So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 2 Corinthians 5:16
What’s Your Point of View?
How many of us still look at one another from a worldly point of view? As we take heed to ourselves and to the world around us this seems to be the norm, but why? It’s one thing to be an unbeliever and have this kind of perspective because this is to be expected of those in the world. Like it states in John 8:44,
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
When Jesus spoke these words he was confronting a crowed of heckling non-believers. However, in Matthew 16:23 Jesus is speaking to Peter, who is a believer, in much the same fashion.
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.
In other words Peter was only seeing things from a worldly point of view. Although from a solely human perspective, he appeared to be sincerely concerned but he did not, nor could he at the moment, see the big picture since at that time the Holy Spirit was not given to them.
Now the Holy Spirit has been Given!
However, we who are Christians now can not claim to have the same problem as the disciples did before Jesus’ death. So we should have a clear view of the bigger picture. Something the Devil doesn’t have because He refused to hold on to the truth, for there is no truth in him. In other words he could not take hold of something that did not take a hold of him which in this case is the truth. What is truth but the person of Jesus Christ. Like Paul said,
…but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Philippians 3:12.
God did something wonderful just for us!
For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he (Jesus) had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:16-17
God took a hold of us through Christ. This is something he has done for us not angels and especially not the fallen variety. So the evil one’s point of view is still and forever will be skewed and he is determined to pass this poor vision on to everyone else. However, God has given us his Holy Spirit so that his children and him could be of the same mind through Christ.
For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11
So with the Spirit we have a higher perspective then the world or at least we ought to. We shouldn’t be regarding anyone from a worldly point of view.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
The Pulpit Commentary puts it like this,
Know no man after the flesh. It is a consequence of my death with Christ that I have done with carnal, superficial, earthly, external judgments according to the appearance, and not according to the heart.
So if we have the Spirit why do we still regard others from a worldly point of view? Placing value on ones wealth or the lack thereof, how they dress, how they look, the color of their skin, and so on. I believe the answer lies in the second part of that verse.
…Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
2 Corinthians 5:16
How do you regarded Christ?
I think most believers intellectually regard Christ just fine. It’s only when it comes to principle does what we know fall short in action. We have to grow to the point where what we know in our minds becomes what we believe in our hearts.
When we sit and talk with our spiritual brothers and sister about such matters we would all say ‘Yeah’, nod our heads and say ‘that is right, that’s what the word says and I believe it’. We would be all in agreement but nevertheless we would get up from that discussion and walk away and hardly get to see what we believe lived out. We become like that man who looked into the mirror.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Are we seeing Christ in the right light. Are we still seeing him from a worldly perspective?
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
If we don’t see Christ in the right light, we will never see others or ourselves for that matter in the right light. If we don’t comprehend what was entailed in that wondrous phrase “It is finished!”
The Pulpit Commentary puts it like this,
To St. Paul Christ is now regarded as far above all local, national, personal, and Jewish limitations, and as the principle of spiritual life in the heart of every Christian. In the view which he took of his Lord St. Paul henceforth has banished all Jewish particularism for gospel catholicity. He regards Christ, not in the light of earthly relationships and conditions, but as the risen, glorified, eternal, universal Savior.
Do we share the same view? Not only in our mind but in our hearts? We need to pray that our hearts be aligned with Christ. We need to be able to see with his eyes, hear with his ears, touch with his hands, go where he leads, with a heart filled with his love so we will no longer see Christ or each other from a worldly point of view.
…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and IN all.
Ephesians 4 :1-5
Let Us See With New Eyes!
Let us look at our brothers and sister in a new light. Let us push past the outward shell and see them not with our human eyes but as God our father sees them as he peers into their heart. We are his children, heirs to the throne. Let us act as such.
Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 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.
2 Corinthians 5:11-12