The Apostle Paul was a great encourager who helped God’s people to walk a holy life. Paul never got over being forgiven of his sins, and being commissioned by Christ to be an Apostle, or one sent.
Encouragement is needed because the Christian walk is not easy. In Romans 12:1, Paul speaks of being “a living sacrifice.” In contrast to the dead bodies of an animal sacrifice, Paul encourages the human body to be a living sacrifice. A living sacrifice is reasonable as a rational service for a redeemed person. This act of worship is a daily sacrifice. Paul told the Corinthians, “I die daily.” (1 Corinthians 15:3). God is pleased with this kind of sacrifice.
There is a built-in resistance to this kind of worship. It is the pressure to conform to the standards and ways of the world around us. By these standards, we would be selfish and self-serving. Our hope is in a transformation in the renewing of the mind. New birth gives us a new mind. The Holy Spirit seeks to make the new mind like the mind of Christ. We are either being conformed by this evil age or transformed by the Holy Spirit.
Apart from the control and teaching of the Holy Spirit, we cannot know God’s will for our lives. Paul told the Galatians to “live by the spirit” (Galatians 5:16). There are three things the spirit needs from us to transform us: 1. Prayer, 2. Bible Study, and 3. Participation. Talk to God and above all, let God talk to you. Study the Bible to hear what God has said, especially through His Son. Do not settle for less than action responses, so that the germination of truth can grow. Faith without works is dead.
I can’t think of anything more important to know than the good and perfect will of God. Can you?
- Dale Clemens