Paul is giving testimony here of his faith and of the faith of Timothy. He shared about the hardships and the persecutions they faced for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. And he gave witness to the fact that he and Timothy had conducted themselves with integrity and godly sincerity. He said,
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Co 1:21-22 NIV
So, he gave all the glory to God. He knew that he and Timothy did not serve the Lord of their own wills, and of their own strength of character, but only by God’s calling on their lives, and only in his strength and power. All that they were and did was all because of God.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Co 3:18 NIV
Yes, this is the plight (pledge, engagement, commitment) of the believer in Jesus Christ that, now having been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, we are set free from our slavery to sin, we are now brought into union with God, and now we are being transformed into his likeness, by God, by faith.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 NIV
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
As ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul and Timothy were being hard pressed on every side, persecuted, and struck down. But because of God’s love and grace, they were not crushed, they were not in despair, and they were not destroyed (See 2 Co 4:7-12). Paul said,
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Co 4:17-18 NIV
Amen! This world is not our home. We are only here temporarily. Our human bodies are only our temporary dwelling place. So, our focus should not be on what is of this earth, or of our human flesh, but our focus should be on what is eternal, what is godly, and what his holy.
For God fashioned us to not be of this world, and to not have our hopes and our dreams realized in the flesh, but only in the Spirit. He created us to be like Him in true righteousness and holiness. And he also created us in Christ for good works which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Eph 4:17-24; Eph 2:10; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21).
All that we are and do in this life should bring honor and praise to God and not to our flesh. Our lives should be for his purposes and for his glory. He is not to be just part of our lives, but he is to BE our life. And our lives are to be lived for his glory until the very end.
For, we weren’t saved from our sins just so we could escape hell and just so we could go to heaven when we die. Our engagement to Jesus Christ, although it is initiated by God, and he is the one who gives us the “engagement ring,” i.e., the Holy Spirit, it is not one-sided.
We have to do the part God assigned us to do. We don’t do it in our own strength, but in the power and strength of God’s Spirit living within us, but still we must obey the Lord. We must leave our lives of sin behind us. And we must submit to Christ as Lord and continue in Him until the end.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 8:31-32, 51; Jn 10:27-30; Jn 14:23-24; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Acts 26:18; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 1 Co 15:2; 2 Co 5:10, 15, 21; Gal 5:16-24; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 4:17-24; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Heb 3:6, 14-15; Heb 10:26-31; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 2:24-25; 1 Jn 5:3]
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 NIV
“Therefore, we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So, we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
Our goal in life should not be to please ourselves, but to please God. And it is not true that he is pleased with everyone who confesses to have faith in Jesus Christ. We are to find out what pleases the Lord, and we are to do what he says to do (Rom 8:8; Eph 5:10; Col 1:9-11; 1 Th 4:1; 1 Jn 3:22).
For, we must all appear one day before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. For, our Father in heaven judges impartially according to each one’s deeds. And judgment begins with God’s household.
God will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
Jesus’ sheep listen to his voice, and they follow (obey) him. But if they hold on to their old lives of living in the flesh, they will lose them for eternity. If we walk by the Spirit, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. But if we make sin our practice, we will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Whatever we sow in this life, that we will also reap. If we sow to the flesh, from the flesh we will reap corruption (destruction, death). But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life.
For, the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. For, not everyone who says to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of God the Father who is in heaven.
[1 Pet 1:13-19; Heb 10:30-31; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co. 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 6:7-8; Jn 10:27; Lu 9:23-26; Matt 7:21; 1 Jn 2:3-6]
Do You Love Me?
An Original Work / July 24, 2013
Do you love Me now?
Will you seek My face?
I have given you
My love and My grace.
Will you walk with Me
Ev’rywhere I lead?
Will you find in Me
All of what you need?
Won’t you meet with Me
Down upon your knees?
Will you obey Me,
And do what I please?
Will you hear My voice
Speaking now to you?
I am couns’ling you
To abide in truth.
I have died for you;
Taken all your sins –
Crucified with Me,
You have been forgiv’n.
I have set you free
From your slavery,
So that you can now
Live in victory.