let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. but when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. [2 corinthians 10:11-12]
we’re told in scripture time and time again that we will know we are God’s chosen by the good works that are produced by faith. obedience that comes from gratitude. fruit that is from an overflow of joy in Christ Jesus. living out of his victory. paul is pointing out just that. “what we say…we do.” he reminds them that he lives out his exhortation. he leads by example. he holds himself to a different standard of obedience than the false teachers who are creeping into the body and trying to pull them away from the true gospel. and this standard is Jesus Christ. a.w. tozer speaks to this in his book, the pursuit of God.
“has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? they are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. so one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”
― a.w. tozer, the pursuit of God: the human thirst for the Divine
if we are to be doers of the word, with the obedience that comes from gratitude, and the good works that come from a sincere faith, and the fruit that pours out from true joy in Christ Jesus, we must be tuned to Christ Jesus! we need to stop comparing ourselves to the moral standard of our culture, finding salvation in being “not as bad as that.” we need to stop looking even to others within the church for our standard of what is permissible. why are we looking for what is permissible? who is our standard but Christ alone? only when we are seeking, observing, pleading for understanding and a change of heart, allowing the Spirit to root out idolatry, and holding Christ as our only treasure on this earth, will we be the church Christ is calling us to be!
today, in the presence of the Holy One, let’s ask for clear sight. let’s ask for a sensitivity to the Spirit’s conviction. let’s ask to stand out in the world and even in the church! let’s ask for ears to hear the word clearly so that we can be tuned to Christ. to be doers of the word. to be a kingdom of priests, ready to proclaim to the world the excellencies of God. (1 pet 2:9)