• Bishop Keith Butler

By the Spirit

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3)

Christian, did you know that you are the real Jew? That's what Paul wrote to the Philippians.

Remember, the Jews were God's covenant people. When two parties are in covenant, they vow to protect and care for one another. I've heard the relationship put this way: if I am in covenant with you, everything I have is yours, and everything you have is mine. Old Testament Jews sealed their covenant through obeying the Law with the circumcision of the flesh.

Before Jesus, God dealt with people after the flesh. Now, He interacts with New Testament believers differently. Christians are in covenant and made right with God, not by obeying the Law of Moses, or by the cutting of their flesh, but by putting their trust in Jesus Christ.

As born-again believers, God expects us to live and be led by the Spirit. Romans 8:14 tells us, “for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

Have you heard someone say they didn’t know what God’s will was in a particular situation, so he was going to lay a fleece before the Lord? In other words, he was going to do what Gideon did in the sixth chapter of Judges. Gideon laid out a lamb’s fleece and told God, “If I wake up in the morning and find dew on the ground, but not on the fleece; I'll know it's Your will.” Although God did precisely what Gideon asked, he still wasn't sure he heard God correctly. The next day, he turned it around and asked for the fleece to be wet, and the ground to be dry. God accommodated Gideon's requests because Gideon wasn't born-again. He wasn't able to hear from the Spirit of God the way we can today. Christians should not determine God's will by looking for signs. The devil or other people can get involved in natural signs and misdirect us. We have a more accurate and sure way to know God’s will. The Spirit of God within us, and He is always speaking.

Practical Application – Anything in the Old Testament that is still applicable will also be in the New. So, if you find something in the Old Covenant that you can’t find in the New, it is not for you today.

John 4:24; Galatians 2:16



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