We have within our body both the Lord’s death (the ministry of death), and His resurrection (ministry of life). The ministry of death is the Law (II Corinthians 3:7), it is the ministry of condemnation (II Corinthians3:9). We have this constant reminder within our flesh that we were unable to keep the law, and therefore guilty before God. This truth, is not to keep us condemned... but instead is a reminder of the death Christ died for us because we were not in right standing with God. We see His death, as a needful thing to save us.
In our choice to follow Him we also know, that we too will be persecuted as He was persecuted. We must suffer with Him. This does not mean we are lightening the load He towed for us—No, He did it all. What it means is that because, like Him, we also will suffer—because the world hated Him, they will also hate us. The ministry of life, is our new birth in Christ, which takes away all condemnation.
Death could not hold Him and He rose again victoriously, as we too will be raised with Him. This ministry of life is both now in this present age, and also is completed at His second coming. It deals with our responsibility and obligation to tell others the Good News in Christ, that they may be saved. If we have no love for our brothers and sisters then it is questionable if we truly have His love within us. If we truly love them, we will tell them the good news of Christ.
Father, Thank You for sending Your Son and rescuing us from the sinful state we were in. Thank You for dwelling in us and being our guide until our full Salvation is complete with our risen physical bodies. Thank You for the present reality of a full life in You. Amen
II Corinthians 4:8 & 9 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
Many have the idea that as a Christians we will avoid trouble. Mostly this comes from the wrong teaching that it is God who uses trouble to teach us lessons and cause us to grow. But the Bible teaches against that kind of thinking. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17
In fact, Jesus tells us we will be persecuted for His name sake. John 15:20”...If they persecuted Me they will also persecute you....” Yet even knowing this, our verse for today gives us hope, in that we will have victory over it all. When things come against us we don’t have to stay in that state. We don’t have to respond to trouble as mere men. I Corinthians 10:13 promises us: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Whatever we go through, God will give us the strength to make it through and bring us to victory. We may be puzzled about things, but we should never be in despair. Despair shouldn’t ever be used by Christian’s because they are never without hope. And we will never be forsaken by Him, maybe by some, but never those who belong to Him. The things that we go through, can never destroy us. God will deliver us out of all our troubles, (Ps. 34:17 & 19) so cheer up, there is always that way out. Rejoice, because the Lord is good. Be at peace, because God loves you unconditionally.
Father, may we put our trust in You completely, that we have no fear of what may come our way. Let Your perfect love cast all fears away from us. Thank You for the hope that you give to us and which also brings us Your perfect peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen