Monday, July 13, 2009

2 Corinthians 5 -- Not Themselves

Paul continues to remind the church in Corinth of who they are and that their prime identity is not found here on earth, but with God. This identity was sealed with Jesus Christ, and as Paul reminds, we are given a foretaste, or deposit of what is to come through the Holy Spirit. In the midst of this reminder there is a very important little phrase which might be easy to miss, "For the love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." v14-15.

This little section is an echo of Mark 8 when we are told to deny ourselves and follow Christ. It is apparent that Paul's world was like ours in that people struggled with who life if for. It seems as though there was a struggle to keep the focus on God and not on the individual. Our lives are not our own, is another phase rendered in other portions of scripture. Somewhere along the way, possibly in the garden with Adam and Eve, humanity got thin impression that life was all about them. There might not be a more destructive thing to the whole of the church and our relationship with Jesus Christ.

When the people of God think they are more important than anything else, only trouble ensues. A 'Me' focus will ultimately result in the destruction of humanity. Let's be clear it will not be God who does the damage, it will be ourselves as we live on our own terms and not the terms of God. We are not to live for ourselves, our own desires, hopes and dreams, we are to live for God, and the hopes, desires and dreams God has for us.

Who are you living for?

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