"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Comparing the Incomparable

2Co 4:15-18 ESVFor it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. (16) So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (17) For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, (18) 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.
WORKS! There's that word again. Can't we escape the necessity for works in the Christian life? Calvin dismissed their requirement entirely. Wesley insisted they should be done methodically. If anyone gives credence to God's word, we find a mixed, often confusing, bag of divine expectations.
        Verse seventeen tells us our relatively easy and temporary troubles accomplish for us an ever and ever more completely glorious, perpetual abundance of blessing. Does that mean that if we leave this temporary life having experienced no troubles, we have failed to earn the eternal blessing God has promised the faithful? More likely, it's a backward way of saying that living in faithful obedience to God will cause us trouble in this life, but a trouble that is momentary and trivial compared with the only alternative to eternal, blissful communion with God.
        While verse seventeen presents the conclusion of the thought begun in verse fifteen, that of our thankful victory being compounded by God's grace, to his glory, verse sixteen tells us that even though our flesh begins dying the moment we are conceived, our soul, spirit, or whatever name we assign to our intangible, inner selves, undergoes daily rejuvenation if we do not grow weary of living for God.
        Verse eighteen completes the thought by comparing that which is seen to that which is unseen. The promise of the previous three verses depends on which of the two realms holds our attention; a continuation of the if inferred in verse sixteen.
        This four-verse passage attempts to compare that which defies comparison, and does a rather good job of it.

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