But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
By great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
I wonder if Paul was alive today, would he recognize this modern day gospel, which is preached in large parts of the world.
There is the theme, which runs through the epistles of Paul, which is centered on the message of the cross.
How many today do really understand what the cross of Christ represents?
What is this strange unknown language, which Paul uses when he speaks on the cross.
The message of the cross of Christ, is the central theme of the preaching of the Apostle Paul.
This theme of the cross runs throughout all of Paul’s epistles.
The message of the cross was not a teaching to Paul, it was not the symbol of his faith.
The message of the cross was the very life and history of the Apostle Paul.
Paul more than any other, revealed throughout his epistles, what the word of the cross really represents in ones personnel experience, in regards to the christian life.
Its what one enters into, through regeneration into a new humanity, which is of the Son of Gods love, who is Gods new divine order of humanity.
The cross is the event of baptism, the cross means that you are leaving one form and kind of existence, and entering into another form and kind of existence.
Leaving one kind of natural economy, and entering into another kind of divine economy.
The cross does not mean changing the direction in ones life, doing things a lot differently than we did before, being a better person in this world.
What the cross does mean is that you are now leaving a reality of existence and being, which one has lived in this life, and now entering into a altogether different kind of reality and being, which one has not lived nor known before.
The cross means leaving one form and kind of creature of this world, and entering into another form and kind of creature that is not of this world, which is an altogether different kind of species and creation.
The cross is the journey of the christian life, leaving one kind of a humanity and entering into another kind of a humanity, which is in this world, but not of this world, which is in this time, but not of this time.
The journey of the life of the cross is a devastating experience, to one kind of a humanity, but it is also a glorious experience to another kind of humanity.
The cross says no to one kind of a life, but yes to another kind of life.
Living the life of the cross, is living a life of something that is now leaving, disappearing, but also living the life of the cross is living a life of something that is now coming, appearing.
Living the life of the cross is feeling the pain, sorrow, and suffering of something that is leaving, but also living the life of the cross is living in the joy and great glory of something that is coming.
The cross was the the separation point of the history of this world, one history is now leaving, fading into the night, the other history is now coming entering into the light.
The cross of Calvary is the central pivot point of the history of humanity.
One kind of a humanity was completely rejected, another altogether different kind of humanity was completely accepted.
One kind of a humanity is destined for great glory, the other kind of humanity is fading into dark history?