Monday, January 19, 2009

Seeing Clearly

1 Cor 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

The gifts of the Spirit are appropriate for the present time, but they are not permanent; they are Spiritual gifts for us to use at this time. Love is the power behind the gifts. They are Spiritual gifts to be used in a natural world of many sins and dangers to bring the message of God's Son to a lost world. We have much to give to those in need and we must have freedom to use our gifts, for they are given from God for his good purposes.

1 Pet 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1 Pet 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
1 Pet 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
1 Pet 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

1 Cor 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
1 Cor 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Some teach that the gifts, especially tongues ceased when that which was perfect; the Bible was come. These people think that the gifts of tongues, miracles, prophecy, healings and some of the other gifts ceased with the passing of the twelve apostles. Has the Spirit left the church? Are the gifts of man, or of God? Perhaps miracles, signs and wonders were greater at the beginning of the church age, but all these things are quite evident in Africa, in the Philippines and other nations where hope is totally on the power of God. We will see these things where God is moving by faith in the hearts of His people. Prophecy will end when Jesus returns to earth. Jesus is that which is perfect to come.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

1 Cor 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

We grow in body and mind in the natural, from childhood to adults. In the same way we are to mature in Spiritual things in our new spiritual man. We are born again as children of God and with maturity we grow and exercise our spiritual gifts. Just as a child may not learn because of neglect, we may not be learning of Spiritual things for lack of a Bible or a teacher. The great need in many lives after salvation, is to grow in the Lord and to fulfill his purposes. Trials come, the enemy tries to block the way. but greater is He that is in you.

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

We sometimes are held back in our learning and in bondage to those who seek to control us. The Bible gives hope in Jesus.

1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation (trial) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

God will show you a way out of your situation. The Lord wants us to grow into maturity. In him we are free to grow. We cannot make decisions in the natural without understanding and so it is in the spiritual. We must know and understand his will to obey him.

Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

The glass is the mirror of the Bible. Looking in it, we see ourselves clearly as through the eyes of God. We are to learn God's will and conform ourselves to the image of Jesus; the perfect man of God.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
James 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
James 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

We are not mature believers if we do not follow the word of God. To know and not to do, is not to know; we are unchanged.

2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

We are to be changed day by day through reading the word and walking in the Spirit in obedience. When Jesus comes for us we will be made perfect.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

We are to seek to be like our Lord Jesus as mature believers. This means we are also to use the gifts he has given to us. We are to find freedom to use our gifts as he leads us day by day. When listening to a message, even if it is weak in structure, listen with Spiritual ears and apply the teaching to your life. We are servants of the most high God. He has called us to be the light of the world. Let's not let the light be hidden. Light is energy, use your energy to seek the will of God and to shine bright with His eternal flame. Shine and keep your lamp full of oil until He comes.

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