Copyright © 2008 Michael Hugh Sprawson
Each of us, at some level, is exposed to either good or bad influences. For instance, are we involved in something because we want to be, or, because we fear what will happen should we refuse? Unfortunately, many find themselves in a job or social situation that is less than pleasant, and then do their best according to their personal abilities.
And if this isn't bad enough in every day life, there are times when unfortunate people are faced with very unpleasant situations even in their religious life too. The basic problem with this, has to do with the type of motivation. Simply because something needs to be done, isn't motivation enough (for some) to carry out a work in a kindly manner.
So, what is a healthy form of motivation? Let us consider how the Apostle Paul addressed this problem in the book of Romans. The people in Rome hadn't yet developed a spiritually mature attitude, and Paul needed to let them know that an honourable motive was needed. So, we find him saying this in Romans 8:
Therefore, as may be seen, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. When the faithful come to understand the full impact of this wonderful news, it may lead to spiritual blessings in our daily lives. Blessings such as these below:
No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become joyful at being freed from sin's bondage of the human heart:
No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become bondservants of righteousness;
No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become kind, leading to other blessings of the spirit;
No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become involved in good works;
The christian who takes this message of good news to heart, will come to know and understand that not one thing he does will ever merit salvation. For example, the faithful teacher is no more saved while presenting a lesson to God's people, than when still sat down before his lesson. Consider what the Apostle Paul has written on this;
No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become steadfast in suffering in the spirit:
No condemnation in Christ Jesus encourages the faithful to become led by the spirit:
Suffering in the spirit may be due to our concern for others. Indeed, the ones we are closest to may be the source of unceasing heartache as we may learn from the apostle Paul in the book of Romans:
The Spiritually mature are those who do not force others to do that which they are not yet ready for. In this regard notice the apostle Paul's account of his dealings with Apollos in, 1 Corinthians;
Not everyone gets to understand what the Lord's church is about. Whatever the reason, people need to work things out by themselves, at their own pace. A young woman once told me about her own experience in coming to understand what the church was about. At the time she was courting a young man who was now her fiancée. When she began to attend worship services, she thought it all a bit odd. However, because she was keen on her beau, she kept attending. She was puzzled by the teaching at first, so she gave closer attention to what was being taught in order to figure out why her boyfriend took it so seriously. Well, she did figure it out, she believed, confessed her belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, and was then baptised in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of her sins. The patience and good will of her boyfriend, and the members of the local assembly in allowing her to make up her own mind, in her own good time, impressed her immensely.
Knowing that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, may lead us to become steadfast in our sufferings, as joint-heirs with Christ. And further more this will establish us as being glorified together in Christ:
As each comes to understand the meaning of Faith, becoming steadfast in it, having received the Spirit of adoption, it will become clear, that Death has no fear for those whose labour is not in vain in the Lord:
How encouraging this is to those who are in Christ Jesus, including the young woman who while courting the young man she was interested in, had the delightful experience of serendipitously learning of her Lord and Master. And she, like all who take advantage of Divine Providence as others have, may, by the Grace of God, come to know the encouraging message of Romans chapter eight, verse one, that;
And therefore, as a result of this, the honourable motive for any work that we, the faithful do, will be from a grateful heart with thanks, as Love is the only acceptable motive for whatever the Spiritually mature are involved in.
So then, remember, to the grateful, who are faithful in Christ Jesus there is now;