Paul poses two questions that he aims at people who are returning to dependence on the law rather than faith in Christ. These questions, it seems to me, also challenge rule driven, ritualistic lifeless Christianity. Paul writes:
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? (2)
So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? (5)
I wonder how many Christians can even make sense of these questions.
Is the ‘receiving of the Holy Spirit’ a part of your Christian faith?
Clearly Paul is speaking about some ‘happening’ in the person’s life to which they can point. This receiving of the Spirit seems to be more than a momentary happening –whatever that maybe. The second sentence liken the ‘giving of the spirit’ to ‘miracles among you.’
Paul’s understanding of Christianity is far more robust and life changing than many (most) of us experience.
I am wondering this morning… what gives? Why does much of Christianity today seem devoid of the touch by the finger and works of God than it was in Paul’s day?
The difference has to be more than mere theology. Are we so comfortable today in life and in our cultures that we don’t need God’s touch or miracles to live?
Are we so unimpressive in our witness for Jesus that He doesn’t need to show Himself through miracles?
So God has me wondering about powerless Christianity and our lack of need for God’s miraculous workings…
Oh, Lord, I pray for a desire to know You in Your fullness. Increase my need for You. Increase my witness for You. Increase my desire to see You work in and through me in ways that defy mere human wisdom or skill. Increase my desire to depend on Your touch, Your works, Your miracles. I love You, Lord God, and I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.