Saturday, October 20, 2012
Just look around.
Well, why didn't Paul or any of the NT writers ever tell their reads to just look around the natural world to see what God had accomplished? One of the objection that God has complete restored man is the things going on in the natural world. Hey all you have to do is look around is the key argument some peoples use.
But why didn't Paul or any of the NT writers ever base all that God had accomplished by looking around the natural world? The answer to this question is rather simple. Paul's notion is, as you will see if you look at the context, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18. We live in a world where all things are temporary and passing away. (Matthew 6:19)
By the things that are Unseen, are intended all the invisible realities of the eternal world. We are at to look at invisible things, and not on those that are seen. This seems like a contradiction. How can things invisible be seen? This is easily solved by understanding this act, described by LOOKING, to be the act not of the bodily eye—but of faith and enlightened reason.
Faith is defined by this apostle to be "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). And it is the apostle Paul’s chief design that give instances of the surprising efficacy of such a realizing belief of eternal, invisible things. In Ephesians 2:5-6 Paul’s writes, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved, and (raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus), (emphasis, added) So why didn't Paul say hey just look around the natural world to see how God had accomplished this? Because we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:
In Hebrew 12:22-23 we read, But (you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,) to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.
And according to Peter they were a royal priesthood and holy nation I Peter 2.9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. The Greek word from which this particular word "royal" is translated means "kingly in nature."
Although the New Testament writers affirm without a doubt that the saints were seated in heavenly places and were a royal priesthood, and a holy nation and seated on thrones (WITH CHRIST) is funny the disciples never said “ HEY JUST LOOK AROUND.”
It’s because the disciples never urged them to look at the external circumstances of the world to determine what God had accomplished in these verses. If they looked at the external world to determine what God is doing “like many do today” they would have said are you kidding us Paul and Peter we are going though persecutions and tribulation at the hands of those who reject Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4) You guys have to be kidding.
How in the world can you two say we are a royal priesthood, and judging the world and more than conquerors in Christ? Hey, just look around. Looking around the external world was not the way to determine whether or not they were seated in heavenly places and a royal priesthood, and judging the world and more than conquerors in Christ. (Romans 8:37)
Looking around the external world was not the way to determine whether or not Christ has disarmed principalities and powers, and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them at the cross (Colossians 2:14-16). Paul said without a doubt that Christ has (past tense) triumphed over every power. Paul also said Christ had (past tense) put all things under His feet but death. ( 1 Corinthians 15:26-27) Yet looking around the external world during that time would not suggest that Christ was reigning and had not triumphed over every power.
Why, because Christians were going though persecutions and tribulation. At first it was the Jewish people who were the great persecutors. Then Nero. Many Christians were crucified. Some were sewn up in the skins of wild beasts; then big dogs were let loose upon them, and they were torn to pieces. Women were tied to mad bulls and dragged to death. After nightfall Christians were burned at the stake in Nero’s garden (human lampstands!). The Roman people, who hated the Christians were free to come into the garden, and Nero drove around in his chariot wickedly enjoying the horrible scene"
Why didn't these saints say look around the world is full of evil, violence, despair, disease, poverty, sexual deviation Christ cannot be reigning and triumphed over every power. Just look around. If these Christians could not look around the external world and determine whether or not Christ had triumphed over every power and put all things under His feet what makes people today think we can look around the external world a determine what God has accomplished?
Looking around is not the way to determine what God has accomplished. Paul never said hey guys look around. Paul said we “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18.
Hence, they were to look not at the visible—but at the invisible things signifies that the apostle made unseen eternal realities, the chief objects of his contemplations, so that he was governed in the whole of his conduct by the impression of eternal things—and not by the literal thing of the natural world.
This Paul elsewhere expresses in equivalent terms, "We walk by faith—and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). At the beginning of the "faith chapter" of Hebrews occur these remarkable words: "Now faith is ... the evidence of things not seen...(Hebrews 11:1) Faith means seeing the unseen despite the fact that we cannot see it, touch it, or hear it.
Hence, they were to look not at the visible—but at the invisible things signifies that the apostle made unseen eternal realities, the chief objects of his contemplations, so that he was governed in the whole of his conduct by the impression of eternal things—and not by the literal thing of the natural world