Friday, January 28, 2022

Formed By the Word: Week 3 ~ Perspective: Godly Perception


Week 3 ~ Perspective: Godly Perception

Today is part three in a series of Words challenge posts looking at Chapters 3-5 of 2 Corinthians. These chapters contain a lot of "perspective" words. Words such as seen/unseen, light, reveal, veiled/unveiled, display, show, reflect, sight, see, look, eteranl/temporary, blinded, regard, view, eyes. Paul's theology in his letters is that the right perspective is God's perspective. In these chapters in 2 Corinthians he shows that godly perspective impacts how we live, how we see others, how we view trials and suffering and the circumstances of life, and how we view eternity. So we will break these down and dig into them:

  • Week One ~ Perspective: Behold Christ.
  • Week Two ~ Perspective: Eyes Wide Open
  • Week Three ~ Perspective: Godly Perception
  • Week Four ~ Perspective: Eternal Eyesight

Godly Perception

When we have God’s perspective, we see others as He does, both unbelievers and believers alike. Our perception of others is seen through the lens of the gospel. In 5:16-17 Paul says,

So from now on we regard [view, see, consider] no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded [saw, viewed, considered] 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!”

I used verse 17 (new creation) in earlier posts regarding our position in Christ, and it is true, those who are in Christ are new creations. But the context shows us another way to view this verse. Let me break it down. It starts with “so from now on”. From when? We must look back at the previous verses. From the point when we were compelled by the love of Christ, recognizing that He died for all and we thus began a new life, we had our eyes opened that our lives now are to be lived for Christ (5:14-15). Before then we lived for ourselves by the world’s standards or point of view. That is, we lived with ourselves at the center of the universe. Our needs, our rights, our wants, etc. were more important than others, and even more important than God’s. This is what Paul means when he says that we once regarded Christ in this way (5:16) – we made no room for Him in our lives because we did not see Him in the right light – in God’s light.

But now that we are living as unveiled people in Christ, we live to please God (5:9) and are called to live by the standards, or point of view, that God calls us to, for we see His glory clearly now. Not only that, but Paul says, “we regard no one from a worldly point of view”, not anyone. This means we don’t even see unbelievers from a worldly point of view. We cannot hold them to God’s standards for living because they live with their minds dull, their hearts veiled, and their eyes unable to see spiritual things. We see them as they really are, as those in need of reconciliation with God, who need the opportunity to have their eyes opened to the freedom that comes form the Lord (3:17) by being freed from the burden of sin.

But for those who are in Christ we need to see them as who they really are as well. They are a new creation in Christ. Everything that the Bible says is true of the identity of God’s children is already true of them – even if they don’t yet believe it or live up to it. They are a new creation! The old has gone, but still will need to be dealt with as we grow and mature and are transformed into the image of Christ in ever-increasing glory (3:18). So, we live as living epistles of Christ in order to help those who live veiled lives be reconciled to God, and to encourage those who are in Christ to fully live as transformed new creations in Christ’s image.

I would love to have you to join me in being formed by the Word this year. After reading the above post, do some study on your own. Dig deeper into the verses and passages mentioned and then respond creatively. Share your thoughts and creative responses in the comment section below or on social media with #formedby theword and #wordsartandfaithgroup, and in our private Facebook group for words challenges the Words Art and Faith group.

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