Degrees of Movement

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Genesis 27:1-29; Romans 12:1-8; John 8:12-20

From the Reformer

Do not, revert from the new life which has been begun to the old life which has been left behind, be conformed to this world, that is, to the men of this world, but be transformed by the renewal, that is, be changed “from one degree of glory to another,” 2 Cor. 3:18, always more and more laying aside the old state, of your mind, your thinking, your judgment, that you may prove, that you may discover by your own experience, what is the will of God, because it is hidden under our evils, what is good and acceptable, because it lies hidden under things which are displeasing to us, and perfect, because it lies hidden under the imperfect.

—Martin Luther, Lectures on Romans

Pulling It Together

Moving out of darkness is not an all at once development, but of being changed “from one degree of glory to another.” (2Cor 3:18) Today, there will be the opportunity to give God another desire or willful notion, bringing the flesh further under the Spirit’s control. This is spiritual worship: our flesh, our very selves, being slowly sacrificed to God by degrees.

In our gradual offering of ourselves, we become so renewed that we are readied for the final movement of a worshipful life. Eventually, like Isaac, we are content to cut all ties to this world, and are ready to literally present our bodies to the Lord. In the meanwhile, we are to offer this flesh as a living sacrifice to the Spirit’s transforming powers, trusting in the mercies of God to make us holy and acceptable. Luther was reminded of 2 Corinthians 3:18 when saying Christian life and worship should be the “always more and more laying aside the old state, of your mind, your thinking, your judgment.” This life is one of moving progressively from glory to glory, from decreasing darkness to the very Light that is Christ.

Prayer: Move me to the Light that is you, Lord. Amen.

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