As Paul closes his second letter to the Corinthians, he gives them fair warnings about sin and the consequences of continuing in sin.
He also advises them that the Lord is in the people and He is powerful in them, both to overcome sin and also to deal with the weaknesses of His people. But He will also be powerful in dealing with those who choose to continue in sin.
So how can this knowledge in these short verses help us today? In many ways, if we take the time to listen to His words and take heed, for too often the church today has lost it’s power. But even so, Christ is still powerful in His people and He continues to deal with them to bring them to the place He wants them to be.
“ 17 Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”
One of the most fundamental teachings of Christianity is that in Christ we are born again as a new creation in Him.
Christianity is about a journey. It’s about finding the way to God through Jesus Christ. And every journey starts with a beginning; a first step.
In Jesus Christ we start that journey through repenting and seeking Jesus Christ as our Saviour. As we then walk with Him we go through the processes that re-create us out of the image of mankind, bound under sin, and into the image of Jesus Christ who is the image of perfection; the image of God. It is in that process of re-creation that we are born again as a new creation. So let us look at this new creation and the process of being made a new creation in Jesus Christ.
The concept of these couple scriptures saying that the love of Christ controls us is both fascinating and powerful.
One of the basic desires people have is the desire to be in control. You hear it in everyday conversations as well as in the media. People talk about things getting out of control, wanting to get things under control and so on. Media commentators, and in particular the political opposition parties speak about how the government is out of control, politicians out of control, situations spiraling out of control and so on.
Having control and being in control is a big thing for people, which is why this particular scripture is so fascinating because it points to the need for us to relinquish control and to be controlled by someone else. Specifically, to be under the control of the love of Christ.
In my last post I wrote about why Christians get sick. The key to understanding that is knowing that this Christian walk is not about the flesh but about the spirit. The work that is going on in us is a spiritual work. The flesh is of no avail.
In this section of scripture today, Paul extends this understanding and shows that God helps us in our walk by giving us the Spirit as guarantee of His help in our salvation.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit in us to transform us into the image of God. This is why God gave us the Holy Spirit. But let us consider the words Paul has written here and how the spirit as guarantee helps us.
Many years ago while my father was still alive he said to me that we need to take note of the “little” words in the Bible. It is often the small words that we can pass over at a glance that convey a depth of meaning we would miss otherwise.
I have repeated this same good advice to others on many occasions, and in this short section of scripture there is a case in point worth looking at to illustrate this point.
It is often in the small, insignificant words that we get the full and true meaning of the text. The particular verse in this section I am referring to is verse 3, which says,
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. – (1 Corinthians 12:3)
The most significant change that took place after the death of Jesus was the change in the mode of worship.
Prior to Jesus dying the only place a person could go and worship the one true God was in the temple at Jerusalem. This was the place where God's law was taught and managed by the Levitical priesthood and was where the holy place and the holy of holies stood.
But when Jesus came and died He became a priest of God, not descended from Levi and thus not entitled to serve in the temple at Jerusalem. Instead Jesus, who was a descendant of David from Judah in the flesh, which was the tribe of the kings, became a priest of the order of Melchizedek as we are told in Hebrews 5:6. And this change in the priesthood changes everything, including the modes, place, methods and forms of worship.
Who can understand the things of God? In my last post I wrote about understanding the depths of God, but for man in his natural state, the depths of God and the things of God are a mystery. No man understands the things of God because man cannot unless he is taught by God.
The bible gives us some insight telling us that man cannot understand God for man does not think like God. The bible says,
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – (Isaiah 55:8-9)
The thoughts and the ways of God are foreign to man because man is a creature of sin, but God is not. Man is a creature driven by passions and emotions, but God embodies truth, justice, righteousness, rational thought and love.
So how are we to get to know God and to walk in His ways. This is the subject of these few verses in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16.
Who can understand the depths of God? Who even thinks it is possible to do so? Surely to think so would be madness and the height of foolishness!
No man can possibly understand the depths of God. Even in all that has been created, man is still only scratching the surface of what God has done. And that applies only to those things that can be determined through scientific methods, which deal solely with what can be measured by physical means.
But God is not physical. God is spirit and man cannot measure the spiritual realm with the dimensions, tools and measures of man. So to even think a man could ever measure or know the depths of God is utter foolishness. Or is it?
We are more than conquerors through Chris Jesus our Lord. That is what this scripture says and is telling us. We have the victory in and through Jesus Christ and we have conquered all things in Him.
So I can understand what it is to be a conqueror in Jesus Christ, but what does it mean to be MORE than conquerors? Isn't it enough just to be a conqueror? Isn't it enough just to be victorious? What does it mean then to be MORE than a conqueror and what are the implications of this statement to us?
There are three aspects of this that come to mind as I consider these things. First, how it is we have conquered in Jesus Christ. Second, what it is we have conquered in Jesus Christ. And finally what it means to be MORE than conquerors including the implications of this description for our life as we walk forward. So let us look at these things and consider what the mean.
There are many promises in them bible, both to those who love the Lord and also to those who do not. Those who choose to reject Jesus Christ and reject God have the promise that a day of reckoning awaits when they will learn and earn the results of their folly. Judgement awaits, not just in the end time when everyone will stand before God and give account but as they live and do wicked things they will be judged and sentenced day by day.
However, in this scripture we see one of the greatest promises given to those people who choose to follow Jesus Christ and who listen and learn the things of God. This verse gives us hope as well as a promise and it is a message we can all take to heart and live by for there are many times we will need to remember these words as www await the salvation of the Lord.