Over and over I look at the single-minded attitude that Paul had for himself and others – that the pure gospel of grace would be received and Christ displayed in us. The verse yesterday exposed his deep passion for others; I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!” (Galatians 4:19).
There was another reason why Paul did not shrink from suffering. “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So, death is at work in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:11–12).
The death that worked in Paul was the cutting away of the flesh and his sufferings for the gospel. That came from two sources; those who hated Jesus and any representation of Him, and from religious people who were living a false gospel. The suffering did not matter as long as the gospel of Christ was proclaimed and His glory increased. That had to start with Christ being seen in Paul. There was no benefit in preaching the gospel if it was not lived out (manifested) through his life.
The word “manifested” means “to be fully known by revealing clearly and in detail, to bring to light or make plain or to disclose.” There was no mistaking what people saw.
What if we made that our objective? There is only one way we can do this –- by asking the Holy Spirit to transform our lives through His power in us. As Paul says, “For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me” (Colossians 1:29). Is He working in you?
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