Hypocrisy is like cancer. The inconsistency between what I profess and how I act is damaging to me and others. We overcome duplicity through the grace of integration. Integration is the process of taking the principles one professes to believe and living them out with an increasing consistency. In my previous post we explored integration by looking at the removal of sin. In this post we will briefly examine integration by addition of holiness.
Again we turn to Romans 8, this time at verse 11, Paul tells us that, “if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” This is a promise to Christians. Notice how the sentence reads. Paul is speaking to people who have the Spirit, yet he tells them that the Spirit will give life to their bodies. This life within our bodies is a way of describing a new love for the ways of Christ. When we find Christ’s life within us we find that we treasure what God treasures. What he loves; we love. We are alive to righteousness.
Again, the King James translation gives us an interesting word that helps drive this point home. In the KJV Romans 8:11 reads that God will “quicken” our mortal bodies. One might call this process of bringing the life of Christ alive within you, “the quickening.” This work of bringing to life the life of Christ within us corresponds to Paul’s instructions from Ephesians 4 to “put on the new man.” This quickening is a supernatural work of the Spirit, but it can often be accomplished by means. God can and often does use people as well as circumstances to promote the life of Christ in his children. God can also use the intentional work of applying ourselves to the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, meditation, prayer, worship, fellowship and many more to accomplish the goal of bringing the Christ-life to life in us.
Scripture teaches that we are to be actively seeking the removal of sin and the promotion of godliness in our lives. I would strongly encourage you to examine your soul and ask some hard questions. When was the last time you discovered something undesirable in yourself and intentionally sought to remove it through spiritual work? When was the last time you discovered a positive spiritual attribute in God’s word or a fellow Christian and actively sought to put it into practice? The time for such spiritual intentionality is now.
May the grace for integrating the principles of biblical truth mark your living!