God the Architect #3
In the previous message I discussed that God wants to build our lives to conform us to the image of Jesus (Rom. 8 v. 29). In 1 Corinthians 3 v. 9, the word says that we are Godís building! He is the ultimate Architect and is building our lives floor by floor. We also talked about Paul Ė he was mentioned in the same sentence as Jesus, as recorded in Acts 19 v. 15; the demons told the seven sons of Sceva that they knew Jesus and Paul but not them! The demons knew Paulís name! So, as a result, we started studying the epistles of Paul to see how he allowed the Spirit of God to change his life to conform to the image of Jesus. In Romans 8 v. 19 the word says that all creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. The Greek word for sons is huios, which means to be made in the image of the parent. So, God truly desires to make us into the image of His Son and all He needs is our cooperation.
As we continue in our study of Paulís epistles, in 1 Cor. 1 v. 2, the word says that we are sanctified in Jesus. This word sanctified means set apart for His use or separated. He wants to separate us from people and circumstances that would interfere with this transformation. The word says in v. 5 that as God builds us into the image of Jesus He wants to enrich us with His knowledge. This really strengthens our foundation! The knowledge of the word gives us the strength to stand when the flesh doesnít want to. The word says in v. 7 that we will come behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of Jesus. What He means by this verse is that as He builds us up spiritually, He will always give us something to say to those that He leads us to minister unto. He will always give us something to help someone, if we have faith to believe and receive a word of knowledge or wisdom from Him. We have to realize that the person He sends our way to minister to is a child of His and He always wants to help His children. God also mentions in v. 9 that we were called into the fellowship of Jesus. This is our most important calling, superseding anything else. This fellowship is what will strengthen us as a building being built by the Chief Architect!
The word says in 1 Cor. 2 v. 4 that when we allow the Chief Architect to build our lives that He will demonstrate His power through our lives. People will realize that we belong to Jesus when we resemble Him with the fruit of the Spirit coming out of us. It is so important that we allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate the fruit in our lives. So many want the gifts of the Spirit to come out of them because it is easy for these gifts to be manifested. God uses the gifts to help someone else. The fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5 v. 22, 23) takes time to cultivate. The word says in Mark 5 v. 28 that "first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear." It takes time for the fruit of the Spirit to be developed by the Holy Spirit, but God will give the increase (1 Cor. 3 v. 7). In v. 9, Paul says that eyes havenít seen nor ear heard Ö what God has prepared for those who love Him. As we allow God to build us into the image of Jesus, there is no telling what blessings He will bring our way! Also, in v. 16 by submitting to this process we can develop the mind of Christ and see situations through His eyes, His vantage point!
Also, in Chapter 5 v. 10-11, God tells us who not to allow in our lives: covetous, extortioners, idolaters, railers and drunkards . The removal of these types of people from our lives, will contribute to Him building us up into the image of Jesus. In Chapter 6 v. 14, Paul mentions that as we allow God to build us up, the same power that He exhibited in raising Jesus up in ministry will be used to do the same for us! In v. 18-20, we see that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost and not to sin against our bodies, which are Godís. Paul mentions the same thing in v. 27 of Chapter 9: to keep under our bodies and bring them into subjection lest that by any means, when we preach to others, we are castaways. In Chapter 10 v. 13, Paul says to take advantage of escape routes when in the midst of a temptation. In Chapter 12 v. 7-10, Paul talks about the gifts of the Spirit: words of wisdom, words of knowledge, tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, gifts of healing, miracles, discerning of spirits and faith. There is a relationship between the fruit of the spirit and the gifts of the Spirit: the more we allow the Spirit of God to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit, the more power He can bring out of us by using His gifts. For example, the deeper words of knowledge to help someone can only be given to those who God can trust and the fruit coming out is a sign that He approves of that person. The deeper we allow God to dig junk out of our lives and bring the fruit of the Spirit out determines how deep we can speak into someoneís life!
Also, when we allow Him to cultivate fruit in us our lives start following the pattern of Chapter 13 v. 4-8; we start suffering long for others, kinder to others, we donít vault our selves up, we are not puffed up, we think no evil, we donít rejoice in iniquity, but rejoice in the truth, we bear all things, hope all things and endure all things. In Chapter 14, Paul gives rules with the use of gifts in a church scene and how everything has to be done orderly. This comes against any fleshly desires to be seen and heard by others in using the gifts. This Chapter is a great teaching on how the Holy Spirit is the one that determines who He uses and when! In Chapter 14 v. 34, Paul says to awake unto righteousness and sin not! You see, we cast the deciding vote when it comes to sinning or not. In Chapter 15 v. 50-58, Paul talks about the rapture of the church and there is a key verse which tells a means of being included: to be steadfast and immoveable when it comes to allowing sin in your life and turning the temptation over to the Spirit of God(Romans 8 v. 13).
So you can see by our continuing study of God being our Architect and how He wants to build us to be like Christ that it takes some effort on our part, like studying Paulís epistles. However this effort really pays off as the fruit of the Spirit is developed in our lives and as a result, God can bring more power out of our lives!