Commentary on "Clothed in Christ"
Day 3: Monday June 20, 2011 - No Provision for the Flesh
Today's lesson gives more detail about how our lives should begin to look when we are clothed in Christ.
There were a couple points taught in today's lesson, I'd like to focus on.
Point #1 teaches:
"Any theology, any version of the “gospel” that focuses solely on salvation in cold and legal terms alone, misses the point. Christianity is all about Jesus, but it’s not about Jesus in isolation. It’s about Jesus and what He has done for our fallen race through His life, death, and High Priestly ministry." (underlined emphasis is mine)
I would just add Christ's resurrection to that list of what He accomplished for us. His resurrection is so highly significant, Scripture teaches that without it, we have no hope at all:
"And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." —1 Cor. 15:14 (NIV)
Point #2 teaches:
"Whatever else to “be clothed” in Christ means, it certainly deals with character building, with conduct, with loving as Christ loved, and with reflecting His image. In a sense, while all things around us tend to get worse, those clothed in Christ should be getting better and better (see 2 Cor. 3:18)." (underlined emphasis is mine)
Lets actually read 2 Cor. 3:18 to see exactly what it teaches:
"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (NIV)
I cannot find a "should be getting better and better" statement in that promise!
Instead, I find an "are being transformed" promise in that verse. In other words, when we are found to be In Christ, transformation WILL occur. It is being done TO us, not by us!
The context of 2 Cor. 3 is a contrast between the old and new covenants. It teaches the old covenant is a ministry of death and therefore encourages us to move out of the old covenant and enter into the new covenant, which is Jesus Christ Himself, because only the new covenant gives life.
Only those who have been unveiled by Christ, for having turned away from the old covenant, can be transformed into His image (see verses 15-18). In fact 2 Cor. 3 reveals that result of those who continue on in the old covenant, is that their minds will be made dull (see verse 14).
The lesson ends by asking,
"...what parts of your life have you held back from the kind of surrender and death to self needed in order for the Lord to work in you? How would your life differ were you to make that complete surrender?"
Based on the context of the 2 Corinthians passage that this lesson selected to focus on, I think a couple better questions to end the lesson with are these:
Have you turned away from the old covenant?
How will your life become different after you do?
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