Summary: Part two focuses on the remaining traits of silver as compared to the Christian life.
As The Silver Is, So Are We
This is part two of my series “As The Silver Is, So Are We”. Last time I shared with you that I had received an email about the refining of silver. In that email, a women’s group was studying Malachi 3:3 and wondered what the statement “He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver…” meant about the character of God. One of the women volunteered to go and find out the process for refining silver. She found a silversmith and visited him at work, watching how he purified the silver. When she left him, she understood more about Malachi’s prophecy.
In part one I shared with you the first two traits about silver that can be compared to the Christian life. The first trait focused on how to actually get the silver. To obtain pure silver, you must separate it from the other minerals that it is usually combined with. Just as with silver, in order for God to equip us, He has to first separate us from the world in which we live. This separation is necessary so that we can separate out of our minds the world’s view and replace it with God’s views. The second trait focused on the purification process. To purify silver, you must use heat and the same happens with us. When we are going through heated situations, the weaknesses that lies within us tend to come to the surface. We allow our guards to come down and that which resides within us (which we keep hidden from everyone) peaks it head out. God wants to cleanse us of these while we are going through so that when we come to the other side of our problems, we are stronger. This morning we will examine three other traits of silver that are common to Christians. The final three traits are:
• Since pure silver is very soft and cannot be used for jewelry, it is often mixed with copper (sterling silver).
• Silver tarnishes (change color) when exposed to air and water.
• The tarnishing of silver is reduced when it is being worn.
A. Pure Silver Is Too Soft To Be Used In Jewelry So It Is Mixed With Copper
If remember from part one, I shared with you that sterling silver is a combination of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. It is the copper component when mixed with the silver that gives it the silver its strength to be used in jewelry. When you mix the two in the right combination some beautiful, expensive products are the outcome. Well think about what happens when we become Christians.
When we become Christians, we have so many things that are attached to our life that we really are not strong enough to handle living. If you were to look around you I am sure that many of you know someone who is struggling just to live or exist in this life. When you look into their eyes you see that there is no hope, no peace and they just exist from day to day. Now if you think about where they are, think about the fact that without Christ in our lives, we could be the same. Christ understood that we would need help and He promised His disciples that He would send a helper for them and for each of us. That Helper is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:16-17) Also notice what Jesus said in the sixteenth chapter: “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiatives, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13)
In these verses we find that Christ understood that we needed help, we need someone to make us stronger. That someone is the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that when He left, He would have the Father send the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. The Holy Spirit’s job is to combine with us and make us stronger. When this happens He will lead us into truth as He guides us through life. Remember the sterling silver – 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper? Well you can say that I am a sterling Rodney, 75% Rodney, 25% Holy Spirit. The pure Rodney is not strong enough to handle anything. I would panic in situations when I did not know what to do. I would allow “my other side” to come out in any situation. I would not be able to tell which way to go as my mind would be so confused. But with the Holy Spirit dwelling within me, I am able to focus, to have peace, to yield. The Holy Spirit strengthens me. It is not just me living, but the Spirit of God living within me. Now noticed for my example I said that I was 75% Rodney and 25% Holy Spirit. I am still a work in progress and my desire if to get to 20% Rodney and 80% Holy Spirit. If and when I get to that point, most of you will not recognize me because my responses to life will be so much different than they are right now. It is when we are mixed with the Holy Spirit that we gain the power and the strength to fully exist in this life. It is the Holy Spirit living within us that gives us the strength to reach out and touch someone else when we ourselves are hurting. It is the Holy Spirit that enables us to walk away from our old selves and live a new life.