INTRODUCTION: Mark Twain said, ''few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.''
Admiration for a great person can inspire us, but it cannot enable us. Unless the person can enter into our own lives and share his skills, we cannot attain to his heights of accomplishments. It takes more than an example on the outside; it takes power (energy) on the inside.
Paul has just presented Jesus Christ as our great example. We read it, and we agree with it, but how do we go about practicing it? The passage before us displays the divine pattern for believers and the divine power to accomplish what God has commanded. His commands are our enablements. As we respond in obedience to our Lord Jesus, He makes divine provisions available to us.
GREAT TRUTH: It is not by initiation but by incarnation-''Christ liveth in me.''
''I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.''
On the basis of these truths, Paul was telling the believers to work out their salvation.
The relationship between the power of God and the responsibility of believers in living the Christian life has always been debated. Is the matter of living the Christian life passive trust or active obedience? It is all God's doing or is there a requirement on man's part in regard to believe the gospel. Salvation is not by human works but it is always through personal faith.
Here Paul presents the appropriate resolution between the believer's part and God's part in sanctification. Verse 12 speaks as if the sanctification is of the believers, while in v.13 it is of God. Paul seems content with the incomprehensity of these 2 truths.
1 Corinthians 15:10
''But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored m ...
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