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2 Cor. 5: 6-17 – What Price Obedience?

December 26, 2008

2 Cor. 5: 6-17  What Price Obedience?

Vs 6- Paul maintains good courage (brave, confidence – thought not in the flesh) because of prev. vv. About hope of new body; the Holy Spirit as a down payment guarantee of the reality to come of being fully in God’s presence…
–    the real you is encased, but the body is not restrictive or bad: we are embodied spirit
–    Link between joy and courage and confidence in God’s promises – cf. 6 ‘courage, knowing,” ..how much of our sadness, depression in church is from failure to live by faith and act on the promises of God?

Vs 7 – what are ways we walk by sight: Sight = appearance, what you can see only
a.    Feelings – feelings are fallen; biased; limited; subject to many factors – feelings MUST be subjected to the authority of God’s word. No debate on this one!!
b.    our perception whether real or not of other people’s opinions
c.    listening to the counsel of anything but the bible for life…”I can’t see how God can bring change here. It’s outside of what the Bible talks about.”  God has only 1 standard, one tool for change, one book to give hope for a life that pleases God, one word that leads to holiness and growth, one scripture that calls us to personal responsibility and promises to give ability if we are willing to come His way and not the world’s…
d.    deifying or relying on circumstances – this is too much for me; God’s word doesn’t have any answer for MY BIG problems, there are just too many factors to be taken care of, people just don’t understand, or ….i need more of this before I blank….if only blank, then I would blank…if only this were true, then I would be able to blank..…when this happens, then I will….
e.    Anytime we act without reference to or consulting the word of God for any moral aspect of life…explain

Vs 8 – due to the nature of our hearts, the falleness of the world, the superiority of the life to come, and the blessing of being in God’s full presence, this is the preference – do you long to be w/ Christ? Here’s how you know? How much do you pray “Come Lord Jesus!” This will show how much we love/comfortable/pursue this life at times….again, God made us to live in this world, but God’s Spirit groans within us making us yearn for the life to come with the Risen Christ.

Vs 9- “Lit. well-pleasing” speaks of this in reference to the nature of God’s will…
-.what’s your goal? To have good feelings, to have all your ducks in a row, to have everyone like you, to be comfortable (physically, emotionally, financially, health-wise, peer wise)   How far are you willing to go to obey God? You know at the level that you start making excuses for what you ‘are’, what is/was in your circumstances, what others will think about you, what will be the result if I do this, when you decide to follow anyone else’s counsel before coming to the word of God first…cf. Matt. 6:   “your will be done on earth (my life) as it is in heaven.” What did it cost Jesus to be well-pleasing? What about his feelings? What about his circumstances? What about what others thought? What about him not having his best life now? What about his comfort level? What about this being too much for Him?

Vs 10 – appear “lit. make manifest, reveal, to take the lid of” God’s going to see and show you what you’ve been hiding in the cookie jar of your life.”..it’s a passive verb …you don’t take yourself there as something to do…you will be called and brought by God’s summons…it is something that is acted upon and done to you….you have no ‘free will’ in the matter…
-recompensed – aorist subjunctive middle – single action that has some uncertainty to it (in the author’s mind—depends on obedience) that you bring on yourself…again, the idea of God holding you accountable in the midst of your life for choosing whether to radically obey or not?!
-note: there is a correspondence between how you obey in your present life to the reward or not you receive in the life to come…cf. ‘according to’’….so what does your obedience level say right now about your reward factor?
why is obedience so necessary? Where in this verse does God give you an excuse for not looking to his word for answers? For degree of obedience? For letting you off the hook to be a responsible, moral wise choosing and obedient person?
-good – ‘profitable, useful, benevolent’
-bad – ‘refuse, evil, vile, NOTE: can also mean ‘mediocre, unimportant”
–we all appear cf w/ each one must give an account —just be/c church is one way will not excuse you for your obedience/disobedience in pursuing the will of God for your life and the church.

Vs 11 – why do we challenge each other with this? Knowing what we do in vs 10, that is that people will be judge according to their deeds, we try to persuade people about their lives before God to take serious the call to obedience at all costs to be ‘well –pleasing’ in His sight…

Vs 12 – made known – God, and hopefully you, know why we are doing this..cf w/ vs 12

vs 13 – beside ourselves – out of our mind

vs 14 –controls – ‘to be under the influence of; straightened by; held fast by’
concluded – “to divide; to judge; to make a distinction”

Vs 14c – 15 – -if you have died, you no longer have ‘your will’/
–    rose again – passive – could be ‘was risen again’ or has been risen’
–    death to your will; life to obedience to His commands

Conclusion –
Who you live for will show in what you do or do NOT live by?
Are you controlled/paralyzed by your emotions? Do you find yourself saying a lot of “if…then” statements? Are you motivated by the love of Christ to obey against all odds/circumstances/costs to you? Where do you begin to make excuses and be defensive about areas of obedience in your life?
-Does God promise to make it easy? No, unfortunately many are waiting for this promise before they act. Or are already disappointed with God be/c He hasn’t delivered on this imaginary promise.
-do you think often about what others think about you speaking out/witnessing for the Lord? What others say about living for God?
-who’s counsel have you believed about whether or not you can obey and see change in your life rather than God?
-where do you just ‘live life’ without referring to God’s counsel?
-Remember we may live before and with each other, but each individual will give an account for whether they obeyed or disobeyed…and I don’t hear God granting any excuses for disobedience or not actively pursuing holiness due to circumstances, personality, make up, biological factors, etc.

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