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.

The New Man

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When we believe in the inherent truth of God’s healing Word, the Word itself will begin making known to our minds the spiritual realities of having Christ within, whom the Bible defines as the New Man. Christ from within our hearts will then make known to our minds the Creator, our Father ― God. Then as we begin recognizing God as our Father ― He makes known to us the spiritual completeness of the new man (since we have the mind of Christ) that was created in us (Ephesians 1:16–23, 4:22–24). Additionally, God begins revealing to us the spiritual reality of the one body of Christ, of which body Christ is the head, and we are all members in that one body, and this one body of Christ is nurtured and grows in the love of God with the light of His Word.

Romans 12:5: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

I Corinthians 12:27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The Bible refers to those who walk with the knowledge of the one body as being spiritual (I Corinthians 2:15), for they have the inward man (Romans 8:6, and II Corinthians 4:16), who resides in their hearts ― this inward man is Christ in you (Colossians 1:27). Having Christ within means that we have the hidden man of the heart {Christ}, in that which is not corruptible (I Peter 3:4), for believers have the incorruptible seed of Christ (I Peter 1:23). But though our outward man perish {or gets older}, yet the inward man {the Christ within} is renewed day by day (II Corinthians 4:16), renewed by placing God’s Word in our minds day by day, as Paul wrote, For I delight in the law of God {in His Word} after the inward man (Romans 7:22). For the inward man builds up the believer from within as he or she accepts the renewed mind that the Word of God illustrates and allows this new man or woman to shine with effervescence as he or she reaches out to build up the one body of Christ in love.

Ephesians 4:15–16:
-15: But speaking the truth {God’s Word} in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ {for Christ is the head of the body — Ephesians 1:22–23}.
-16: From whom {Christ} the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part {this is us, see Romans 12:5, and I Corinthians 12:27 above}, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

The most effectual working part of this new body is the head, who is Jesus Christ himself, and we are encouraged to follow his lead by walking in love, and in so doing we will be assisting in the building up of the body, and in this process we will also be discovering the new man! As we learn the Scriptures and allow our renewed mind to reveal what the Word itself teaches us, we will begin supplying (or giving) to the body of Christ and further be edifying (building up) the body in love. Believing the Scriptures is how we bring the Word of God into reality, off the pages of the Bible and into our daily lives. God’s Word can give men and women a true spiritual revival that grows within the heart and supplies the mind with impressions of tangible truths contained in God’s Word. This is what gives men and women a true godly renaissance, and fuels an enjoyment in our rediscovery of eternal light and love.

 Ephesians 4:22–24:
-22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation {lifestyle, behavior} the old man {biblically the old man means ourselves before salvation}, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts {which is latent within everybody, Romans 5:14}.
-23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
-24: And that ye put on the new man {i.e., the Christ in you}, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

One of the most wonderful things about the church Epistles is that the Word of God never demands that we change our minds without something else to replace old thoughts and actions. Rather His Word always shows us how to replace old thoughts, emotions, and actions with new concepts that come to life by putting on the mind of Christ. We are encouraged to put off the old man and to put on the new man; this must be possible because the Bible tells us so, and God’s Word instructs us about how to do this successfully. Romans 6:6 says that the old man, which is the old nature in man, the nature of sin, “is crucified” with Christ, and this means we can set our old nature aside and put on a heavenly nature to walk in newness with Christ who has been resurrected and spiritually dwells within us.

Often propounded today are the “thou shalt not” sermons imbued with hellfire, brimstone, and condemnation only serving to scare people away from the truth that the new man is available to each and every one of us. In all honesty, God’s Word is always teaching us to have rather than to have not (Matthew 7:7–8, and I Thessalonians 4:12). It is the old man nature that denies the gifts of God and the new life in Christ we have been given. Jesus Christ freed believers from the course of this world (Ephesians 2:1–10), so that they (WE ― you and me) could enjoy our lives as we anticipate Jesus’ return to gather the believers up to our heavenly Father (I Thessalonians 4:14–18). Jesus had borne our sins in his own body and took them to the cross nearly two thousand years ago (I Peter 2:24), so why in the world would anyone want to resurrect and still carry them around and live in condemnation any longer? No ― not us, “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The new man is in Christ Jesus and in him we may thoroughly enjoy our spiritual freedom (Romans 6:22, and Galatians 5:1).

In Ephesians above, the Word is specifically dealing with the renewed mind, expressing what is in our renewed minds, and that specifically is the new man which is after God, and is created in us and revealed to us throughout the Epistles.

Colossians 3:9–10:
-9: Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
-10: And {you and I} have put on the new man, which is {being} renewed in knowledge after the image of him {God} that created him {him is our created spirit, called the new man}:

The old man is as old as you are, but the new man is only as old as the day you became saved, and at that moment in time you became born again and received Christ in you and this is what God’s Word encourages you and me to enjoy in our day to day lives. By doing so, we will have tapped into a whole new realm of enlightenment and find a spiritual power base to become “more than conquerors” as Romans 8:37 boldly proclaims that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” It is this inseparable love and belief of God’s Word that allows mortal men and women to become more than conquerors over the daily pressures of life.

Colossians 3:12–17:
-12: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
-13: Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
-14: And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
-15: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
-16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
-17: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

By putting God’s Word in your believing heart, you will have more than a fighting chance to overcome the obstacles that life throws before you, because you will have the Word of God to stand on and believe. You have the hallowed opportunity to know and understand the new man, and fulfill a heavenly calling, a destiny ordained by God. Did you know that you already are a child of God, a child dearly loved by Him and by Jesus, and you have the heavenly calling to enjoy the new man, the new you, your new life in Christ ― today? Jesus came to give you a more than abundant life (John 10:10b). You have been called to this life by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and this life is realized through the new man. The abundant life is yours because Jesus paid the ultimate price, and he paved the way for you to follow because he loved you then and he still loves you ― now. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).

