Weekly Devotional 6-3-19 Identified by One’s Walk
Persons, institutions, and in truth, all things have identities and are identified by the characteristics of their being. This is also true of the Church. The Church in its originality was a called-out assembly of persons formed into a body. By this identification, the nation of Israel was a church. It had been called out of all the masses of nations by God and charged as being a holy nation unto Him, as priests, (Exodus 19:6). God has likewise called the Christian Church out of the masses of humanity as His royal priesthood (1st Peter 2:9). As God’s called-out assembly Israel was to be separated from the other nations in its recognition of God and how they lived their lives. They were to be a holy nation. The Christian Church was and is likewise to recognize God as God and live lives that glorify Him. We are to be a holy people. Israel was to live by laws given by God that governed their lives (Please read Deuteronomy 5:1-7:11). The Christian Church has also been given principles that it is to live by in its practice (See Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 4:1-2; 17-32; Ephesians 6:11-18; Philippians 2:1-8; 12-16; Colossians 3:5-17). Neither Israel nor the Church was or is to determine for themselves their conduct of life. Why? Several reasons. Man has a fallen nature and left to themselves man cannot glorify God. Secondly, Israel needed, and the Church needs, guidance and structure that is found outside of themselves. Third, Israel and the Church are identified as belonging to God and are a reflection on Him. As the world looked upon Israel and as the world looks upon the Church, God is to be seen.
Israel strayed from the path set before them and lost their identity, their land, and the blessing of God. We of the Church, when in disobedience to the known will of God, cannot and will not lose our relationship to Him, but we lose our sense of this reality. We feel alone and abandoned. When that happens, we begin to live by our own rationale and determinations. We soon begin to compromise God’s principles with the principles of the unredeemed (the world), and we lose our testimony. The unredeemed will see us no different than themselves and find no cause to look to us for direction.
We (the Church) are different from Israel in that God’s Spirit (the Holy Spirit) indwells us. We need not fail in our calling. However, we must work at our salvation (Philippians 2:12), not work to gain salvation or keep our salvation, but work at becoming mature, at becoming more Christ-like. We are to put on the new man (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). The apostle Paul was led to write, “16Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
If we walk in the power and are surrendered to the authority of the Holy Spirit, we will be identified by others (the unredeemed), as persons of God. The Holy Spirit will produce in us fruit that will glorify God, but if we live as the unredeemed, we will add to the chaos that is of the world.
Scripture usage is from the NKJB.