Reconciling the World

For Christ’s love 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. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  
–2 Corinthians 5:14-17

In this scripture, Paul is challenging us and insisting that we look at every person from a very different and often very difficult perspective. Instead of us looking at someone’s outward appearance, as the world does, the most important question to be answered about a person is spiritual. We all have value, but our value isn’t found in worldly wealth, physical things, or shallow appearances. A person’s greatest need is not physical things, but to be reconciled to God. 

Paul did not come to this understanding until he came to know Christ for himself.  Before his conversion, he viewed Jesus simply as a man and His death as a just punishment for heresy. Paul had been on his own personal crusade punishing and persecuting Christians. He was completely sold out to his belief of who he thought Jesus was. But after his personal experience with Jesus, Paul came to know Him as the Son of God and the substitute for his own sin and the world’s sin. Paul experienced reconciliation with Jesus. 

Reconciliation with Christ caused Paul to change how he regarded every person. It caused him to have an understanding that everyone can be forgiven and transformed through faith in Jesus. These are scriptures that I have read many times before–I’m sure just like you have–but this time verse 16 leapt off the pages at me. 2 Corinthians 5:16 says, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.” I was very convicted by this verse. How many times have I missed the mark on this one and viewed people through a worldly lense? Many times, unfortunately. At the time Paul wrote this, people were talking against him and persecuting him, but yet he wanted to make sure to look at them through God’s eyes and love them the way that God did, and encourage his followers to do the same. 

So, in writing this I hope and pray encouragement comes to you, as well as a challenge to never view people the same way again (I’m right there too). Through our reconciliation with Jesus we are called to be so drastically different from the world and let our relationship with Jesus change us in every way. I am so thankful for God’s Word that is alive and active, and for the guidance that it gives for every situation that we face. Don’t be discouraged; get in The Word and let it speak to you.  2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, ”The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” So, let’s use the divine weapons of God to demolish strongholds and I pray we never look at people with a worldly view again.

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