JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
September 11, 2009, 2:16 am
Filed under: K Second Letter to the Corinthians

As I read the first four chapters of Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth, and ”all the saints throughout Achaia” I can sense Paul describing more and more the desire for Jesus to flow and express Himself through us to one another. These first four chapters seems to bring the themes of suffering and comfort together and describes how they relate to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

God comforts us through His Spirit as we comfort one another. And not only comfort for a particular “trouble” but “all our troubles”! Paul even describes his trouble as having “felt the sentence of death” (what worse trouble could any of us ever have!) but Paul didn’t look at his trouble as something to complain about but as an opportunity for God to do His work allowing Paul to so rely on God, because he knew God “raises the dead.” Paul’s life was a series of crucifixions and resurrections! Constantly dieing to himself and being raised to newness of life. All for “the glory of God.” Could we desire the same thing?

How could Paul say these things? Because “it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ” and that “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.” Man, Paul had hope and because of “such a hope, we are very bold”! “God is faithful” and Paul knew the faithfulness of God!

Paul then relates this to the relationships within the body of Christ, his own with the church and within the body itself. Jesus desires to express Himself through us to one another in loving relationships! Paul pointed out to the church that as an apostle he was a servant, not a leader. If anyone decides to “lord it over your faith” then they are not being a servant of the church, because servants “work with” the church “for your joy.” He even describes his “depth” of love for the church how what he wrote from his first letter to the church was done “out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears.” May I and every follower of Christ always in great prayer and thoughtfulness, with God’s power and words, speak honestly with one another. How important confession and forgiveness to one another is! If we do not forgive then Jesus is not expressing Himself through me/us. Jesus, the one who forgave us of all our sins!

Paul says that “through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him…To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life”! The Christian life is about dieing and living. My life as a follower of Jesus is about denying myself, thinking of others instead of myself, dieing to self, taking up my cross, and following Jesus in His resurrection life, living in His power, through His Spirit. It is “the Spirit (that) gives life” and through us, our human bodies, weak as they are, “jars of clay,” the Spirit is God’s “treasure” in us, our weak bodies, “to show that his all-surpassing power is from God.” Am I worn out from what I do for God? Then is God really at work through me or am I doing all the work? How much of God’s glory is really shining through His body? Do others praise God or do they praise the programs?

Through crucifixion and resurrection God desires we “reflect the Lord’s glory…being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”! My life as a follower of Jesus then is one that is in transformation, that comes from Jesus living His life of love through me to one another! Jesus expressing Himself through me to others, finding a home in which to dwell, to live fully, so that lives can be changed and transformed, where people can truly find hope and life! Lord be glorified in your church and in Christ Jesus, forever and ever, Amen!

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