Cover to Cover
2 Corinthians 5
We’re spirit beings, and as we grow in God, we grow spiritually. We live by our reliant, obedient faith, and we perceive, discern, and act from our heart. We sense the Holy Spirit, who assures us of our salvation, our purpose, and our eternal destiny. As we mature, not only do we look forward to a new body; but we also crave to be home with the Lord. What a hope! In this chapter, Paul is speaking from his heart to a Corinthian audience that has had doubt about a resurrection. Paul mentions our glorified bodies, a resurrection made possible by the new birth, a recreation of our nature, a new heart that will live forever. This transformation was made possible by a Redeemer who became sin and died in our place, so we could be made righteous and stand before God without fear. Now we serve as His ambassadors, like Paul, taking this Gospel message to the world where we are temporarily residing. It is a privilege to live on the earth and be part of this end-time harvest.
Where does God find pleasure? In Micah 7:18 we see that God delights in mercy. God does not take pleasure in watching His creation fall. It grieves God when we don’t reciprocate the desire to have fellowship with Him through surrender. He has no joy is seeing us fail, be troubled, or suffer heartache. God loves us, not based on our behavior, but based on who He is – our Father. When we are yielded to God and His upright ways, God is not only eager to help us, but He is also given permission and access to help us. In Proverbs 24:16 it says, “A righteous man falls seven times and rises again.” The number seven means “full, complete” in Hebrew, and it can also mean “an indefinite number.” As many times as we miss it, God is able to help us rise up again. When someone is living a sinful life, the trouble from sin will bring calamity. In verses 17 and 18, we see that if we rejoice at our brother or sister’s downfall, it displeases God. The proverb says that our evil heart will get the punishment instead of the sinner. In churches, we sometimes wonder why there are sick or troubled people who pray for help and don’t receive it. We crave miracles and the supernatural. One hindrance to receiving from God is found in this passage, and it is failing to love like God loves. If we receive His great mercy for our own lives but don’t extend that love to another human being, that’s wicked and twisted. When we are humble before God, we recognize how undeserving we are of His generous grace. If we fail to realize what He’s done for us and attempt to go back into a performance-driven mindset, we become legalistic, judgmental, and condemning. God wants us to do more than receive His grace for salvation; He wants us to live and grow in His grace. What a blessed life to know the wonders of His grace!