Spirit.

Then verse five tells us to walk in wisdom. The word here for walk in the Greek is peripateite, i.e., our daily walk, encompassing all the activities of our daily lives, how we conduct ourselves. According to Ephesians 5:15, we should be careful to walk wisely. And where do we find this wisdom? First Corinthians 1:24 reveals that Christ is the wisdom of God. Then 1:30 says that Christ Jesus has become wisdom to us from God. And Colossians 2:2-3 makes known that all the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Christ. Therefore, to walk in wisdom is to walk in Christ.

Lastly, according to verse six, we are to speak always with grace. Ephesians 4:29 says that we should let no corrupt word come out of our mouths, and that our speaking should give grace to those who hear. So what is grace? This is a great matter in the Bible. Basically, grace is what God is and what He has accomplished through Christ received and enjoyed by us in the Spirit. (For a further look at this topic, read the February 21st posting on grace.) To speak with grace and to give grace through our speaking is to speak according to God and to minister Christ to others through our speaking.

Notice the order of these three imperative statements: 1) Persevere in prayer, 2) Walk in wisdom, and 3) Speak with grace.

The source of a normal, healthy Christian life is a life of continual prayer in the Spirit, a life of unceasing fellowship with God through prayer.
Continual prayer/unceasing fellowship with God will produce a daily walk in wisdom, living and conducting ourselves in Christ.
A daily walk in Christ who is wisdom to us will result in speaking with grace according to Christ to dispense Him into others.

Persevering in unceasing prayer produces a daily walk in wisdom which results in a speaking which is full of grace. Our speaking should be the outflow of our daily life in Christ which comes from our continual fellowship with God.

If as believers in Christ, we are not pursuing to maintain a daily, moment by moment prayerful fellowship with the Lord, we will not be able to walk in Christ as our wisdom and our speaking will be something less than ministering Christ to others for the glory of God.

Persevere in prayer! Walk in wisdom! Speak with grace!

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