Being a Christian should be the most enjoyable experience in this whole world! You are loved by God! Yes, God loves everybody, but not everyone reciprocates by returning God’s love. This makes you a very, very special somebody ― to God you are precious (I Peter 2:7). You are your heavenly Father’s child, and you are a special individual before His Majesty, and when you believe His Word you have clout with unfathomable power to back it up (Ephesians 3:20)! The world often tries to extract the joy out of the believers’ hearts as though having a life without God and Jesus is practical. Thankfully, the new man, the Christ in you can fend off these unfounded ideas and subtle notions that belittle the believer or cause him to stray.

For you ― Jesus died! For you ― Christ was raised! For you ― Christ intercedes at the right hand of God in heaven until you personally arrive! For you ― God sent His only begotten Son! Oh, yes ― indeed God did this ― for you! Just how valuable are you to God and Christ the Lord? If it was only you in this whole wide world that was going to believe, Jesus would still have offered himself, for that was the will of God, so that you could enjoy the new man in your life with His ever-renewing love, now and for all eternity!

God created within us the means to walk in newness of life, a life that is being renewed in the knowledge of God (Romans 6:4). To walk in the new man is not a command but a request from a loving Father to His beloved children so we could be “partakers of the benefit” (I Timothy 6:2). The benefit is an invitation to have a meaningful relationship with Him Who created life, for His Word shows us how to enjoy life by bringing the Christ within us ― up and out to the forefront of our lives.

II Corinthians 6:2 (The Amplified Bible):**  For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!

 Ephesians 4:14–16 (The Amplified Bible)**
-14: So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.
-15: Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
-16: For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

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

Rejoice and Be Glad in Your Heart

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Acts 2:22–27:
-22:  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
-23:  Him {Jesus}, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
-24:  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
-25:  For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
-26:  Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
-27:  Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One {Jesus Christ} to see corruption.

King David always kept the hope of his Savior alive in his heart hundreds of years before the first coming of Christ. David always kept Jesus Christ “before my face,” meaning he always looked to Jesus and his day of deliverance. The result for looking unto Jesus was that Jesus was his hope (as well as ours), for eternal life. Knowing Jesus Christ personally through knowing the Scriptures assured David of his eternal life, which daily allowed his heart to rejoice, and as he spoke of Jesus his tongue was glad, which also gave others the hope of Christ’s return.

Psalms 28:7–8:
-7:  The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song I will praise him.
-8:  The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

The anointed of God is Jesus Christ, and God is the saving strength of Jesus Christ (see Acts 2:22 above), Jesus is our interceder (between God and man), and Jesus Christ reveals to the heart that searches for God: the magnificence of God Himself. Knowing Christ causes our heart to greatly rejoice, and a glad tongue comes to us by speaking about the accomplishments of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Witnessing to others that Jesus died for our sins, that he was resurrected and seated at the right hand of God, and that he is returning for us at some future moment to take us home makes the tongue glad.

Acts 2:28:
Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance {presence}.

Knowing Jesus Christ gives to the believer understanding about “the ways of life” such as how to genuinely walk with God. Jesus Christ was always pleasing to God (Matthew 3:17). As we ourselves look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), he will also teach us how to be pleasing to God, for Jesus is always present within our hearts.

I Have Declared Your Name

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 John 17:1:
THESE WORDS spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come {for Jesus to redeem humanity with his life}; glorify thy Son, {in order} that thy Son also may glorify thee:

John chapter 17 is a prayer, and Jesus first asked his Father to glorify him, so that he would have the power to reciprocate glory back to his Father. Jesus went through a horrendous torture; thankfully, we today do not need to face what Jesus went through. But notice that he prayed first so that he would be able to glorify the Father. The Scriptures show that God indeed glorified Christ, and Christ still glorifies his Father. Any prayer that will glorify God blesses our heavenly Father’s heart, and He will always, in His glory, answer your prayers.

John 17:24:
Father, I will {wish} that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Jesus, in the closing moments of this prayer, prays that we can behold his glory that the Father gave to him. Then Jesus says, “for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” This love that God loved him with has been in the heart of God since before the foundation of the world. This love has passed the test of time and is what allowed Jesus to redeem humanity.

John 17:25:
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

It is sad but true that so many people do not know the righteous Father; however, we can be so humbly thankful that we do know Him, and that we do know the Savior whom God sent to us.

John 17:26:
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: {here is the purpose for Jesus declaring the name “righteous Father” to us} that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Jesus detailed to his Apostles and disciples (and it is recorded in the Scriptures for us), the Father’s wonderful name, “Righteousness.” Jesus had shown that God was the Creator, that He was the Lord in His personal relationship with us, and that God is our righteous Father. Jesus Christ did all this in his ministry with a purpose, to show us the Father’s love, and the love with which He has loved Jesus since the beginning of time is extended and given graciously to us.

Did Jesus’ prayer get answered? Oh yes it certainly did (Ephesians 1:3-4)! God’s love is now a part of your life, and is now inseparable from your heart (Romans 5:5). In Romans 5:8 we read, “But God commendeth {introduces} his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ has given so much for you (his very life), so that the Father could introduce His love into your heart and give you a spiritual relationship in divine righteousness with Him Who is your heavenly Father.