Higher Ground Outreach

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2 Corinthians 3:1-18

 

1.  Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

2.  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

3.  Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

4.  And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

5.  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

6.  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

7.  But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

8.  How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

9.  For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

10.  For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

11.  For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

12.  Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

13.  And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

14.  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

15.  But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

16.  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

17.  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

18.  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

In this world that we live in, those who are truly hungry for a spiritual walk are not finding fulfillment in men’s religion with its loud voice of empty traditions, but are recognizing a need for a more uncontaminated transparent life.  They are not so easily swayed by those who have an outward show of a whitened sepulcher, yet an inward working of dead men’s bones resurrected into an exceeding great army.

 

A spiritual way of life is far more powerful and transparent in communication and effect than any superficial lifestyle, tradition or perception.  It’s a life of knowing that the God of all creation is all in all and will direct us through each day, shining on us, in us and trough us with His all consuming love that is destine to be shed abroad in the hearts of all humanity.

 

When the apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, he told them that he didn’t come to them with words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  His speech and his preaching were not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power.  Not that our faith would stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (see 1 Corinthians 2:4, 13).  He said, “I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin {in a pure, natural, or clean state, undefiled, unspoiled, not corrupted by man}, to Christ {Anointed one, anointing, Spirit of God}.  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2-3).”

 

Both Jesus and Paul warned us to beware of the leaven {Yeast like substance. Symbolic of puffed up, prideful traditions of men that make the Word of God worthless in our lives} of the Pharisees, for a little leaven leavens the whole lump (See Matthew 16:1-17 and Galatians 5:1-26).  The word Pharisee simply means “one who separates himself.”  God did not call us to a ministry of separation, but a ministry of reconciliation.

 

Having said that, I find that religion in general is veiled by its own traditions, separating itself from receiving the glorious light of a loving God, confining Him to work within its limited understanding.  Many Christians for example, have a spiritual vocabulary limited to a sixteenth century “Christianeeze” code.  This is OK if they are around others that can crack the code, but it can create an outward religious screen to those that are not familiar with this dialect.  Having a “King James” way of talking isn’t wrong in itself and won’t really hurt anyone.  However, we must remember that the King James Bible was written for the common language of the people and culture of its time.  The content is the same, but the language of today is not. 

 

Religion, including many Christian based faiths, is based on a system images and merits, not on the spiritual walk found in Christ.  Our true sufficiency is not found in word or deed, but in God and God alone.  Not in a ministration of dead works, but in the ministration of the Spirit of God.  When we come into this spiritual recognition, and see that it is not our workmanship, but Gods, then our lives become a window to reveal the full spectrum of the light of the magnificent glory of God for all to see. We become living epistles, known and read of men.

 

1 Corinthians 14:33 says that God isn’t the author of confusion or instability, nor is He in a state of disorder, But He is the author of Life, peace and harmony.  This wonderful everlasting peace can only be found deep within the corridors of ones heart, through the spirit of God and revealed by the almighty Christ in you.

 

Several hundred years before the birth of Jesus, a seeker came to a prominent wise man looking to him for the way to salvation.  This is what he was told, “Look for another Holy One who will come and help the world and all of you in the future...  The Holy one who will keep the world in the future will be like this:  In the palm of his hands and in the flat of his feet will be the design of a disk, in his side will be a stab wound; and his forehead will have many marks like scars.  The Holy One will be the golden boat who will carry you over the cycle of rebirth all the way to the highest heaven.  Do not look for salvation in the old way [trying to merit salvation]; there is no salvation in it for sure.  Quit the old way, and there will be a new spirit like the light of a lightening bug which will come down from the sky above to live in ALL of your hearts, and you will be victorious over all of your enemies.  Nobody will be able to destroy you.  If you die, you will not come back to be born in this world again.  You will go to the highest heaven.”  That wise man was Buddha, and even in his day and time, he could see the light in the glory of the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of the faith for all humanity. 

 

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.  For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father (Isaiah 53:5, Ephesians 2:14-18).”

 

Steve Doss