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29 Mar

The God of This World

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2 Corinthians 3:5-4:6

“…not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; who also made us sufficient as servants (administers, distributors) of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit (we don’t give outward laws; we proclaim and offer spiritual realities to receive and live in). For the letter (written law) kills (brings condemnation and carnality by dealing with the hopelessly corrupt flesh), but the Spirit gives life (bypasses the flesh entirely and brings the reality and awareness  of union with God and genuine love). But if the service (provider) of death, written engraved on stones (the written law brought death), came with (incomplete, temporary) glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face; which was passing away: won’t service (the giving) of the Spirit be with much more glory? For if the service of condemnation (law brings condemnation) has glory, the service of righteousness (only the Spirit is righteous) exceeds much more in glory. For most certainly that which has been made glorious has not been made glorious in this respect, by reason of the glory that surpasses (the Life of the Spirit is so deeply glorious it utterly overwhelms whatever glory the old covenant of law and death and condemnation may have had). For if that which passes away (written law was temporary) was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory (only the Spirit is IN glory, because it is a deep, inward reality, while the law is mere rules and symbolic rituals, which cannot give life or righteousness). Having therefore such a hope (an expectation of the manifestation of this glory both within us and on the earth), we use great boldness of speech (we proclaim the Truth fervently, sincerely, and clearly), and not as (unlike) Moses, who put a veil (barrier) on his face, that the children of Israel wouldn’t look steadfastly on the end of that which was passing away (today, we want men to clearly see the glory of the Spirit which has been given, unlike Moses’ day, when a barrier was put up so men wouldn’t be “steadfastly” fixated upon the glory of the temporary and inadequate law). But their minds were hardened (resistant to any change in understanding), for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil (barrier) remains (upon the heart), because in Christ it passes away (awareness of law becomes a barrier upon the heart/mind, keeping one from Christ and God.  Christ came to fulfill the law and enable all men to walk with unveiled hearts.  Law falls short, largely because of the flesh’s weakness and corruption (see Romans 8:3). The very best it can do is create an inferior, man-made imitation of the Spirit.  It can never bestow the Spirit’s inward Life, nature of love, and power which are freely given by God and which are our inheritance.  The Spirit’s nature of love has no need to be compelled by threats or rules, and is not fearful and self-examining.  In this way, for those in the Spirit, law “passes away.” We need to realize that even though the flesh can do good things, we can’t operate by flesh and Spirit at the same time. Following law and religion only make you more fleshly, more self-aware and carnal. The terrible deception is that very often, our familiar religious ideas and ways, which make us feel and appear righteous, are the things keeping us carnal and separated from God). But to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart (when the law is heeded, the mind and awareness are separated from the Spirit/Life of God). But whenever one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away (when one inwardly turns toward and sows to the Life of God within, they will begin to experience and comprehend the true love and nature of God). Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (the spirit of the Lord is in you and I, therefore we are free! We simply must turn to and heed this inward spirit, letting all else, religious or otherwise, be subservient). But we all, with unveiled face (with an awareness unclouded by condemnation/law/carnality/self/condemnation/fear) beholding as in a mirror (beholding within ourselves) the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit (looking and conforming to the Life/Spirit within us will take us into increasing glory, hard as it may be to do so.  As Paul wrote elsewhere, the mystery of the gospel is “Christ in you, the hope/expectation of glory”).

Chapter 4
Therefore seeing we have this ministry (the privilege to proclaim to others the gift of this spiritual, inward Life, glory, and freedom), even as we obtained mercy (God was kind enough to give us this privilege), we don’t faint (we don’t quit or give up). But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully (there is no place or need for manipulation or gimmicks in the Spirit); but by the manifestation (exposure, bestowing) of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience (awareness) in the sight of God. Even if our Good News is veiled (barred from the minds of others), it is veiled in those who perish (are perishing); in whom the god of this world (literally: “age”) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving (the “god of this age” isn’t Satan, it’s law and religion!  That’s what Paul has been writing about in this entire passage. Paul basically said this just a few verses above, when he wrote that because Israel heeded the law, their mind was hardened and a veil was on their heart. He’s clearly still talking about the same things here. Walking by carnal awareness and heeding law is what blinds men from the “good news of the glory of Christ” in you, because doing so puts a veil over one’s heart/awareness, and causes “unbelief” which is a state of perishing), that the light (manifestation) of the Good News of the glory of Christ (the Spirit), who is the image of God, should not dawn on them (or in them). For we don’t preach (promote) ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake (we humble ourselves and glorify the Father, thus following the way began by Jesus, the firstborn of many brothers); seeing it is God who said, “Light will shine out of darkness” (spiritual revelation and reality will come and displace carnal ignorance and effort), who has shone in our hearts (God removes the veil over our mind/awareness), to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (it is a gift of God to recognize His glory in Jesus Christ, and also in us as his brothers and sisters.  As Jesus said in John 14:20: “…you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”  Realizing oneness in the Spirit).

The God of This World

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Posted by on March 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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