Today’s Scrip-Bit   2 January 2023   1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57.       But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

           So it’s another holiday Monday for many working folks because the official New Year’s Day fell on the Sunday! What a way there’s been lots of time to celebrate this Christmas and New Year’s seasons. Let’s hope though that we don’t get too accustomed to these long weekends and completely forget the work ethic that we already don’t have much of. (smile) 

           Ah friends this new year of 2023 must be one of exceeding diligence if we truly want to make some headway against the evil enemy and his iniquity cohorts. Their army is vast and they are serious about taking over and ruling the world. And their methods of warfare are lowdown and inhumane…and that’s putting it nicely. 

           Therefore, if we hope to make any positive changes, we have to be serious, disciplined, work hard and requite evil with good, because the enemy won’t give us an easy break. We’ll have to fight for every bit of ground we conquer. But the good news is that we have Jesus in our corner, and if we use His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us then our victory will be assured, because ‘In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that LOVED us.’ (Rom. 8:37) 

            Please note though, that victory will only come through our following the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, for we cannot defeat the enemy in our own strength. As Bruh Paul wrote in his first missive to the church at Corinth: ‘The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor. 15:56-57) Yes friends, only when we are working with and through Jesus is victory possible. 

            So Bruh Paul continues with the practical application: ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (futile) in the Lord.’ (1 Cor. 15:58) And we can only do that if we follow Peter’s advice: ‘But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To hm be glory both now and for ever.’ (2 Pet. 3:18) 

           Oh my fellow believers, we can’t ever work properly and consistently with Jesus until we know what He’s truly about, which necessitates spending time in His Word, and in prayer, then putting those things we learn into practical use. And that’s one of Bruh Paul’s strengths; after giving you the theory, he usually gives you the practical application, like he did with the Ephesians, when he explained some of the practical aspects of living the new life in Christ. 

            Listen up as he exhorts them and us. ‘This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity (futility) of their mind.’ (Eph. 4:17) And the scholars explain that ‘since each Christian is divinely enabled with some spiritual gift, he must walk not as other Gentiles walk, lest his much-needed contribution to the church’s growth be sorely missed. Unbelieving Gentiles live in the vanity (futility) of their mind, without proper purpose, causing all their efforts to obtain happiness to end in failure.’ 

           And Bruh Paul delves further into the theory. (smile) ‘Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through (because of) the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness (hardening) of their heart.’ (Eph. 4:18) Now the scholars tell us that ‘The blindness of their heart refers to the hardness of their will. Gentiles’ obstinacy against the divine will has caused them to be separated from God’s life.’ 

            And all of us know this to be true! When your heart stubbornly refuses to do God’s will, then you become separated from Him. As Bruh Paul further explains: ‘Who being past feeling have given themselves over to lasciviousness (licentiousness), to work all uncleanness with greediness.’ (Eph.4:19) That means those unbelievers have become so calloused, have gone so deep in sin that they are insensitive to moral right and wrong. 

            And unfortunately, that can apply to many of us, though as Bruh Paul maintains: ‘But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.’ (Eph. 4:20-21) Yes my fellow saints, we have not learned Christ or Christian teaching like that. Our Christian doctrine has instructed us NOT to live like the unbelievers portrayed in verses 17-19 above.  And that’s the basic theory of living the new life in Christ. 

           Tomorrow, God willing, we’ll tackle the practical aspects of that theory. Trying to do that today with our short attention span will just get us all confused and also make the Bit too long. (smile) Now let’s go to our ever faithful and merciful God, in confidence, through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn sincerely seeking His grace and mercy. 

           As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

            Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems.  

           And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

           And to receive a positive answer, the solution is obvious: humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek God’s face. Much LOVE!

           … it’s all about living for Christ…in a Christ-like manner…

           Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZ         

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