I therefore … beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called’
Having been taught who we are in Christ, believers are called to walk worthy, our life is to be a light shining in a dark world – a world where evil is increasing. But it is not always easy to practice the truths that we have learned from Scripture. We know what we believe and truly believe it – but do not always apply it.
We know of our abundant supply of grace - but we do not always appropriate it. We know of our inexhaustible spiritual supply– yet often we run spiritually dry. It is one thing to believe the word as fact and another to appropriate it… but when we receive and act on His word as fixed factual truth it pleases Him.
To take, accept, receive, and act on God’s unfailing Word is our prime duty. To hear, appropriate, and act in spirit and truth, demonstrates great wisdom. Once we take, as actuality, what is already ours in Christ – we are living by faith. Once we accept as practical reality what belongs to us – we become victorious. Oh, we know what we ought to do but we never seem to do as we ought!
How do we appropriate the truth of God’s word and how do we live by faith? Well, we need to know the riches of God’s grace towards us as outlined in Scripture. We need to know our position and privilege in Christ – our possessions and heritage – and then we need to put it into practice – to appropriate it.
Paul was a man who learned how to appropriate the riches of God’s grace. Paul was a guy who practiced living in the sufficiency of Christ – by faith. Paul was a person that demonstrated how the normal Christian life should be lived.
Stamford wrote of the apostle Paul: 'There was a ‘supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ’ for Paul, and that made it possible for Christ to be magnified in Paul. It was a supply, which was always available, but it was only appreciated and appropriated as and when the apostle came to know his need. Life is meant to bring a succession of discoveries of our need of Christ, and with every such discovery, the way is opened for a new inflow of His supply.'
'This is the explanation of so much that we cannot otherwise understand—this plunging of us into new tests where only a fresh supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ will meet our needs. And as our need is met - as we prove the sufficiency of Christ to meet our inward need, so there can be a new showing forth of His glory through us.'
What a clear message to us who long to live a life that is worthy of our calling, What a realisation - that our practical necessities cause us to appropriate God’s word. How astonishing – that life’s trials are the means to prove the sufficiency of Christ. What a lesson – that it is through our impotence that our inward need is met.
God knows we will be defeated if we try to meet our own needs outside of Christ. He knows that we won’t be victorious, unless we appropriate His Word of truth. And so for the first 3 chapters in Ephesians, we are taught who we are in Christ.
There was a time in Paul’s life when he did not know or appropriate this truth – for in Romans chapter 7, Paul himself cried out "Oh wretched man that I am… who shall deliver me from this body of sin – and Paul discovered the answer – I thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ my Lord". Romans 7:24
Paul learned that life is a succession of discoveries of our need of Christ in our life. When ‘self’ remains nailed to the cross, the life of Christ is given free access within. And with every discovery, a way is opened for a fresh inflow of His supply.
We need to take and assimilate these important truths in our own lives… and then we need to put it into practice. We need to appropriate Scripture in these dark evil days in which we live. We need to put the word of God to the test, for His promises are true. "My grace IS sufficient for My power is made perfect in your weakness". 2 Corinthians 12:9
Often we find that as one difficulty finishes we are soon plunged into a new test. But each test is an opportunity to appropriate God’s word in our life and being. Each difficulty enables a fresh supply of Christ’s Spirit to empower us. Each problem tests the sufficiency of Christ to meet our inward need. Each pain allows for a new showing-forth of God’s glory through us.
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