Living Supernaturally As the Church of Christ
Christian living is supernatural or it is nothing. The church is made of “living stones built into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). “Spiritual” is the opposite of merely “natural.” It means inhabited and guided and empowered by the supernatural Spirit of Christ.
Paul distinguished between a “natural person” and a “spiritual person” (1 Corinthians 2:14-15). And he described those who act like “natural” persons as: “mere humans” (1 Corinthians 3:4). Christians are not “mere humans.” They are “spiritual humans.” God resides in them (1 Corinthians 6:19). They have new supernatural life flowing through them. They live with power that is not merely their own.
There is no way we can be the church without this experience. The call to deny ourselves for the sake of love, to return good for evil, to forgive seventy times seven, to endure one another, and to keep on doing this with joy for 50 or 60 or 80 years is not possible to the natural human. It is only possible supernaturally.
To be the church we must live on God. “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). It takes supernatural power to endure patiently with the kind of love that defines us as the church of Christ. So Paul prays that we might be “strengthened with all power according to the might of [God’s] glory for all endurance and patience with joy” (Colossians 1:11). It takes power that accords with divine glory to joyfully and patiently endure in love till we die.
So we must seek to live on God. We must seek to experience supernatural power daily in order to be the church. Pray over these verses. Ask God to make them true for you.
2 Timothy 1:8 – “Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord. . . but share in suffering for the gospel in the power of God.”
Colossians 1:29 – “For this I toil (to present everyone mature in Christ), striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me.”
Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”
Philippians 2:12-13 – “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
Ephesians 6:10 – “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 – “I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
1 Corinthians 15:10 – “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me."
Romans 15:18 – “For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has wrought through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed.”
Abiding in Christ with you,
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org