I Corinthians 16/
13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.
To the unbeliever the words of this verse from the Bible may as well be in a foreign language.
They probably could make something of it. But within the confines of their own natural experience of life.
Firstly – all words in scripture are given by God – in that He is inspiring and influencing and empowering the person who is penning the Word(s) – and they are not describing natural experience(s) but spiritual.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
And if you have not had the spiritual experience of encountering The Living God – then the words can only be interpreted with the natural mind and in reference to common-to-man experiences.
For instance: ‘stand fast in…faith’ (leaving God out of the equation) could be wrongly interpreted as simply ‘don’t give up’.
Everyone knows they shouldn’t ‘give up – but rather – see-the-thing-through’. Whatever the ‘thing’, or exercise is, in which they are engaged.
That is natural ‘faith’, faith in yourself, stickability, natural empowerment and so on. Same with the other words, – brave, strong, love.
But it isn’t the faith spoken of here. It isn’t the strength spoken of here. It isn’t the courage spoken of here. And it isn’t the love spoken of here.
In simple terms it refers to faith in Christ Jesus. Kind of obvious right? When the whole bible is an exhortation to believe in God.
He, if we truly know Him, supplies the enablement necessary to maintain these attributes in our lives.
Of course we can all, (with self-effort), be strong, brave, have self-belief, and have loving feelings, Christian or non-Christian.
But the difference is – the existence of a relationship with God.
So the question is – What or who is the source of our strength? Is it natural or spiritual?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Paul clearly knew the source of his strength, clearly stated in the above verse. And perhaps like no one else in the New Testament apart from The Saviour Himself, Paul needed that strength to see him through the hardships he suffered as an apostle.
Christ is the source and supply of all the Godly attributes we need in our lives, appropriated by faith and supplied by the supernatural enhancement of The Holy Spirit.
Some know of this. Many don’t. Comprehending or accepting what I speak of – is not the result of philosophical argument-winning or convincing, but rather is the result of encountering God.
I Corinthians 2/
…5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.