Commentary on "Integrity: Wholeness and Holiness"
Day 4: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - Integrity in Our Spiritual Lives
This lesson is entitled “Integrity in Our Spiritual Lives”. It opens with the story of a man who purchased a used boat, but when he and his friends took it out the first time, it sprang a leak, and the three friends nearly died. A single rotted timber on the bottom of the boat had led the wood to split, and the resulting leak eventually overturned the boat. This example serves to illustrate the result of holding onto one sinful area in our lives, thus leading to moral, spiritual, and physical trouble.
The lesson then refers to Ephesians 3:14-21 and asks how we can experience these promises. The lesson ends with these thought questions: “What might it mean to be ‘filled with all the fullness of God’? Be prepared to talk about your answer in class.
Again, the bottom line for spiritual integrity is not whether or not we have an “area” we have not surrendered to the Lord. The first issue is whether or not we have believed in the Lord Jesus and accepted His blood as payment for our inherent sin. If we have been born again by the indwelling Holy Spirit, the issue of spiritual compromise is much different. A person alive in the Spirit will have the power of God at work in him, convicting him of the things he must surrender to the Lord Jesus.
If a Christ-follower refuses to surrender a portion of his life to the Lord Jesus, he will experience a problem with his integrity because he will not be completely acting in trust. Only born-again believers have the option of choosing to submit their “right” to live by their carnal natures and to live instead by the power of the Holy Spirit who is in them.
The amazing prayer and doxology in Ephesians 3:14-21 is a tribute to the entire Trinity. He praises God for being the Father from whom all families on earth derive their name and prays that He would grant us the riches of His glory so we may be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit in our inner man so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.
This equipping by the Trinity gives us the ability “know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge” so we may be “filled up to all the fullness of God.” When we are in Christ, named by the Father and filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can know the otherwise unknowable love of Christ.
Then Paul praises the sovereign God who is able to do abundantly more than anything we can ask or think “according to the power at work within us.” He ends with this doxology, “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
The question at the end of the lesson, “What might it mean to be ‘filled with all the fullness of God”, is a moot point when one understands being born again. When we believe and trust Jesus, we are brought to life by His Spirit who indwells us, and we are literally given eternal life at that moment, and all the power of God is our inheritance. He Himself fills us, and He teaches us to submit to Him so we increasingly experience walking by faith and knowing His power and provision.
Spiritual integrity is the fruit of spiritual life. Unless a person is born of the Spirit, there is no hope of developing spiritual integrity or of surrendering the sins in one’s life.
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