Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Outside and Inside

2 Corinthians 4:14
"...we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.”

Paul was teaching the Corinthian Christians about his ministry, and the relationship which all Christians have with God through Jesus Christ. These were people who learned and believed the resurrection of Jesus. Paul now associates their lives in Christ more fully by assuring them the one who raised Jesus will also raise us and deliver us into the very presence of God. 

The benefit of all this is ours according to Paul. In the very next verse he says we are the benefactors so that the grace that reaches more and more people, ultimately brings praise and glory to God.  It is amazing how we become related to Jesus through his death, burial and resurrection. It brings us into a fellowship with others who have made him Lord of their lives, and the experience and example of the body of believers spreads the message of God's grace. 

While there is an abundance of truth in the application of that 14th verse from 2 Corinthians, Paul also continues to show us even more.  Look closely  at the verses which follow.
" Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  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. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Paul wants you to know there is never a time for us to give up.  We may be tempted to throw in the towel when problems and difficulties arise. We may even be called on to experience some suffering because of our faith. Paul says, "don't lose heart."

Then his words become easy for us to understand.  He shares, because of his own physical limitations, that all of our bodies are wasting away.  We get older and our outward appearance shows signs of age. We begin noticing limitations in the area of the physical things we used to be able to do. Then he proclaims, "Inwardly we are being renewed day by day."  

I confess to you that physically I cannot see any renewal. Spiritually, (remember all of this is directly related to the resurrection of Jesus and our resurrection, too) we can sense the renewal on the inside because that's where his Spirit lives. Because of this spiritual renewal, our troubles and problems are accomplishing what Paul calls an eternal glory, which is greater than any adversity we have experienced. We would see tremendous changes in our world if Christians would claim that promise and live by that promise.  Then look to that final verse, "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."


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