A More Excellent Way (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 12:31: But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

But covet earnestly the best gifts is the way that some people try to find the “so called” best gifts in the Bible. Yet, the Apostle Paul is literally saying the opposite; sure you can try your hardest (and covet earnestly) to get the best spiritual gifts, yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Paul was writing to an entire church of believers in Corinth, saying that there was another way to conduct their lives, a better way to live than the way they were currently living, a more excellent way. This way is the way of love, to conduct our lives with charity as the following verses in chapter 13 then explain. It is to live in a more excellent way than any other way because living with the love of God in our hearts is the best way to enjoy life and experience happiness.

The basis for Paul explaining to the believers that there is a more excellent way goes back to verse 27–31 of I Corinthians chapter 12, which shows some of the gifts that the believers in the church were coveting, thus prompting Paul’s discourse.

I Corinthians 12:27–30:
-27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
-28: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
-29: Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
-30: Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

This section of Scripture first states that we are the body of Christ and then that we are members in particular in that body. Each believer is unique within the body and each has a special place that is tailor-made for him or her with room to grow. As Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” It is this more excellent way of God’s love that allows room to grow and enjoy life as God intended for His children.

Then within this body, there are some ministries given by God in Christ Jesus, such as Apostles and Prophets and Teachers. Also, some believers in the body work miracles very well, such as ministering healing to others. As well, there are others in the body who are very diverse in the use of additional spiritual gifts and manifestations that have been supplied by God’s grace to help us walk with Him and with each other.

The verses above are not a shopping list from which we can pick and choose the ones we personally want to have; rather, God set some, i.e., God gives to His children what is needed at the appropriate time and in the proper measure to supply whatever would fit the spiritual need within the body of Christ. Paul is saying that when and where believers simply conduct their lives in love, they will then have tapped into the more excellent way as God supplies to His church (the body of Christ) the best and most needed gifts, which will be received effortlessly and enjoyed by all.

I Corinthians chapter 13 begins explaining some of the spiritual qualities of charity. The love of God (charity) is the more excellent way because it will bring the most needed and “best gifts” right to you at the appropriate time and in the right measure. The chapter unfolds to the believers the more excellent way with explanations of some of the greatness of God’s love applied, what it will accomplish when acted upon, and also what charity will not do. For instance “{charity} doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” (verse 5). Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is a wonderful chapter for believers to read and reread over and again.

I Corinthians 13:6: {Charity} Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Iniquity means wrongdoing, or unrighteousness. In other words, let us say we see someone who wronged us in some way in the past now going through a hard time and we think, “That is just what he deserves!” This kind of rejoicing in or finding satisfaction with someone’s misfortune is where charity cannot and will not function because that kind of thinking does not emanate out of the love of God. This is because charity thinketh no evil.

“Rejoice” is spiritual joy repeated over and again! We will have and enjoy this continuous rejoicing when and where we have charity in our lives. When we look into the Scriptures, recognizing them as divine truth from God, it will cause our hearts to rejoice. When the truth begins to hold us up, then the love of God in our hearts will also begin to bubble over into rejoicing ― abundantly. I Corinthians 13:8 reads, “Charity never faileth” when active in one’s life. Now, how often will we fail when we have God’s love in our endeavors in life? Never!

How do Christians avoid being failures? Charity never faileth. When and where we have charity in our hearts, we will succeed. If charity could fail just once, then it would be worthless for it could let us down at a most important moment. However, and thankfully, charity never faileth.

Our loving, heavenly Father has given to His children a more excellent way to live, a more excellent way to follow, and a more excellent way to love. All that any believer can do is either walk into the abundance of God’s more excellent way and learn to be loving, or not. However, when you as a believer only try to walk with God in His love, you will assuredly fulfil your God-given talents and gifts as you continue rejoicing in the truth, for you will have tapped into a new spiritual love that will never fail you, for it is God’s more excellent way.

I Peter 4: 8–11 (The Amplified Bible):**
-8: Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
-9: Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).
-10: As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
-11: Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Jesus Christ in the Scriptures: Finding Him

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Knowing the subject of the Bible will reveal one of the greatest secrets in the entire world today. Jesus Christ is that subject! Without Jesus Christ, there is no legitimate subject at all. Every jot and tittle revolves around him in some way, no matter where in the Bible we read. When we truly find Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, he reveals God as a loving, merciful, and forgiving Father.

An exciting adventure and wonderful part of the Christian life is finding Christ our Savior who in turn reveals God’s true will for men and women in the Scriptures. Without first finding our Savior in the Scriptures, the astute student will at best only find paltry stories and fables and even tangled, half-truthful historical documents like some of the biblical critics of late have challenged.

The Bible was never written to prove history, but rather it was written to reveal Jesus Christ, the liaison who was foretold as our Redeemer in the prophecies of Scripture. It was he who fulfilled the plan of mankind’s total Redemption and it is he who reveals to humanity the true characteristics of God Himself, for Jesus Christ is the mediator and missing link between God and man. Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; . . . they {the Scriptures} are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).

