14. The Spirit guarantees our hope, not our circumstances. (2 Cor.5:1-5) God has given us the Spirit as a guarantee of what is to come. This earthly tent is fading (this earthen vessel is being increasingly broken), but the stirring of the Spirit within whispers the dawning of eternal immortality as we anticipate the fuller life that is to come. So in ministry we don’t cling to false promises of easy life now, but we are willing to serve in the midst of groans because there is something far greater to come!
15. We are away from the Lord now, but we are living in anticipation of seeing him (2.Cor.5:6-10) The Spirit within us stirs courage in our ministry, and He stirs our motivation to please the Lord. Why? Because even though we are not with the Lord now, we long to be. And we know we will be. And when we see him, we know that he will evaluate us and so we long to please him in all we do until that day comes. Strength comes not from our circumstances, but in the midst of whatever circumstances as we live to please our coming Lord.
16. The anticipation of evaluation, the fear of the Lord, motivates us to action (2.Cor.5:9-11) Is the fear of the Lord compatible with a New Covenant emphasis on intimacy with God by the Spirit? Absolutely. The fear of the Lord is dependent on God’s greatness, and his love is not in opposition to his great power, presence and strength. So as we anticipate evaluation by the Lord, it stirs us to long to please him (a love response to loving greatness). And as we take the Lord so seriously, we seek to influence others to take him seriously too – we persuade.
The final post is coming next time . . .