Devotions - Read Online

Tuesday | 11 December 2018
A joyful realisation

Although Paul had already been converted, baptised, and filled with the Holy Spirit, he began to understand what it means to walk after the Spirit. He said that those who do not walk after the Spirit, in the fellowship of Christ’s offering and sufferings, will revert to walking after the flesh. They will follow the dictates of God’s Law, through self-righteous initiative. Gal 3:2‑5. Those who endeavour to keep the Law through the efforts of the flesh have not yet understood that self-righteous activity, as a mode for achieving God’s righteousness, does not work. In fact, if they continue in this way of religious living, they make themselves enemies of God. Rom 8:7‑8.

The statement of Paul – ‘Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?’ – communicates his joyful realisation that self-righteousness does not work. Rom 7:24. This was a point of relief and thanksgiving for Paul, because it was accompanied by the understanding that, in the fellowship of Christ’s offering and suffering, the body of death could be removed from him. No longer would Paul be motivated by good ideas, or by the anxious pursuit of his own righteousness. He was now committed to continuing in the fellowship of Christ’s offering, and to following the leading of the Holy Spirit, who was the expression of his name and identity.

Paul understood that, in this fellowship, God was pleased to reveal His Son in him so that he might preach Christ to the Gentiles. Gal 1:15‑16. The wonder and implications of this revelation staggered Paul. Before discussing this revelation with anyone else, he went to Arabia and Damascus. We can picture Paul during this time, praying, searching the Scriptures, and counting the cost of God’s call upon his life. Three years later, Paul went to Jerusalem, and shared his revelation with the apostle Peter, and with James, the Lord’s brother. Gal 1:18.

Further Study:
Romans 7
Daily Proverb:

Gal 3:2-5
This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Rom 8:7-8
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Rom 7:24
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Gal 1:15-16
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood.

Gal 1:18
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days.
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