2 Corinthians 5:16-17 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.
A Spiritual Perspective
Once we have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, it changes our perspective about all people, and about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, etc. We no longer should view human beings from a human perspective, but from a heavenly perspective. We ought no longer to concern ourselves about outward appearance, but about what is in the heart.
This doesn’t mean that we no longer care about people’s physical needs, but it means that we see beyond just the physical to the spiritual, to the heart of humans, too. We are in tune to the Spirit of God, and we are sensitive to people’s spiritual needs, too.
We are no longer all caught up in the ways of the world, and with prestige, wealth, and what is purely physical and outward. But, we see people as spiritual beings with hearts and souls who need God, who need to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. And, we are burdened at heart to see all people come to faith in Jesus Christ, because we know that without God they don’t have salvation from sin and eternal life with God.
A New Creation
And, as those who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, our view of our own lives, and how they should be lived, and what we want to do, and how we think and behave, should also not be what it was before. We should view our own lives from a heavenly perspective rather than from a worldly point of view.
Therefore, if we are truly born again believers in Jesus Christ, our new lives shouldn’t look just like our old lives. This doesn’t mean we will be perfect from this point forward, or that we will never sin again, but that we should have had a radical transformation of our hearts away from living to sin to living to God and to his righteousness.
We are completely new creations in Christ Jesus, not just slightly cleaned up old creations, and not just with an outward profession of faith in Jesus Christ while nothing truly changes in our hearts or in our lifestyles. For, our old way of living according to our flesh, and in sin, should be done away with. And, now we should be walking in the ways of the Lord in purity, righteousness and holiness, all in the power of God’s Spirit within us.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 ESV
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.
Yes, all this is from God. Not any of this is from ourselves, from our own flesh. We can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. We can never be good enough. Our good deeds will never outweigh our bad deeds. But, we are saved from our sins to do good deeds that God prepared in advance for us to do, but they are his deeds, and he is the one who empowers us to do them (See Eph. 2:8-10).
Yes, it is only because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of himself on a cross for our sins that any of us can be saved from our sins and be reconciled to God. And, it is only through God-given faith in Jesus Christ that any of us can be delivered out of our slavery to sin and have that promise of heaven when we die.
But, this reconciliation with God that was accomplished for us on that cross is not a mere forgiveness of our sins so that we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. For, this reconciliation Jesus provided for us means we are reunited with God in fellowship with him, a fellowship that had been broken between humans and God because of Adam’s sin.
By faith in Jesus Christ we are restored to harmony with God. The conflict between humans and God that resulted because of Adam’s sin was now settled on that cross. Yet, scripture teaches that if we claim we now have this fellowship with God, but we still walk (in practice) in the darkness (in sin), then we are liars who do not live by the truth (1 Jn. 1:5-9).
So, again, as a result of this reconciliation made available to us because of Jesus’ sacrifice on that cross for our sins, and by faith in him, now our old lives of living for the flesh should be gone, and the new way of living to the Spirit should now be what rules in our hearts.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 ESV
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.
Have you ever had a disagreement with someone else? Or have you ever done something to wrong another person? And, now there is this invisible wall that is between you? Where there was once harmony and friendship and fellowship, now there is distance, and perhaps bitterness and resentment?
If we are to be reconciled to this person we have offended, then what needs to take place? If we have wronged the other person, then we need to confess our wrong, and we need to repent of it (turn away from it) and change, and now treat this other person with love and kindness.
If they have wronged us, then we need to make attempts to get them to be reconciled with us. And, we need to forgive them and not hold it against them, i.e. we should not get even with the other person for what they did to us. But, it doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to further sin, for the whole goal of reconciliation should be to help one another to no longer offend. It is to restore a union that was broken by sin.
So, if we are to be reconciled to God, then we need to accept what he did for us in providing the way for us to be delivered from our sin so that we can now be restored to fellowship with God. And, we need to confess our sins, and turn away from them, and turn to our Lord to now do what is holy and righteous in his sight, by faith in him, in his power and strength.
For, Jesus became sin for us on that cross, and in his death he thus put our sin to death, so that we could be reconciled to God and become the righteousness of God, i.e. to become like him in all his holiness and righteousness in all that we are, and do, and think, and say.
So, the appeal here is for all of us to believe in Jesus Christ, to forsake our former way of living to the flesh and to self and to sin, and to now surrender our lives into God’s hands, and to follow him in his ways and in his truth.
Again, this is all from God, i.e. the way to reconciliation with God, and the ability for us to be restored to fellowship with God is from God. But, we must let go and let God. We must let go of all bitterness, and all that separates us from God, and allow him to now be the Lord and master of our lives if we are to be restored to fellowship with him and have eternal life with God.
Gift of God
An Original Work / October 25, 2016
Based off Various Scriptures
Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross;
Conquered death, sin, and hell,
So, with Him, we would dwell.
For, by His grace, we are saved.
He set us free from all sin.
Thanks be to God for His Gift.
Through faith in Him, we’re forgiven.
Holy Spirit of God,
Given to us who believe,
Gives us new life in Christ;
Made to be just like Him.
We died with Christ to our sin.
New lives in Him we begin,
Walking with Christ day by day.
We read His Word, and we pray.
Jesus, He is our Lord.
Follow Him where He leads.
Tell the world of His grace.
We’ll see Christ face to face.
Soon He is coming again.
We’ll be forever with Him.
He’ll wipe our tears all away.
Oh, what a wonderful day!
Friday, April 5, 2019