A message to my facebook friends of the ministry of the RECONCILIATION OF ALL.
Looking in the mirror, do we see the Glory of Christ looking back or the veil of the flesh from a worldly point of view concealing and distorting the image? We see the Glory of the Victorious Lord of ALL in ALL!
2 Corinthians 5:12–19 (NIV)
12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for ALL, and therefore ALL died. 15 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.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly [Fleshly] point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone *suppose **someone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, NOT COUNTING PEOPLE’S SINS AGAINST THEM. And he has committed to us THE MESSAGE OF RECONCILIATION.
*Strong’s G1487 + **Strong’s G5100 Paul is presenting a subjective possibility using a nonspecific “someone” to make the readers think about what he just said in vss. 14,15 ALL died in Christ therefore ALL are in Christ. This fits much better with the whole context of what has been written here in this section. It has all up to, and after this point been about “ALL” and then “the world”. Here is another case where the translators changed the focus from inclusive to exclusive for no apparent reason. Then again, I think I know the reason…
2 Corinthians 2:14–17 (NIV)
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. [Coming to naught, rendering void] 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; [Of their message of deception and lies] to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
2 Corinthians 3:2–11 (NIV)
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink [Old Testament writings] but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone [The Ten Commandments] but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a NEW covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter [written code] kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The Greater Glory of the New Covenant
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, [The Ten Commandments] came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
2 Corinthians 3:12–18 (NIV)
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, [*to cause someone to be completely unwilling to accept new information—‘to cause to be completely unwilling to learn, to cause the mind to be closed.’] for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
*[Louw-Nida 27.51 πωρόω]
2 Corinthians 4:1–6 (NIV)
The Light of Christ’s Gospel
4 Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. *[Coming to naught, rendering void] 4 The god of this age has blinded** the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see [Because of the veil] the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. [Selah] 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
**Louw-Nida32.43 τυφλόω to cause someone not to be able to understand—‘to make someone not understand, to remove someone’s understanding. (without help, I might add)
2 Corinthians 4:13,15 (NIV)
13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Isaiah 29:9–14 (NKJV)
9Pause and wonder!
Blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunk, but not with wine;
They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.
10For the Lord has poured out on you
The spirit of deep sleep,
And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets;
And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.
11 The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.”
And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”
12 Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.”
And he says, “I am not literate.”
13 Therefore the Lord said:
“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
14Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder;
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, [Coming to naught, rendering void]*
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.” [Veiled]
*See above note
They do not really believe that the old covenant/testament law has been done away so that they can fully trust in the new covenant/testament promises of the Salvation of the world through Christ. This one thing is the biggest hindrance to believing the Good News that God has done away with the old covenant/testament law and therefore by being in Christ reconciling the world to himself not counting people’s sins [under the old testament law] against them. Therefore he is not holding anything against anyone anymore! The purpose of the written Law is finished being replaced by the Law of the Spirit poured out on all flesh - Acts 2:17, working through the hearts of all to create a living letter about Himself through YOU; That God now can speak through each one of us as we trust in the Christ Spirit within our hearts. But this message is veiled to them that are still trying to be saved and hear from God through the works of the Law which no longer has any glory at all but is as filthy rags in His sight. This has been made extremely hard for most to understand. The truth has been veiled and hidden from their eyes because of the messages law mixed with grace that they hear from the so called church leaders who have made a business and profession of supposedly sharing The Lord’s Salvation if we would but come to them to get it their way; then it’s up to you to keep it; their way. But then that is according to which building you go to. Some charge as much as ten percent of your income; some will let you defer your taxes, and others for even less than that! Shop around till you get your best bargain. I have heard some put on specials from time to time and will take everyone in on a freewill contribution for a few days…..
A little law, a little grace, a little blessing, a little cursing and you can go home with a full meal of confusion that will do you for a few days. But be sure to go back soon before you get that figured out or you may not be able to go back…..
James 3:10–12 (NIV)
10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
John 4:14 (WNT)
14 but whoever drinks any of the water that I shall give him will never, never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become a fountain within him of water springing up for the Life of the Ages.”
But seriously, I would ask you to be reconciled to God right now where you are; He never needed reconciling to you He has never stopped loving you and I can promise you He is not offended or mad at you for anything. Have you sinned? Yes. But He is not counting it against you because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for you. How do you receive it? You already have it… just believe it.
2 Corinthians 5:20–21 (NIV)
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Now you have God’s Righteousness…. You don’t need your own. I’d rather have His anyway wouldn’t you