(2 Corinthians 5:16)
Point of view is a powerful thing. Every person on earth assembles their knowledge of what is happening around them according to a unique and individual point of view.
Our unique points of view are being molded from the day we are born, and often take a long time to become fully established in our own minds. In some cases, they are very quickly determined, especially where harm may occur. Most people quickly learn and develop a point of view that if you touch something hot (fire, boiling water, etc.) that you will get burned. And since it is an unpleasant experience, our point of view very quickly becomes one where we avoid touching those things that will harm us.
But when it comes to more abstract matters, we may take a lot longer to develop a point of view. Our thoughts on matters of politics, good versus evil, morality, prejudice, artistic endeavor, and so on will take time to solidify in our thinking minds. It is easy to go along with the crowd, but there will come a time when we have to make a stand in our own mind and decide for ourselves; where we have to have a decided and thought out point of view.
Nowhere is this more evident in our point of view regarding religious belief, and especially as it pertains to the person and nature of Jesus Christ.
A Christian Point of View
It is clear that there are many differing points of view as to what people believe. We have those who profess to believe nothing or believe in the power of the universe. There are atheists, agnostics, new agers, earth children, those who worship nature or the natural world, and so on.
From a religious perspective, there are many different belief systems. There are Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Confucians, Muslims, Jews, and Christians. And we find within each of these there is a multitude of sects who have a differing set of beliefs (e.g. fundamentalists, conservatives, progressives, etc.).
While there are countless belief systems and even more points of view within each of those, it is the Christian point of view that I am concerned with.
Within Christianity, we have a great many different points of view. There are the broad classifications based on denominational leanings, and then there are countless independent groups who also have a different point of view. We have Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Anabaptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Churches of Christ, and many, many more. All have a different point of view, and within the congregations of each group, there are many different points of view.
One of the challenges of differing points of view in the Christian Church is that they promote divisions. There is constant infighting and when the division comes down to doctrinal differences, we see churches split and divide.
The bible tells us this is to be expected as division MUST occur. Paul wrote:
18 For, in the first place, when you assemble as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. (1 Corinthians 11:18-19)
It is in the heat of divisions that it is important for each and every Christian to have or form their own point of view so that they are not moved by a popular opinion, but the word of God. Divisions can be quite destructive and have often decimated the church, especially when the division has been forced by men seeking their own ends rather than the desires of the Lord. When men seek personal gain or personal power rather than the will of God, all manner of evil can occur.
That is why it is necessary to ensure the place where you stand is in line with the truth of the Covenant. You need to learn, understand and know what the word says, so that when arguments arise and divisions are likely, you can stand on the side of the Lord, not of men.
A Point of View About Jesus
This is important also when we consider Jesus. The scripture under review today tells us that at one time all of us had a human or worldly point of view regarding Jesus Christ.
It is to be expected because until we come to Christ and learn who He is and what He stands for, then we can only think of Christ as some historical figure, but not necessarily relevant for today. The worldview of Jesus Christ seems to be that He was a good man that lived a couple thousand years ago and He taught people a form of religion. And we recall that He lived and died with presents and chocolates at Christmas and Easter respectively.
That is pretty much it as far as Jesus is concerned for most of the people in the world today.
“16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer.” (2 Corinthians 5:16)
Even among other religions, there is a human point of view regarding Jesus Christ. The Jews see him as someone who people followed and who claimed to be the Messiah, although the Jews do not recognize him as such. Muslims have many references to Jesus and claim Him to be a great and good man and a prophet in the Koran. However, they do not go as far as to call Him the Son of God.
And this is where the Christian point of view comes into play and differs from all other points of view.
Even though the many denominations, sects and “flavors” of Christianity have many different points of view over doctrine, they all agree on one thing: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to save man from sin and death. We accept Jesus IS the Saviour of man, th Son of God, the Christ and the Messiah who will return again to give life to those who have faith.
As a result of our faith, as the scripture quoted above shows also, we no longer think of Jesus from a human point of view, but as the Son of God. In addition, we no longer even consider other people from a human point of view, since we recognize that God is in control and He is working with His people in the hope that all mankind might turn to Christ and be saved.
We know that in this world, we do not have enemies among mankind, but rather it is the devil who is the enemy of man. The battle we fight is against the devil and his forces who desire to destroy man and take man away from God.
Your point of view as a Christian is thus determined by your faith in Christ and is not a matter of man’s thinking. We believe we are new creations in Christ, no longer citizens of the world, but children of God and members of the kingdom of God. As such your point of view is no longer a human point of view but a spiritual point of view as we know that Jesus still lives at the right hand of the Father awaiting the time of His return to save those who are eagerly awaiting Him.
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