Our Earthly Tent
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 ESV
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
As followers of Christ, while we live on this earth, we live in flesh bodies. We experience pain, suffering, sickness, temptation, and physical hunger and thirst. Yet, one day our Lord will return to take us home to be with him forever, and we will no longer be in these flesh bodies, because He will give us glorified bodies. And, temptation, sorrow, sickness and pain will be no more, for he will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Amen!
Of Good Courage
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 ESV
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
But, God put us in these flesh bodies and on this earth for a time, and for a specific purpose. He did not save us just so we could go to heaven when we leave this earth. He saved us in order to transform us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so we could receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.
He saved us from our sins to deliver us out of slavery to sin and so that we might walk in his righteousness and holiness. He saved us so that we would become his own people to glorify him with our lives, and to do what pleases him. We are here on this earth to give him glory, in other words, and that our lives might be for his praise. And, we are here to serve him in doing whatever it is that he has called us to do, and that we might be his witnesses in sharing the gospel of our salvation with the world around us.
We are not here on this earth to live to please ourselves, in other words. We are not here to be incessantly entertaining ourselves and living for self-pleasure. When Jesus Christ died on that cross, and he became sin for us, and he put sin to death, he did so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. With his blood shed on the cross, he bought us back for God that we might honor God with our lives.
The Fear of God
2 Corinthians 5:11-15 ESV
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
So many people today have lost this whole concept of the fear of the Lord. Fear of God has to do with reverence, awe, respect and honor of him. So many people take God and his grace for granted, or they have this idea that God is here for them, and not the other way around. Jesus didn’t save us from our sins so we could continue in sin guilt free. He saved us to deliver us from slavery to sin so we might walk in his holiness, according to his Spirit.
Walking in the fear of the Lord is what it means to be saved from our sins. It is what it means to have Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. It is what is meant by being “born again.” Our old lives of living for sin and self are forsaken and now we live for the Lord, for his righteousness, and to advance his eternal kingdom, not to advance our earthly kingdoms. Being a Christian is about being Christlike. It is not about slightly cleaning up our old fleshly lives.
New Creations in Christ
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 ESV
From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We don’t add Jesus Christ and his salvation on to our old lives. When we believe in Jesus Christ, we die to our old lives, and he gives us new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The way in which we used to conduct our lives, in the flesh, is done away with, and the new way of living in the Spirit has now taken the place of our old lives.
But, this is not something we generate in our own flesh. Certainly we can produce change in our flesh to a certain degree, but we can never earn or deserve our own salvation. For, no matter how much we might try, we can never be good enough, for we still have these sin natures. So, it is only through faith in Jesus Christ that we can have these transformed lives and that we can walk in the Spirit and no longer according to our flesh.
So, the message here is that, if we have not yet done so, we should surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, die with him to sin, and be raised with him to newness of life in him, and then walk in Him, in His Spirit within us. For Jesus died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins, but that we might become the righteousness of God, not just positionally, but in practice, too. For, if we walk in sin, according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God in heaven.
An Original Work / September 14, 2012
Based off Romans 12:1-2; 6:11-14 NIV
Oh, holy ones, I counsel you,
In view of God’s mercy,
To give yourselves to God in love
As living offerings,
Pleasing to God, holy in love.
This is your true worship.
Do not conform to worldly lives.
Let God transform you today.
Then you’ll be able to
Test and approve of what
God’s will is – His pleasing
And perfect will. Oh, holy ones,
I counsel you – Offer yourselves unto God.
Oh, holy ones, I counsel you –
Do not be conceited.
Humble yourselves before your God.
Do not be self-righteous.
The strength you have to live in love
Comes from your Lord God, so
Live your new lives in pow’r of God.
Be changed in heart, mind and will.
Do this because of what
Christ did for you when
He died on the cross to save
The world from sin. Oh, holy ones,
I counsel you – Humble yourselves before God.
Oh, holy ones, I counsel you –
Count yourselves dead to sin,
But be alive to God in Christ.
Do not let sin reign in
Your earthly lives so you
Obey its evil desires.
Offer yourselves unto your God
As those who’ve been born again.
For sin shall no longer be
Your lord and master.
Give of yourselves to God
For righteousness. Oh, holy ones,
I counsel you – Be alive to God in Christ.
Thursday, March 29, 2018, 6:00 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these words.