Thursday, January 4, 2018

put your best foot forward -- part 2

The Word for today:
2 Corinthians 10
Yesterday, we saw that God designed marriage to be a complementary relationship, meant to bring out the best of both:
The benefits of this plan are many, and many-splendored. When we implement the concept of complement, we can negate many weaknesses and turn them into strengths. For example, where the Bible says that "God loves a cheerful giver," I used to feel left out. I am, on my own, just like this guy:
"Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!" (1)
But Shelley is the absolute opposite; her first impulse is to shovel the money that comes in the front door out the back door.So what we do is put our best foot forward, which in the case of giving would be Shelley. And -- here's the concept to remember -- I get credit in God's eyes for being a cheerful giver. How great is that! Because she's my complement, God gives me a compliment that I don't deserve. He sees the two as one flesh (Genesis 2:24) and credits her right-ness, in this regard, to my account.
That last sentence should ring a bell, because just as marriage is a complementary relationship, so is the church:
For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:30-32)
Marriage is a prophetic picture of the church--those who are in Christ and therefore credited with his right-ness.
If this sounds a little complex and spiritual, just remember that God sees the best in us!
When I yield to Shelley's generosity--when I don't get in the way--God sees me as a cheerful giver, when I, of myself, am not.
In the same way, the church -- known in the Bible as the Bride of Christ (1) -- is seen as one with Christ and credited with his right-ness:
What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  (Romans 4:3, 23-24)
Tomorrow, we will see how the gifts of the Holy Spirit function according to God's complementary design.
(1) See Revelation 21; cf. John 3:29

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