JohnSWilson3 Blog


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
September 16, 2009, 1:54 am
Filed under: K Second Letter to the Corinthians

I have been reading and re-reading Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth now this week, chapters 5-8 specifically. It seems God continues to reveal to me things about this passage. One day it’s one thing, then another day God brings up something else. Can’t get out of it! Perhaps finally sharing my thoughts God will release me to finish the letter!

What an incredible letter this is that describes in practical terms how an organic church, one that focuses on Jesus completely in a shared life together in the everyday circumstances of life, can express Jesus love to one another, friends, and others we meet. In fact the world cannot truly recognize the difference that Jesus makes in our life unless they first see us as “jars of clay” so that Jesus can “show (his) … all-surpassing power is from God.” Our bodies are only “jars of clay” and an “earthly tent” that was never meant to die, but because of sin Jesus had to come to die “for all” you and I so we wouldn’t have to!

Having a relationship with Jesus means that “we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands” so that we long for our “heavenly dwelling.” Why do I feel like this? Because “God…made us for this very purpose” to desire nothing but Jesus forever! And it’s guaranteed! I know it’s a guarantee because He “has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come”! As a result, like Paul says “we are always confident”! Are you confident of your place in heaven because of Jesus? Paul says “we live by faith, not by sight.” Faith in Jesus. This is a cursed world that causes us to “groan” for “our heavenly dwelling.” Didn’t I feel it today at work! But even though we live in this world, we are not of it. We have the Holy Spirit in us and we know where we are going! Jesus has secured a place for me in heaven that cannot be taken away!

“So we make it our goal to please him” because one day “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord.” Jesus’ love compels me to love others so that they too can know Jesus love for them! I can love like Jesus did because I am no longer my old self. Jesus took it all away on the cross! I am “a new creation”! My life is no longer my own, like Paul said in his first letter, therefore I can bear fruit of the Spirit, love – “the old has gone, the new has come”! “All this is from God”! God has done this for us so that we can share that love with others! Because Jesus took all my sin on that cross, my sin is no longer counted “against” me! I am clean! I have “become the righteousness of God”! When God sees me He only sees Jesus! Because of “these promises” I do not have to do what is wrong anymore! “We are the temple of the living God”! A temple that is the place where God desires to dwell richly and fully! As the body of Christ Jesus desires to express Himself to everyone we meet.

Everyone needs Jesus! As a result we must learn to let Jesus open “wide” our “hearts,” to “make room for” other followers of Jesus in our “hearts.” Because Jesus lives in them! To not open wide my heart or make room in my heart for other believers means to not open my heart or make room in my heart for Jesus!!! How could I do that! Paul describes a situation when he was “harassed at every turn – conflict on the outside, fears within” and “downcast,” how, after not finding Titus, one of his co-workers for some time, and then finally meeting him, God comforted him and his other companions. And Paul was even more comforted after finding out how the church in Corinth had taken the words he had written from his former letter. Titus mentions the Corinthians to Paul “about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.” I can only imagine the joy Paul must have had after all the junk the church there was going through, working through the specific problems, and then to find out how they took his words in the right way must have been a relief – they got it!

How important it is to let the crucifixion of our lives occur, the denying of self and the bearing of the cross, because it leads to a resurrected life, a life of Jesus’ resurrection power! “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Not only did Titus bring encouragement to Paul and his church planting team, but he mentioned how “we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.”

I pray I and my family and our other brothers and sisters in Christ will grow closer to each other, where we can truly take off the masks and learn and grow through the hurts of our lives. Only in this way will our “affection for” one another become “all the greater when” we remember how we were obedient to the teachings of the Lord Jesus. The results will lead to Jesus’ resurrected power set loose our lives, through our “jars of clay,” so others can see Jesus live through us! Be glorified Lord Jesus!

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