For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.2 Corinthians 1:12(NASB)
Paul did not boast in himself but only in the Cross of Christ, his Saviour. Paul's whole heart was that he himself would decrease to nothing, while the Lord Jesus must increase in every part of his life until he could say: "It is not I that live, but Christ that lives in me." And so Paul could say with utter confidence that he had not lived his life by the fleshly wisdom of the world, but by means of the gift of grace that he received from the Lord.
The grace of God is freely available to all who would live godly in Christ Jesus. It is freely available, and it is sufficient for all our needs according to His riches in glory. Paul grew in grace, from the wretched man that we see in Romans chapter 7 to the liberated man of Romans chapter 8, and his life ministry was sharing with others the open secret of how to grow in grace and in the wisdom of God, to grow in love and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul had the confidence to say: "Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity." What a difference in Paul's pre-salvation conduct. And he goes on to explain how he can have such confidence in his conduct: "Relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace." The wisdom of the world is lacking in every area, but by the grace of God, we can choose, like Paul, to walk in God's wisdom, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let us seek to walk in spirit and truth, to submit to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, to listen to His voice of truth, and to trust in His Word of wisdom. Today, let us actively put on Christ so that we may passively abide in Him so that with Paul, we may confidently know that the testimony of our conscience is that we are daily conducting ourselves towards men and God with sincerity and purity, not by the fleshly wisdom of the world, but by the grace of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have given me all I need to walk godly in Christ Jesus. Help me today and in the days that lie ahead, to walk in sincerity and truth. May I not walk in the ways of the world, but trust in Your wisdom and grace for all my needs. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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