Paul the apostle to the gentiles was given great revelatory truths for Christians. Heit was that needed to visit Jerusalem to rehearse these principles to the apostles. He was required to inform those who walked with Jesus three and a half years of new revelation, and throughout Paul’s epistles we see the great doctrines on which our faith rests.
All he writes is for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. His writings give us the bedrock upon which to stand and to live for God, in this evil day. The godly wisdom he wrote is directed at a Christian’s growth and sanctification, and we in this generation do well to study carefully his instructions and warnings. He writes to the saints in Christ Jesus – to those that are set apart unto God. And Paul challenges us in many different ways to examine ourselves: examine yourselves to see whether you be in the faith. 2 Corinthians.13:5
This is not a directive to keep checking whether or not you are born again. No, though sadly some believers do worry that they are not truly born again. Get once and for all the gospel truth ever firmly fixed in your mind and heart.. believe… just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you are saved – forever. No, the majority of truths in Paul’s epistles are for the saved man or woman, so that we can live the life that is best for us, as directed by the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s life, witness and work demonstrates a man that lived in fellowship with God. Paul’s instructions explain in detail how every believer may also live a victorious life. His life experiences were some of the worst that one could ever imagine. He reminds us that he was in labour more abundantly.. in stripes above measure.. in prison more frequently.. in deaths more often. Of the Jews.. five times received I forty stripes save one.. three times I was beaten with rods.. once I was stoned.. three times I was shipwrecked – a day and a night I have been in the deep.
He tells us.. I have travelled many weary miles. I have faced danger from flooded rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities… in the deserts, and on the stormy seas. I have faced danger from men who claim to be Christians – but are not. He explains… I have lived with weariness and pain, and sleepless nights. Often I have been hungry and thirsty.. often I have gone without food.. often I have shivered with cold.. often I have been without enough clothing to keep me warm – then, besides all this I’ve the daily burden of how the churches are getting along.
The circumstances of Paul’s life can hardly be called cushy or comfortable.. and yet throughout it all and despite all the difficulties of his life, Paul could rejoice. He didn’t grudgingly accept the pains and difficulties that shadowed his earthly life. From start to finish Paul, through his writings, explains how he kept his joy.
He had a Single Mind – in spite of all the problems and circumstances of life. He had a Submissive Mind – regardless of the way that people behaved towards him. He had a Spiritual Mind – where he set his heart on the right thinking. He had a Secure Mind – where worry and fear was replaced with trust and love. He had a Surrendered Mind – where each thought was captured and given to God.
Jesus initially touches on the secret that was given to Paul and expounded by him:- You must love the Lord your God with all your HEART – and Paul tells us HOW. You must love the Lord your God with all your SOUL – and Paul tells us HOW. You must love the Lord your God with all your MIND – and Paul tells us HOW. Paul tells us how our thinking and thought processes must love and trust the Lord.. with every part of your being.
When Paul’s heart and soul and mind was set on the Lord Jesus, his life was one of victory, joy, faith and love… despite life’s circumstances. But it starts with right thinking.. and that is the point where most people fail.
God will wait a lifetime to correct your thoughts and your thinking, but He will only conform a mind that is willing.. and the choice is yours. If you are prepared to change your mind.. God will change your heart, but He will never change your heart until you address the issues of your mind – until you change your thinking.
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.