In the days of Paul, the Church in Corinth had problems. These problems were spiritual ones: The members had allowed the world to come in their daily lives. They were not living like Christians. There was compromise with sin and they were not growing spiritually.
Apostle Paul gave two important reasons for the need to be separate:
1. A Matter of Principle (vss. 14-16)
More than two billion people claim to be or are called Christians, yet most of them are not practicing Christians and don’t know very much about their faith or the Bible.
A few days ago, my wife was talking with a lady whose religion wasn’t Christianity but her husband claimed to be a Christian. They were talking about the name of their son, David. When my wife asked her whether she knew who David in the Bible was, the lady said that her husband had once said that “David was a boy who killed a monster.”
Some people know many stories from the Bible but very little about God. Others know what the Bible teaches and what the biblical doctrines are, they may believe in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ and the prophesies, they may have read or heard all kinds of theories about the Christian faith, and they may be good teachers or preachers, but they do not know how to live out their faith. They have knowledge, but no joy or life as a Christian.
Yes, it is very important to know who God is, what His Word says and what the Biblical doctrines are, but all that will be only theory – knowledge but not life. We have to move from information to real life and sensation.
Paul told the believers in Ephesus that “‘we now have access to God through Jesus Christ in boldness and confidence.”‘
Some believers have misunderstood “confidence”‘ and “‘boldness”‘ and have become demanding and arrogant in their attitudes. But let’s take a look at Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:14 – “I bow my knees before the Father and I pray that you may not lose heart.” Paul reminded the Ephesians about God’s glorious riches and power in us through the Holy Spirit in us.
The power here is not some kind of supernatural power to perform spectacular miracles, but the spiritual strength and vigour needed to be mature, stable, and intelligent Christians.
The Holy Spirit is the One who gives this power. Of course, He can give us strength only as we feed on the Word of God, as we breath the pure air of prayer, and as we serve Him daily.
The inner man must be renewed day by day, even though the outward man is perishing. In 2 Corinthians 4:15 we read: “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”
The more we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit, the more we will reflect Him in our daily lives.
Have you ever considered the dimensions of God’s love for the human race, for you? Apostle Paul’s prayer is in verses 17 to 19: “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
To understand the dimensions of God’s love, let’s look at the following verses:
Width – The World (John 3:16)
For God so loved, the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Length – Forever (1 Corinthians 13:8)
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Depth – Even death on the cross (Philippians 2:8)
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!
Height – Heaven (1 John 3:1-2)
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made know. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
To know about God and to believe in Jesus is knowledge, but to experience His love and His fullness is life, joy, peace, and the assurance of eternal life in His presence.
Pastor Joseph Hovsepian