March 3rd, 2007
When you evaluate people according to the world’s standards, you see someone as valuable or not valuable depending on whether or not that person is useful to you or can do something for you. People are there to be used. But that’s not how God evaluates people. If it was, why would he bother with people at all? What use would he have for an imperfect person, when he can do everything perfectly himself? But, as Paul said in today’s reading, “Christ died for everyone, so that people who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died and rose again for their sakes.” God has a different way of valuing people.
Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians — Chapter 5
5:1 We know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house not made with hands, in the heavens. 5:2 We groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly living quarters, 5:3 because when we are wearing it we will not be found naked. 5:4 While we are in this tent we groan under our burden, not because we want to be unclothed, but because we want to be clothed, so that what is mortal can be swallowed up by life. 5:5 God made us for this very thing, and also gave us the first installment of the Spirit.
5:6 We are always cheerful and know that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight. 5:8 We are cheerful and would prefer to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord. 5:9 We make it our aim, whether we are at home or absent, to please him. 5:10 We must all appear before Christ to be judged. All people will be rewarded according to what they have done in the body, whether good or bad. 5:11 We know what it is to fear the Lord, and we seek to persuade others. God knows what we are like, and I hope that you also know what kind of people we are. 5:12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but we want you to be proud of us, so that you can answer people who boast about what is seen rather than what is in the heart. 5:13 If we are mad, it is for God. If we are sensible, it is for you. 5:14 The love of Christ urges us on, because we are sure that one person died for everyone, so that everyone died. 5:15 He died for everyone, so that people who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died and rose again for their sakes.
5:16 From now on we will stop evaluating others by the world’s standards. Even though we once knew Christ in a worldly way, we no longer know him that way. 5:17 If anyone is in Christ the new creation has come. Old things have passed away; they have become new. 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave us the task of reconciliation. 5:19 In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not keeping a record of people’s sins, and entrusting us with the message of reconciliation. 5:20 We are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as if God was making an appeal through us: we urge you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 5:21 God caused the one who had never sinned to become sin on our behalf, so that in him we could become the righteousness of God.
Entry Filed under: Hope