1 Corinthians 15:45–49
‘The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.’(vv46–47)
In learning how to live the Christian life we’re given two examples – Adam and Jesus, the first and the last Adam. Whilst the first introduced death and decay into humanity, the second illustrated the possibility of heaven on earth. There is a way of living that reflects God’s character on earth, but this turns on our personal decisions.
Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430) wrote, ‘First comes the clay that is only fit to be thrown away, with which we must begin but in which we need not remain. Afterwards comes what is fit for us, that into which we can be gradually moulded and in which, when moulded, we may remain’. Change is a process, one that requires our personal leadership. It is not simply a decision to follow Jesus, but an ongoing series of decisions that determine our standing in God.
Being moulded is an excellent analogy for the Christian life. God is the master potter and we’re the clay on His wheel, always subject to regular reshaping until ready to be fired and fulfil our shape’s purpose, just as a jug carries fluid and a plate holds food. The exciting thing is that none of us knows what shape God has in mind for our life. Only by yielding to the hands of the master potter can we be assured of being moulded into that shape and fulfilling our purpose on earth. Even more encouraging is that our mortality shows our humanity, whilst our obedience reveals the divine source of our life.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Isa. 29:13–16; Jer. 18:1–10; Rom. 6:1–14; 2 Cor. 5:16–21.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: Who is God shaping you into? And for what purpose? Agree to allow the master potter to shape and equip you for His service.
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to walk in freedom, for I delight in Your commands because I love them. Amen.’ (Psa. 119:45–48)
Photo by Apisnye From Wikimedia Commons