The mission of Jesus Christ has always been, still is, and will always be to reveal and explain God, for “Jesus Christ {is} the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). When you discover Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, you will instinctively begin to know him as your Savior, for he reveals glimpses of himself and his Father to you through the window of heaven’s throne.

“Philip findeth Nathanael and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth” (John 1:45). Philip knowing his Scriptures had the foundation on which to find and recognize him who was the subject of the Old Testament ―― Jesus of Nazareth.

So the question of the ages for humanity is: “Have we found him?”

While the eternal answer is: We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth.

Therefore, the quest of men and women of searching hearts must begin in the Scriptures, for therein Jesus of Nazareth is discovered, and as he is, he will begin quenching our hearts’ thirst for true spiritual fulfillment.

Jesus presented to humanity:

John 4:14:
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

What an awesome and everlasting benefit we can receive when we discover Jesus!

The Habitation of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Ephesians 2:18 – For through him {Jesus Christ} we both {believers from Israel and the Gentiles} have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

The word Spirit is in reference to the gift that God has given each believer and the spirit gives us personal access to the Father. Many people think that they have no real access to our heavenly Father; however, we most certainly do.

Ephesians 2:19 – Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

We are not estranged to God, nor are we foreign to Him, for He knows us intimately.  God has already made us one with spiritual unity before Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which gives us genuine citizenship from above – from heaven – from Him Who gave. God has also made us fellow-citizens with every other saint (every believer without exception), and we are also fellow-citizens of the actual household of the Creator.

Ephesians 2:20 – And {we, the fellow-citizens} are built upon the foundation of the {laid by the} apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone:

The Apostles and Prophets are those whom God in His grace has commissioned to lay the foundation by their teaching the truth within the Church Epistles. The Epistles teach us about the true spiritual foundation of Christ, and that the entire Church of God is built upon this.

Ephesians 2:21 – In whom {in Christ} all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

It is we, the believers, who spiritually grow within the temple, and we are “framed together” to make up the true spiritual temple that is growing in the Lord. You may wonder: How in the world can people make up a temple, and how is it that we are framed together? The next verse continues:

Ephesians 2:22 – In whom {the Lord} ye also are builded {up} together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

We are not only spiritually “framed together” in the temple of God, but we are also being spiritually “builded (up) together” to be the habitation of God. We know where we physically dwell, the place that we call our home, while spiritually speaking we are the place where God spiritually dwells, the place He calls His home, for we are indeed intimate members of His household. Not only do we have continued access to God, not only are we conducting our lives on the foundation of Christ, not only are we growing spiritually within the true temple of God, but we are also the place where the Creator of life has His habitation. We have access to God by the spirit that He gave us, and Ephesians 2:22 shows that God Himself inhabits the believers through or by means of the Spirit, and Spirit is the very essence of God.

The Gifts and Calling of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When Jesus was physically here walking upon the earth, everything he did was perfect and complete. His life totally exemplified the prophecies written about him as he redeemed us from our sins. Today we know that his mission was successful, and we now belong to God through the accomplished work of Jesus Christ our Savior. We are saved by believing in and confessing the Savior from sin (Romans 10:9-10), for Jesus Christ is our Savior from not only the sin of the world, but also the sin nature implanted in man since the fall of man in Genesis.

Acts 3:18-19:
-18:  But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
-19:  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out {washed away totally leaving no stain whatsoever}, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Jesus Christ had fulfilled every legal requirement needed to bring salvation to humanity, giving us total access into God’s family. Now that we are saved, we can spiritually take our rightful place at God’s right hand with Christ. To repent or repentance (contrary to some beliefs) can only be done once because when we repent we are saved for eternity. Repentance is when we confess the Savior from sin. We cannot lose our eternal sonship right of being God’s children because He will never take back our eternal life – this is why our salvation is referred to as “being born again” in I Peter 1:23. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29), means that our God will never repent from calling you, nor will He ever regret giving you His gift of eternal life, or all His blessings, or your free and total access to His throne and His heart.

After our salvation, do we still fall prey to temptations and are we swayed by the sin nature? Yes, all Christians will be tempted, and blow it even after salvation, and it is at this point believers feel that they have lost their salvation, that their relationship with God has been severed, and condemnation thus begins reigning supreme in the conscious mind. So what do we do at this point to regain our good standing with God? From the time of our salvation, onward, until Christ returns, we simply confess our mistakes or shortcomings to God in prayer to receive forgiveness.

I John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he {God} is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The word, confess means to agree in our minds that yes, we indeed have blown it. God allows us to honestly admit that we made a mistake. This is the way God designed our forgiveness. God knows that we will from time to time blow it, so He has given to us an easy way back into fellowship with Him. When we become honest within our hearts and simply say something like this: “Yes, I blew it. I am truly sorry. I will try my best to walk with You today. I am honestly thankful that You have cleansed me from any and all unrighteousness and I thank you for this in the name of Jesus Christ.” Then our heavenly Father instantly and faithfully forgives and cleanses us from our shortcomings and again shows us that we have His righteousness to walk with Him in His divine love. The reason that our God can completely forgive us is because of what the Savior from sin has accomplished for us.