B. G. Echols
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

One of the most significant descriptions of Christians is that they "worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3:3). Christians are worshippers, but their worship is not directed by men or by their personal desires. They worship "by the Spirit of God." This does not mean that their worship is some frenzied outpouring of nonsensical gibberish as is sometimes seen and called "spirit worship." Christians live and walk "by the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25). This simply means that the Holy Spirit leads them by the Word of God to worship as God desires. True Christians can be identified by their worshipping. A non-worshipper cannot be mistaken for a Christian. A worshipper devoutly following the traditions of men does not agree with God s definition of His people.

While vain and worldly men glory in themselves or their worldly accumulations, the Christian glories only in Christ. This glorying is not earthly or sensual but concerns only "things pertaining to God" (Rom. 15:17). His only boast and his highest ideal is to exult in Christ. The Christian has no reason to glory in the world, for he has been crucified to it by the cross of Christ (Gal. 6: 14). Would that all who wear the name of Christ would remain faithful in seeking first the kingdom of God and lifting their minds above the material to the spiritual and lasting. God's grace immerses us in joy in Christ on this earth.

But man cannot lift his eyes to God until he has "no confidence in the flesh." In the New Testament "flesh" often stands for self.

It is man's overweening traits that blind to his need for God. As long as man himself able to solve all his own problems or to buy his happiness he needs no God. His arrogant assumption that everything is his way because of his own abilities negates Gods grace. Self seeks to justify itself and fussily tries to win men to serf. It takes humility to please God. We must be humbled before God will lift us up. It was confidence in their fleshly connection to Abraham and their trust in fleshly circumcision that caused the Jews to be arrogant to John the Baptist, Christ and Paul (Mat. 3:9; John 8:39).

Let us be Christians in practice as well as name. Let us worship as God directs by His Spirit. Let us glory in Jesus Christ. Let us have no confidence in the flesh which profits nothing beyond this life.


July 16, 1970